Northern Ireland Football League Chairman Brian Adams has sent a stark warning to Danske Bank Premiership clubs that signing up for an All-Island League could mean walking straight into long-term problems.
It recently emerged that 10 of the clubs who played in last season's top flight - all bar Cliftonville and Dungannon Swifts - had signed a letter sent to the Irish FA requesting that they approach UEFA to ask for their thoughts on an all-Ireland structure.
The possibility of cross-border League football then took a new twist when all 10 top tier clubs in the Republic made the same request to the Football Association of Ireland.
So far, both NIFL and the Irish FA have refused to support the plans.
Speaking exclusively to Sunday Life Sport, Adams - who this month stepped down as Chairman of Championship side Ards - fears that finance is being put before fans and profit before players by those who want to follow Kieran Lucid's all-Ireland dream.
Adams spelt out his major concerns that:
"I believe those driving an All-Island League are encouraging clubs to support the venture with the enticement of money rather than considering their fans and families," says Adams.
"I have served as Vice-Chairman and now Chairman of NIFL since its creation and have seen attendances rise each season as the senior game in Northern Ireland continues to attract more people on a Saturday afternoon.
"Television coverage and media support have helped promote the League and the standard of football has certainly improved as fans return to watch a competitive format that sees almost all games having importance right to the end of the season."
Irish League fans were very much on board when the Irish FA and FAI got together to revive all-Ireland competition with the creation of the Setanta Cup 15 years ago.
Despite often encountering restrictions on their journeys, northern fans regularly travelled in numbers to Dublin, Cork, Dundalk, Drogheda and Sligo but, while the appetite was strong at the beginning, the traffic going south to north dropped off significantly as the years progressed.
Adams has suggested that there is already evidence of away support in the League of Ireland not being of a comparable level to the NIFL Premiership.
"Most people attend to support their team and in doing so have created bonds with fellow supporters," he adds.
"The fans are enjoying it and pay to do so and I believe they need to be considered in this All-Island suggestion.
"Many will travel to away games in Northern Ireland, but are supporters from our Premiership going to see their team in Cork, Sligo or Waterford in the same numbers? I don't think so.
"Ask Derry City how many Cork City supporters come to the Brandywell. The atmosphere with no away fans is simply not the same and the cost for supporters travelling longer distances is hard on them - especially at a time when the economy has problems.
"In my eyes, it's people before money and our clubs need to consider that. Yes, it's a business and finance is inevitability top of a club's priorities, however it's our supporters who count and need to be considered.
"It's great to see the Premier League back on our televisions, but don't try to tell me that it's as good as it was when there were spectators there - it's not. I am not saying that an All-Island competition will diminish a home crowd, but it will certainly lack away support and we shouldn't forget the support that fans have given their clubs throughout the years. I hope clubs will put people first."
Adams has seen other sports clubs in Newtownards struggle on and off the pitch in all-Ireland structures. Ards Rugby Club no longer compete in the All-Ireland League and, in hockey, Ards Ladies are among the Ulster sides who haven't felt any major benefit from north-south competition and have also struggled to cope with the extra demands that brings on time, travel and costs.
"That's the fans, then we have the players and their families," he continues.
"Yes, some players are full-time, but the majority are part-time, they work all week and then would have to travel down south for a game, which for some games would involve being gone all day Saturday.
"I watched Irish rugby go all-Ireland and several well-known local clubs suffered, almost going bankrupt.
"Three years ago, Irish hockey followed the same path and now several clubs are happy to remain in the Ulster League rather than make long weekend trips down south."