(Bloomberg) -- Two major international law firms and a group of eight media agencies were paid over 4 million euros ($4.5 million) months before the failed launch of soccer’s European Super League, according to figures seen by Bloomberg News.
London-based law firm Clifford Chance LLP received the bulk of the fees, billing for legal work worth 2 million euros, documents show. Latham & Watkins LLP, which has its headquarters in the U.S., received 1.3 million euros.
Six public relations agencies and two other media-related companies were paid almost 800,000 euros in the period up to November 2020, before the launch was officially announced. Two credit rating agencies also shared fees of 345,000 euros.
While the outlays were small in comparison to the overall size of the 4 billion euro project, the spending confirms that the abortive Super League concept had a long gestation period even though its official launch led to a quick demise.
The agencies involved included Paloma Global and In-House Communications. In-House is headed by Katie Perrior, previously director of communications for former U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.
Clifford Chance, In-House and Paloma Global declined to comment. Latham & Watkins did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Despite receiving expensive legal and public relations the 12-club Super League project collapsed within days of its launch in April. Teams quickly pulled out of the debt-driven project, financed by JPMorgan Chase & Co., in the face of a furious reaction from the sport’s authorities, politicians and fans.
Few of the team owners who initially joined the league came forward in support of it. After the project collapsed Liverpool FC’s principal owner, John W Henry, issued a remorseful pre-recorded apology to the team’s fans.
Though nine rebel clubs have since renounced their interest in a breakaway league, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus continue to work on a Super League-style project.
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