Danske Bank Premiership chiefs will resume talks this morning in an attempt to break the deadlock over how to share the European money but there is no indication a breakthrough is within sight.
A tense stand-off has arisen in the discussions as clubs hold their positions and seem determined not to give any ground.
Disagreements over the fairest way to distribute Uefa funds are now holding up the process of curtailing the league campaign and the pressure is on clubs to compromise, with the Northern Ireland Football League board scheduled to meet today.
Clubs are united in their desire to see the Irish Football Association release funds to keep the domestic game on a firm financial footing but the Euro cash talks have proved much more contentious.
Linfield rejected a Crusaders proposal to resolve the impasse and presented their own suggestion for breaking the deadlock yesterday, understood to include potential funding from the IFA, but nothing has been agreed and the clock is ticking.
The Blues felt Crusaders' proposal to divide money among Premiership, Championship and Premier Intermediate League sides represented too much of a financial blow to the club.
Glentoran's proposal to nominate European places after 22 league games had been played - which would have seen Cliftonville qualifying for the Champions League but not declared champions and Linfield and the Glens in the Europa League spots - could re-emerge in these discussions, though Coleraine and the Blues are firmly against it.
Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry was angry at his club being excluded from talks which produced that plan.
Glentoran said they would be willing to share European money if they win the Irish Cup and the Irish FA and clubs are hopeful the two semi-finals and final can be played before the end of July.
The Irish FA will not grant a further extension to the season beyond August 3 when three sides must be nominated for European competition.
The clubs are frustrated with the Irish FA’s reluctance to offer more financial support and they also want the NI Executive to provide assistance.
The Crusaders proposal called for NIFL to take out a loan of £500,000 to cover costs but the Irish FA say they won’t loan NIFL the cash.
In the south, the FAI have increased the central pot of money on offer for clubs to €3.3m and the government announced a €40m relief fund to be shared among the FAI, GAA and IRFU.
Cash-strapped clubs in Northern Ireland, weathering a financial storm created by the pandemic, are feeling let down by their governing body.
And unless supporters are allowed to return to grounds, it’s not financially feasible for the domestic game to continue.
While Danske Bank Premiership clubs feel that more money coming into the Irish FA from Uefa and Fifa should filter down into the domestic game, the Irish FA say they are committed to funding a variety of programmes.
Larne owner Kenny Bruce commented on Twitter: “I applaud the @FAIreland for the proactive work they are doing to support their local game. Would be amazing to feel the same support from the @OfficialIrishFA.
“Stepping up, protecting and preserving their national league which in my view is the main priority of an association.”
Warrenpoint Town chairman Connaire McGreevy added: “Well done to the @FAIreland. Interesting to note @FIFAcom supporting financially challenged leagues. No doubt the NIFL leagues need supported through this economic crisis.”
In a nightmare scenario, clubs may consider legal action to resolve matters but it’s hoped the damage done to the game’s reputation can start to be repaired.
It’s clear the talks are on a knife-edge, with the clubs under pressure to strike a deal.
The NIFL board may be forced to impose a ruling but are hoping clubs can find common ground.
Premiership sides had already rejected plans to finish the season on the pitch by playing two more rounds of fixtures, meaning teams would have played each other three times, or for an independent panel to choose a mathematical formula that would determine final league standings.