European Super League organisers lied about which teams had joined the breakaway in a bid to get others to sign up, sources close to the talks have claimed.
Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, last season’s Champions League finalists, were among the big clubs to refuse a spot in the scuppered project.
But just hours before the European Super League was announced, PSG bosses were being lobbied to join on the false premise that Bayern had caved in, sources said.
Urgent talks between high-level PSG and Bayern officials revealed the claim to be a desperate final roll of the dice to strengthen the line-up of the proposed competition.
The European Super League launched last month with 12 founder clubs, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Juventus, but collapsed within 48 hours amid a fierce and widespread backlash.
The refusal of PSG, Bayern and, to a lesser extent, Borussia Dortmund left the European Super League without clubs from France and Germany, two of the continent’s five biggest markets.
Six English clubs – Manchester City, Chelsea, United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool – were the first to withdraw from the project. Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid soon followed.
Real Madrid and Juventus were the most vocal backers of the breakaway, which would have threatened the Champions League and domestic competitions such as the Premier League.
As the plans collapsed, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez denied that PSG had ever been invited.
Agnelli was branded a “snake” by Aleksander Ceferin, president of European governing body Uefa and, until then, a firm ally.
The public relations firm appointed to handle the European Super League in the UK did not respond to requests for comment.