Ed Woodward, John W Henry and other ESL chiefs pictured enjoying meal together

Three of the Premier League’s Big Six clubs may have kickstarted their plans to launch a controversial European Super League three-and-a-half years ago at a New York lunch, according to reports.

The footballing world has been rocked to its core following news that 12 leading European clubs are planning to break away and form a new and exclusive Super League, which would allow its founding members to qualify year on year regardless of sporting achievements.

Along with six clubs from Spain and Italy, English giants Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are the so-called ‘Dirty Dozen’ plotting a move that would change football as know it forever.

And according to the Daily Mail, the earth-shattering project may very well have got underway when Arsenal, United and Liverpool bigwigs met for lunch in New York back in October 2017.

Liverpool owner John W. Henry and then-Arsenal chief Ivan Gazidis were spotted dining with United’s former JP Morgan banker turned executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and club-owners the Glazer brothers in the trendy Tribeca district.

All five men have sat in silence despite widespread outrage at their revolutionary plans to ditch UEFA competitions and form their own closed shop at European football’s summit.

Gazidis is no longer with Arsenal, leaving to join AC Milan in 2018 – but he remains integral in the plans given the Italian club are one of its founding members.

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  • At the time of their pictured meeting in 2017, reports suggested television rights and the three clubs’ desire to earn a greater slice of the pie was likely on the agenda.

    However, experts now believe the European Super League proposal which has sent shockwaves rippling through the sport may have been discussed.

    According to The Times, one unnamed Premier League club has held emergency international discussions over a potential U-turn on their decision to join the project.

    It is believed the club has been taken aback by the sheer scale of opposition to the Super League.

    READ MORE:Meet the European Super League billionaires: The 12 owners destroying our game

    READ MORE:FIFA chief Gianni Infantino sends warning to rebel European Super League clubs

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