The Super League appears to be all-but dead as a concept as of Tuesday evening, as Manchester City, Chelsea and Barcelona are all believed to have quit the project.
There are strong reports also that Atlético Madrid have pulled out of the deal, leaving an enormous hole in the project that has riven the game in two.
Martin Lipton, chief sports correspondent at The Sun, has been informed that City have 'told organisers they no longer want to be part' of the Super League.
Manchester City pulling out of Super League. City have told organisers they no longer want to be part of the £4.6billion scheme. Chelsea preparing documentation to also withdraw. Full details coming #BallsToTheSuperLeague @SunSport
— Martin Lipton (@MartinLipton) April 20, 2021
There are also unconfirmed reports this evening that Joan Laporta will not finialise the move to the Super League without the support of the club's socios, all-but ending their involvement.
The news comes as reports emerged elsewhere on Tuesday evening suggesting that Chelsea are some way to withdrawing from the Super League.
BBC News' Dan Roan reported this evening that Chelsea are 'preparing documentation to request withdrawing from the ESL'.
Chelsea & Petr Cech
Meanwhile, Chelsea technical and performance advisor Petr Cech has pleaded with fans to allow Chelsea players to come into the stadium ahead of their Premier League match with Brighton and Hove Albion this evening.
— phillip james (@phillipjames4) April 20, 2021
Meanwhile, as the world came to grips with the idea of the so-called Super League, club websites were presenting an... unusual version of events.
On Tuesday afternoon, Pep Guardiola came out with the most stinging criticism yet by a sitting manager of one of the breakaway clubs.
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City & Super League
"It is not a sport where the relation between effort and success does not exist," Guardiola said.
"It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed, it is not a sport where it doesn't matter when you lose.
"I have said many times I want the best competition, as strong as possible, especially the Premier League, and not just one team fight, fight, fight and arrives at the top but cannot be qualified, because it is just for a few clubs.
"These teams have been selected, I don’t know the reason why is going to play this competition in the future.
"It is not a sport where success is already guaranteed or it doesn’t matter where you lose. I said many times, I want the best competition.
"I don’t know if the statement will change and four or five teams will be able to go up."
One might expect such pointed comments to feature on the Manchester City website, but alas not.
In an article entitled 'Guardiola responds to ESL development', City's site reports the blander elements of the press conference.
“We are not the right people to answer the questions. The presidents can speak more clearly about where football is going to go. It is uncomfortable for us because we don't have all the information," the site quotes Guardiola.