Crusaders say they have little faith in the Northern Ireland Football League's decision to seek a mathematical formula to determine the final Danske Bank Premiership standings - a process which now leaves their Europa League dream dangling by a thread.
The Irish Premiership season has been curtailed and a mathematical model will be applied to determine the final standings.
The formula is to be decided by an English-based independent football data consultancy "in accordance with Uefa principles".
It appears certain that Linfield will be title winners, Institute relegated to the Championship and Portadown promoted.
And there's also the possibility that Cliftonville, who sit fourth in the table, could climb above their north Belfast neighbours into third place.
The Crues are only ahead of the Reds on goal difference (plus 10). If the derby rivals traded places it would be a significant financial blow to Crusaders as they would not be able to qualify for Europe.
If Stephen Baxter's side remain in third place, however, they still have a chance of playing in the Europa League if the Irish Cup matches are not played or if Coleraine lift the prize at the end of July.
Linfield and Coleraine, four points behind the Blues in the table, should bag the other two Euro spots.
Crusaders' hopes of retaining their position in the Premiership's top three rest in the hands of the independent football data consultancy and the Shore Road men face an anxious wait.
"With the season curtailed, the league table should stand as it is, but there is the possibility Cliftonville could move into third place above us," admitted Crusaders chairman Ronnie Millar.
"We don't know what these people will do. There's a healthy goal difference between the sides but we are disappointed there was no agreement on the way forward between the clubs.
"It's a shame that there was no resolution when there were efforts made to give something to everyone in this difficult time.
"At the moment there is no guarantee the Irish Cup games will be played so we will await developments. The club will see what is decided, take stock and then see what options we have.
"When you reflect on how this process has been handled, it's clear that an independent panel should have been introduced at an early stage because there was too much self-interest within the league. Maybe then you can have a process that is fair to everyone."
The Uefa Executive Committee confirmed an August 3 deadline for the Irish FA to nominate three teams into the European competition process.
NIFL's board felt they had no option but to turn to the independent football data consultancy after the clubs failed to reach agreement.
When clubs accepted the league season could not be played out in empty stadiums, heated discussions over the sharing of European money then arose.
NIFL will also be creating a hardship fund to assist with clubs struggling financially.
Crusaders had tabled a suggestion that would see the league ended with the current positions being declared as the final standings and the European money being split among all clubs on a sliding scale, though it failed to secure agreement.
Crues' grants and funding director Mark Langhammer said: "Trying to clamber into the logic simulator of 'Planet NIFL' or the IFA is beyond us."
NIFL stated earlier this week: "The NIFL board sought to consider the submissions provided by all clubs across each of the divisions and express their thanks for feedback and patience of all clubs during this challenging process.
"Throughout the process a range of options to either resume or curtail season 2019-20 were appraised against the key principles of health, finance and sporting integrity and while each option impacted the key principles in their own specific way, the board has endeavoured to make decisions in the best interest of the NI Football League."
While the Premiership campaign was brought to an end after 31 matches, the three remaining Irish Cup clashes look set to go ahead after the NI Executive confirmed yesterday that competitive sport could resume on July 17.
There will be a semi-final double-header on Monday, July 27 with Glentoran taking on Cliftonville and Ballymena United facing Coleraine before the final is played on Friday, July 31 (8pm).
Limited numbers of outdoor spectators will be allowed to attend games from July 17, with those numbers increased two weeks later.
There is now the prospect of a restricted crowd being allowed to attend both the semi-finals and final, depending on the coronavirus threat.