For a moment, it seemed that the aborted Super League had the potential to spark a surge in anti-Americanism in Britain not seen since the political heyday of George W Bush.

You didn't have to be American to be mad keen on the Super League. Florentino Perez was, and remains, the most vocal evangelist for the project, delivering nightly soliloquies on the matter on Spanish TV.

By all accounts, Real Madrid do not need to establish their own MUTV station as the traditional broadcasters in the Spanish capital are more than happy to do the same job for them. As of Sunday, the Real Madrid President is still in Hiroo Onoda mode, citing ironclad legal documents which supposedly chain the jittery English clubs to the project.

He was closely followed in his endeavour by his Juve sidekick Andrea Agnelli, the heir to the FIAT fortune.

Both guys happen to head up clubs for whom 'aristocratic arrogance' is very much a masthead value, so we shouldn't be too taken aback by their chutzpah.

But the word among the betrayed parties in the UK was that the chief ideological drivers of this project were 'the Americans'.

The atmosphere had begun to get a little bit 2003 at one stage.

As the whole project curdled and died on Tuesday evening, Graeme Souness used his Sky Sports pulpit to announce that Britain was "a proper country", unlike the piddling superpower over the Atlantic. We naturally anticipate that the United Nations will add the Graeme Souness 'Proper Country Index' to their bulging list of rankings evaluating the overall performance of nation states.

(Without getting too bogged down in Souness' political leanings, his famous adherence to Thatcherism - "I play for money," he said bluntly in the 80s - should really make him pro-American... but then his more recent Brexit support might indicate that he's simply a straightforward Tory British nationalist.)

John Henry - hithertofor one of the most lauded American owners in English football

As far as the UK narrative went, this was the Americans' chance to create an NFL-style closed shop, a gated community where they don't have to worry about relegation or 'the top four' and where they could freely tinker with the product so as to better flog it to those younger demographics whose attention span has been so gutted by the internet that they can't hack 90 minute games anymore.

They were seizing the chance to impose American values onto the English game, American sport being famously such an owners' paradise that it is they who get handed the Super Bowl trophy at the end of the season. 'Gaels' who are unfamiliar with American sports may be surprised to learn it is the owner, not the captain or the quarterback, who gets to deliver the 'Tá áthas orm' moment in the Gridiron.

The term 'legacy fans' was especially offensive to people. The Super League's remarkably shoddy PR arm - seemingly engaged late in the day - managed to let it leak out that this terminology was being applied to regular match-goers. The fans that the owners were really interested in were the 'fans of the future', conjuring up an image of Gen Z'ers whose primary interest in football currently comes through the medium of computer games and Hollywood actors/influencers who are still grappling with the difference between Manchester United and Manchester City.

In their most panicked imaginings, the 'legacy fans' envisaged a future where clubs would become unmoored from their historic surroundings and vulnerable to re-location.

If Stan Kreonke gets the hump with Arsenal fans moaning the whole time - if he decides that he's listened to "you're ruining the club, fam" one too many times - could he upsticks and move the whole shebang to Moscow or Vienna? Or Dublin! (The Dublin Gunners could be born)?

Back in the 90s, of course, there were frequent attempts to plonk a soccer 'franchise' in Dublin, so much so that the idea was even reflected in film.

The 2000 offering 'Shot at Glory' portrayed the machinations of another American owner, albeit a fictional one, Peter Cameron at the pokey, made-up Scottish outfit, Kilnochie FC.

Early on, Mr Cameron, played by Michael Keaton, informed the club's hard-bitten gaffer Gordon McLeod (Robert Duvall) that he was moving Kilnockie to Dublin, citing the fact that "they're so hungry for professional football over there."

"Next you'll be wanting us to play Gaelic football," replied a scandalised McLeod in Duvall's exaggerated Scottish accent, "And use our f****n' hands! You should be locked up, aye!"

In his doomed pitch to his manager, Cameron added that "they're building a brand new stadium" over there in Dublin, which there was certainly talk of around 2000 - Eircom Park and Stadium Ireland advocates still being locked in battle at the time.

Indeed, the supposed inevitability of a European Super League was a common motif in that era when planners in the capital were frantically trying to erect stadiums and attract English soccer teams to locate here.

Dave Hannigan tweeted this week that then Sport Minister Jim McDaid had argued that the Bertie Bowl needed building because Dublin's representative in the coming European Super League would require somewhere suitable to play.

The European Super League train could have pulled in at Abbotstown

The Super League idea has been kicking around for a long while, since the late 90s really, initially headed off by UEFA's expansion of the Champions League.

As late as 1995-96, Blackburn Rovers were the only Premier League entrants in the Champions League, which can't have been satisfactory for the money men. Their pisspoor Premier League defence already buried under a heap of rubble, Jack Walker's boys proceeded to finish dead last in a group which also contained Rosenborg.

It may have been the sight of Blackburn Rovers, alone among the Premier League contenders, taking their place among the European elite that convinced the early Super League visionaries of the need to act. Soon, they got busy.

The League of Ireland community responded to this week's Super League proposals with ironic jokes and promos attesting to the beauty of the traditional football experience. Had the NFL model been grafted wholesale onto European football, then Dublin would currently likely be low down the queue for an 'expansion franchise'.

In '98, however, Dublin was apparently included in the plan. Silvio Berlusconi and Rupert Murdoch - whose TV company is now boasting of helping kill the latest Super League venture - were among the leading movers in the venture.

As Philip Quinn reported in the Irish Independent at the time, an English consortium were sniffing around Shelbourne at the time for precisely that reason.

Then Shels chairman Gary Brown told Quinn he'd been chatting to Rangers chairman David Murray - then a big noise in club football - and the thrust was that a European League was inevitable and it was time to get on board.

"Europe's top clubs and the TV companies who are driving the proposed League have targeted Dublin as a venue for a franchise," Brown said.

"Right now, there isn't a club here with the financial resources, stadium or squad strong enough to compete in a Super League. Shels and Pat's have taken the league to a certain level, but it's time to move on to a higher plateau. If we don't we'll be left behind, and with Euro barriers no longer an obstruction, the door will swing open for Wimbledon, or some other club, to set up home in Dublin in time to receive a Super League franchise.

"It happened in the United States when the Brooklyn Dodgers left New York to become the Los Angeles Dodgers and it will happen in the Super League."

Shels at Ibrox in 1998

Ironically, this Super League concept was floated in 1998 at just the moment the famous Wimbledon-Dublin Dons' project was collapsing.

The pan-European League wasn't front and centre in their vision though the two projects were certainly ideologically compatible. If nothing else, it would have calmed those who found the idea of an Irish team competing in a purely English league hard to stomach.

(Contrary to popular belief, the Wimbledon project was not the first attempt to stick a Dublin-based team in British football. A grouping headed by economist Colm McCarthy, and backed by Liam Touhy and Ray Treacy attempted to enter a team called 'Dublin City' into the Scottish Football League in 1990.)

As AFC Wimbledon founder Marc Jones told this writer in his (long, really very long) account of the Dublin Dons saga in 2014, several Premier League owners seemed happy, even enthused, about watching a founder member of the Premier League move across the Irish Sea.

"There whole thing was based around, 'imagine how much fun it'd be to go to Dublin as an away fan,'" Jones told me.

His letters to other Premier League chairmen found some sympathetic, some dismissive and some abusive - "Doug Ellis at Aston Villa basically said f**k off, what's it got to do with you?"

The Irish consortium had at least kicked in a sweetener for the very small band of 'legacy fans' at Wimbledon FC. They would, they said, fly them over and back to Dublin for the home games free of charge for the first couple of seasons - one has to assume to this deal would be let lapse in time.

The Dublin Dons idea foundered on the opposition of the FAI and the clubs in this country - though a couple of high profile heretics in the LOI did see merit in it at the time.

It's a reminder that while the cack-handed and tin-eared proposal this week may have borne an American imprint, ideas around Super Leagues and franchising in European football long pre-date their direct involvement.