Linfield General Manager Pat Fenlon has insisted that interest among clubs in a potential All-Ireland League will come down to money, pure and simple.
Following Sunday Life Sport's revelation last weekend that an All-Ireland League was back on the table as a joint venture between the Irish Football Association and Football Association of Ireland, in conjunction with UEFA, there has been much discussion and debate about the idea.
"When finances become part of the discussion, that's when people will listen and talk," said Dubliner Fenlon, ideally placed to speak about the subject having played and managed in the League of Ireland and now spearheading Linfield's move towards a full-time model.
"At the end of the day for the clubs in the Irish League and League of Ireland, the thing that will change opinion will be money. Something new has to make a difference.
"We don't have huge revenue streams like other clubs and Leagues around Europe. We can't put our hands on millions for a TV deal, we don't have huge attendances so we have to look at every alternative and there is always a need for discussion around these things rather than blow it out of the water. You should always try to get to the negotiating table and then when you have talked and have information, you make your decision.
"I think the clubs in the south would adopt a similar opinion. It would be like saying we are going to start up an All-Ireland Cup and there's £10k for the winners. I think the clubs would treat it for what it is but if it is £250,000 for the winners then it's different. That's not me being blasé, that's just facts."
In October 2019, the IFA rejected a proposal from Kerry businessman Kieran Lucid to set up an 'All-Island League' but it is understood key figures at Windsor Park, including IFA President David Martin, are now exploring the feasibility of a cross-border League competition.
Across Europe, momentum is building on bordering nations combining their Leagues which could lead to mega-TV deals for clubs in those countries.
An important element is that UEFA seem amenable to such a possibility and the prospect of joint League ventures is due to be discussed at a meeting this month.
At present, four teams each from the Irish League and League of Ireland qualify for European football which offers riches teams couldn't have imagined a decade ago. There are fears that any All-Ireland League would decrease those numbers with Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey declaring that for clubs here, it would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.
Fenlon added: "I read David Jeffrey's comments and I would agree with him that there has to be some sort of reward for clubs.
"Clubs are not going to jeopardise what they have at the moment to jump into something. As Irish League clubs, the bread and butter is trying to win the title or an Irish Cup and reach Europe because right now that's where the finances are.
"When the All-Island League came up at the very start, I said there was no harm in talking. I would never rule out a discussion about anything that would enhance the game but obviously it has to be right for everyone.
"We are a members' club and it has to be right for Linfield but there's nothing to make a decision on at the moment because there is nothing concrete.
"The last proposal that Kieran Lucid spoke about was the two Leagues remaining the same and keeping the European places and then splitting into an end-of-season competition between sides in the two Leagues which is probably the ideal scenario at the moment. That covers everybody but, like I said, it will all be down to resources and finances. That's what will make the difference to the clubs."