Leading clubs allegedly threatened to quit the Premier League in a bid to push through a transformation of English soccer being engineered by Liverpool and Manchester United that would hand them more power and wealth.
Football Association chairman Greg Clarke disclosed the warning by elite clubs as the reason he walked away from talks earlier this year on " Project Big Picture," which only become public on Sunday.
The plans - if approved - would pledge to redistribute more Premier League cash to the 72 professional teams in the English Football League, which includes a Stg250 million ($A453m) rescue package.
However, woven into the proposal is a transformation of the power structures in the Premier League - that is even angering supporters of the elite clubs who would benefit the most.
The number of teams would reduce from 20 to 18 from 2022, and the nine longest-serving clubs would gain more control - with only six having to approve changes.
The FA could block the overhaul of competition, Clarke said, by using its "Special Share" in the Premier League, which was created in 1992 when it broke away from the EFL.
"In late spring, when the principal aim of these discussions became the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few clubs with a breakaway league mooted as a threat," Clarke wrote to members of the FA Council.
"I of course, discontinued my involvement and counselled a more consensus-based approach involving all Premier League clubs and its chair and CEO.
"Our game needs to continually seek to improve but benefits need to be shared."
The Premier League said the plans formed by Liverpool and United's American owners with EFL chairman Rick Parry would be damaging for the English game, particularly as it could widen the disparities.
The proposal would also allow clubs to sell their own rights to live matches which would see the most popular generate the most cash.
Even EFL clubs backing the plans have suspicions, including Preston North End - who won the first two editions of the English championship in 1889 and 1890.
"If I'm absolutely frank, do I trust the (Premier League's) top six today irrespective of these proposals? No I don't," Peter Ridsdale, the former chairman of Leeds United and adviser to Preston's owner, said after participating in a call between clubs in the second-tier Championship.
Before a virtual Premier League meeting on Wednesday, United and Liverpool have not commented on the contentious plans and have left Parry to advocate for them in public as anger as grown.
Some supporters' groups said they are "totally opposed to concentrating power in the hands of six billionaire owners" and ending the collective ethos of the league.
The FA is resisting the revamp despite the promise of a gift of Stg100 million ($A181m) to help the governing body deal with the impact of the pandemic and provide an annual cut of revenue.
"There is more to our game than economics," Clarke said.