The two swimmers representing the NY Breakers on the online press conference were the US’s Lia Neal, a double Olympic medallist, and Michael Andrew, a five-times world short course champion.

“Coming from all over the world, but with a distinct New Yorker character, our team is unashamedly focused on changing swimming for the better,” Tina Andrew, general manager of NY Breakers, said.

“We will empower future generations of swimmers and make this a sport that fulfils its true potential.”

Australia’s Kathleen Baker, the Olympic and world 4x100m medley gold medallist, joined three-times Olympic champion Ryan Murphy of the US in representing  LA Current.

“I can’t wait to show the world what my team, the LA Current, has to offer,” general manager Lenny Krayzelburg, a four-times Olympic gold medallist and founder of the SwimRight Academy in Los Angeles, said.

The ISL will have a first-year budget of some $20 million (£15.9 million/€17.9 million), according to the Ukrainian businessman who is the source of its financial backing.

Konstantin Grigorishin, who began pumping money into the sport about a decade ago after his son developed an interest in swimming, told insidethegames in an interview in March that until 2017 he had regarded his activities in the area as “just a charity project”, but that now “it is a business project”.

Grigorishin said that between $6 million (£4.8 million/€5.4 million) and $7 million (£5.6 million/€6.3 million) would be spent on appearance money and prize money for the athletes, along with bonuses for coaches.

Asked about the incentives for competing athletes, Khan said today that there were a number of payment mechanisms.

“There’s appearance money that all athletes will receive,” he said.

“There will be prize money that the teams will be competing for and there’s a revenue-sharing agreement with the League itself, so it’s a unique set of commercial terms that swimmers have never experienced before.

“Apart from the competitive spirit that is clearly evident today among the teams, there is a commercial prize to be had for all the swimmers competing in the way they have never achieved before or had access to before.”

Khan also stressed that there was parity in pay between men and women.

“The bottom line is there’s no difference, it’s about performance,” he added.

“There is no relevance to gender here, there is no discount or premium and that’s very important.

“In terms of the team breakdowns themselves, the squads consist of 24 and those are 12 male and 12 female, so there is no difference here, no matter how one looks at it which is very important.”