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In those frantic, final hours in April, before a cabal of owners of Europe’s grandest clubs unveiled their plan for a breakaway superleague to an unsuspecting and unwelcoming world, a schism emerged in their ranks.

One faction, driven by Andrea Agnelli, chairman of Juventus, and Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid, wanted to go public as quickly as possible. Agnelli, in particular, was feeling the personal pressure of acting, in effect, as a double agent. Everything, they said, was ready; or at least as ready as it needed to be.

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