The European Super League project may come back with a vengeance if the Premier League punishes leading clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea over alleged breaches of financial rules.
That is the view of finance expert Dan Plumley, who says the threat of Europe's elite clubs forming a breakaway competition is unlikely to ever go away.
Everton dropped into the Premier League's relegation zone after being deducted 10 points for a breach of the league's profit and sustainability rules earlier this month, with an independent commission ruling the Toffees exceeded the competition's maximum loss limit by £19.5million across four seasons between 2018 and 2022.
That penalty – the largest in the competition's history – has been fiercely protested by fans and has led to questions regarding other clubs' financial practices.
The Premier League is investigating City over 115 alleged breaches of the competition's rules, while Chelsea's finances are also being examined following allegations of secret payments made by companies belonging to former owner Roman Abramovich.
Some have suggested those clubs could face huge points deductions or even expulsion if found guilty, but Plumley believes that could push them back into the arms of the Super League.
"I don't think the European Super League will ever go away. I think we've seen that time and time again," Plumley told Stats Perform.
"It was the closest it's ever been to fruition in 2021, we know the backlash there but it's never off the table. You've seen the wider narrative in the European football landscape, and my take was that it would always come back around.
"It will be particularly dependent on what the Champions League looks like and the Champions League broadcasting revenues and reformat of that competition. So broadly speaking, I don't think it's off the table."
Both City and Chelsea were involved in the widely despised Super League project, which collapsed under pressure from fans, media and players in 2021.
Plumley is certain the Premier League will be in self-preservation mode when it comes to ruling on cases involving those clubs, saying: "I think the Premier League will be mindful of that.
"They know there is a lot of power held by those big clubs and their ownership structures and the people that are in that mix. They know that the threat of a Super League is still there.
"I do think that will be a factor in this, whether we like it or not. It will be there in the background of the considerations.
"There is that argument, in the same way as in the Champions League, that if the bigger clubs don't get what they want, or feel that they're being too heavily penalised, you can probably bet that a conversation about a European Super League will come back around.
"I think it would probably have come around anyway, but this kind of stuff might accelerate that. It might make it move quicker, but I don't think it was ever off the table."
The PL want a 12 point deduction for Everton for one charge.— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) October 25, 2023
Man City are going to end up in the National League North if the PL get their way!!
Unbelievable the amount of stories that come out about Everton’s situation, but Man City’s, which has 114 more charges & has gone on… https://t.co/WjryWUxLUB