The Northern Ireland Football League has set up a taskforce aimed at securing vital funding from the NI Executive and Irish FA to keep the domestic game alive.
As the Covid-19 pandemic remains a serious health concern, clubs fear they won't be able to play in front of significant numbers of supporters when the Danske Bank Premiership is scheduled to resume on Saturday, October 17.
It was hoped that 50% capacity attendances could be reached but the rising infection rate means that restrictions are likely to remain in place.
Unless fans are allowed into stadiums in significant numbers, clubs could find themselves battling a financial crisis.
The furlough scheme has been a huge help but the long-term future of the game is at risk unless clubs can generate income through ticket sales, sponsorship, bar takings and advertising.
The Irish FA has been able to release some funds, with Premiership sides attaining a £20,625 payment following a Fifa grant.
But unless the virus is contained, clubs cannot function and they have looked on enviously to the Republic, where the FAI and League of Ireland clubs were aiming to grab a slice of €70 million in special funding for sport announced by the government in June. NIFL is now hoping a business plan will help convince the NI executive that Irish League football is worth saving.
A NIFL spokesperson said: "The NIFL Board has set up a taskforce to look at how we can lobby for funding and support through external bodies such as football authorities and the NI Executive.
"It's about getting support for our member clubs given the stark challenges at this time."
Coleraine, Linfield and Glentoran have been able to pocket significant Uefa funds through their European campaigns this year but for the Irish League and the game at grassroots level to remain a product worth watching, there needs to be investment across the board.
Coleraine chairman and NIFL Board member Colin McKendry said he hoped Government would recognise the value of the game, from a mental health as well as sporting perspective.
"We need financial assistance and it's not about European money," said McKendry.
McKendry added: "The league needs help, particularly from Government, and we have pulled together a taskforce to establish a business case showing what the economy is losing out when there is no senior football.
"Football generates a lot of money and we are part of a hospitality industry which is suffering badly.
"We are looking for help and are willing to talk to anyone.
"People genuinely under-estimate the mental health benefits that football brings.
"I think the Government will be sympathetic and we have set up a committee to see how we can do it.
"Our business model has been a good one and standards have risen but we will need to adapt to a new financial reality."
It's still hoped that the Premiership will kick off on October 17, however a decision is still pending on the PSNI appeal following their relegation, a matter which is holding up plans for the Championship and Premier Intermediate League.
There is also the Irish FA's legal battle with Donaghadee to be resolved, with a hearing scheduled for Wednesday.
Donaghadee's case centres on the 'sporting integrity' of the Amateur League's decision to void their season.
Institute's appeal against their relegation to the Championship by NIFL was dismissed by the Irish FA and the unfortunate way in which the season was curtailed in the summer satisfied no-one.
Final standings were decided by a mathematical formula when no league games were possible from March and clubs ended up rowing over European funding and places.
Premier League clubs in England have begun talks over how they would curtail a future season if faced with a similar scenario to the shutdown from coronavirus and the Irish League would need a reach a consensus to avoid another unsavoury finish to the 2020-2021 campaign.
McKendry added: "The Premiership Management Committee would need to hold further discussions but it has been talked about.
"The matter would come before the NIFL Board and they have a duty to prevent what happened this year from happening again.
"With the pandemic ongoing, we must be realistic and say this can happen again and the season may not be finished.
"The virus isn't going anyway and it would be good to assess the best way to curtail any campaign.
"The focus has been on the October 17 start date and hopefully we can move forward from there, with supporters.
"At the moment we have to plan for a 38 game season and then we can make changes if necessary."