Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck ultimately led the Blues' exit from the European Super League.
But it was Roman Abramovich's anger that brought the whole house of cards down.
The Chelsea owner is said to have been "blindsided" by the strength of the backlash to Sunday's announcement - and then "livid" that he had been misinformed about the likely reaction.
As the pressure grew, with fans gathering outside Stamford Bridge, Buck urged Abramovich and the club hierarchy to make moves to withdraw from the project.
And the billionaire oligarch agreed, shocked to the core by how quickly everything had fallen apart.
Abramovich and Chelsea started getting cold feet on Sunday when the stunning news about the Super League emerged and football united in its opposition to the breakaway.
According to a source, Abramovich "had no idea that there would be such a backlash".
Chelsea fan groups and former players were part of the chorus of disapproval.
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And when it became clear that supporters were going to take their protest to Stamford Bridge and shut down Fulham Road, the writing was really on the wall.
Playing legend Petr Cech, now the club's technical and performance advisor, came out of the stadium to beg fans to allow the Chelsea and Brighton team coaches through ahead of the Premier League match.
But by then the Blues were already trying to disentangle themselves from a league that had been formally announced less than 48 hours earlier.
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