WWE chairman Vince McMahon to resurrect XFL, Manziel hints at involvement
WWE owner and chairman Vince McMahon has announced that he will resurrect the XFL American football league from 2020, with the controversial Johnny Manziel hinting that he will be part of the venture.
McMahon originally launched the XFL as part of a joint-collaboration with NBC in 2001, but the league lasted just one season amid criticism of the quality of football, flagging audiences and too much crossover with WWE.
However, the 72-year-old McMahon has confirmed - following much media speculation - that the league will return in a new guise.
"The new XFL will kick off in 2020, and quite frankly, we'll give the game of football back to the fans," McMahon told reporters.
"The most important thing we learned is the quality of play, quite frankly we only had a short time to put it together - we have two years to get it right [this time]."
We are back!#TheHypeIsReal-- XFL (@XFLOfficial) 25 January 2018
McMahon's wife Linda, who has previously played on-screen roles in the WWE, is part of President Donald Trump's administration.
Trump has had well-documented issues with the NFL, particularly over players taking a knee for the national anthem in protest over perceived social injustice in the United States.
But McMahon distanced the President from the league, adding: "I have no idea, whether or not President Trump will support this.
"It'll have nothing to do with politics or social issues, we're here to play football. That's what fans want, when they tune in they don't want politics they want quality football."
Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, has hinted at being involved in the XFL.
The 25-year-old was expected to be a star of the NFL, but struggled during a two-season stay at the Cleveland Browns and was cut in 2015 amid a series of off-field misdemeanours.
A short post on Manziel's Twitter read: "#XFL2020 @VinceMcMahon."
The Los Angeles Xtreme were the league's last champions.
The first season of the new XFL will feature eight teams with a 10-week schedule. McMahon also noted that games will be faster, with two hours marked as a goal run time.