PROJECT Big Picture may have been kicked into touch but EFL clubs had better prepare themselves for the counter-proposal.

Rather like when Dr Evil requested “100 billion dollars” in one of the Austin Powers movies, the opening gambit – which was given so much publicity this week – was never a workable one.

Premier League clubs outside the Big Six were never going to pass a vote cutting their numbers from 20 to 18, not that they should expect that argument to go away any time soon.

Many clubs, including Wanderers, went along with the plan, for the £250million pledged would have solved a lot of problems at this level, if only in the short term.

But now that it has been roundly rejected and replaced with a more convoluted promise of grants and loans approximating £50m, we are all waiting to see exactly how that will work.

Championship clubs must be feeling tense. Without crowds, their already-fragile economy is plummeting, Sky Sports ran a story yesterday claiming that six were on the verge of going bust should no bailout be forthcoming.

It is exactly their precarious financial position which most worries those in the top division. Some of the better-run clubs argue that they should not be putting their hand in their own pocket to bail-out owners who, to use the Icarus analogy, have flown too close to the sun.

Things are slightly more straightforward in League One and Two but, surely, we cannot expect the Premier League to pass on their funding out of the goodness of their hearts? What is the secondary offer here?

Which one of those seemingly outlandish details that were listed in the Project Big Picture manifesto will be nudged on to the negotiating table again? I am not a betting man, but I’d be willing to chance 50 pence that it has something to do with streaming platforms.

Clubs have agreed to work “on a strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football,” which is suitably vague enough to cover a multitude of sins.

Their big speech proved popular, and denounced the big, nasty plan. But how much detail did it actually contain?

Time is not on anyone’s side. At the top and bottom of the EFL there is a funding crisis that needs an immediate solution, not more discussions.

There is also the issue of Rick Parry’s involvement in all this. His liaisons with Manchester United and Liverpool have not cast him in a particularly positive light.

Project Big Picture turned out to be exactly what it looked like: A coffee table discussion document which was meant to be debated in an EFL meeting but found itself suddenly being taken seriously, just as Phil Gartside’s paper had done so 12 years ago.

He struggled to shake that off for the rest of his days, God bless him, and when Wanderers gave their cautious backing to Parry’s plan it had not escaped the attention of the average football fan that they were now on the opposite side of the fence.

Yesterday’s events were a battle won for sensible folk in football, perhaps, but those same people are steeling themselves for a longer war.

This latest ‘gift’ may not be the 50ft Trojan Horse that Project Big Picture appeared to be but EFL clubs should keep an eye on it, nevertheless.