Premier League boss Richard Scudamore is facing pressure from the competition’s big clubs over the carve up of television money.
Executives from Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea gathered in a swanky London hotel earlier this month.
The People says whistle-blowers from two clubs say the reason behind the meeting of the Premier League big five was to send a warning to Scudamore.
One official said: “The motivation for all of this is that the playing field is becoming more equal – and the bigger clubs do not like it.
“They are finding that the Premier League is now becoming so competitive that they cannot manage domestically as well as in Europe.
“In the past, because of the additional revenue from the Champions League, they were able to dominate at home.
“But the new television deal struck by the Premier League means that clubs such as Leicester City, West Ham United and Stoke City – to name just three – are now able to make life much more difficult for them.
“In the Premier League, the competitive advantage of the country’s leading clubs has been eroded. No longer are the smaller clubs mere fixture-fodder for the big boys.
“These five don’t want clubs like Leicester or West Ham to get their hands on Champions League cash. That isn’t part of their plan at all.
“What they want is the freedom to leave the arrangement that has seen the Premier League become the most successful domestic football competition on the planet so they can earn more money through negotiating their own rights deals in the way Real Madrid and Barcelona have established dominance in Spain for years.”