If anyone was ever in any doubt as to what a can or worms actually looks like, ask Bolton chairman Phil Gartside.
He has, after all, just opened the mother of all worm cans with his Premier League One and Two proposals.
And don't anyone think that this is just an idle flight of fancy, either. Gartside is right at the heart of football's governance. He's not an outsider of the Michael Knighton variety. This man is at the heart of football's establishment.
For further proof of that, the Mail On Sunday this weekend provided one, telling line – that Gartside was unable to pen his usual piece for yesterday's Bolton match-day programme because, quote, 'he was stuck in talks with FA chief Lord Triesman…'
No prizes for guessing what they would be discussing. The effective dismemberment of the oldest Football League in the world – and all to save Gartside's hide.
Because that's what all this is about. Pure self-interest.
There were two strands to Gartside's thinking – one, a closed shop of 36 clubs in Premier League One and Two; two, a curb on new foreign investors.
People who, in short, are coming into the English game and with their bundles unlimited cash are pushing the likes of Wanderers, Wigan and Blackburn ever closer to a return to the Championship from whence they came.
The three Lancashire clubs are – in pretty much every respect bar cash – straight out of the same provincial football club mould as an Ipswich or a Norwich. Indeed, both East Anglian clubs could claim to be bigger than all three. Certainly in terms of their season ticket base and the geographical extent of their supporter hinterland, the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk dwarf the pulling power of those, tight little pockets of Lancashire.
Which is why as Gartside goes public on the need for the likes of his Bolton to be cushioned from the devastating effects of relegation – and no surprise that he's leading the charge given the Trotters current predicament – you can bet your bottom dollar that his two near-neighbours will be right behind him as they watch the likes of Manchester City join the moneyed elite.
Again, they will have watched the proposed Dubai-based takeover of Charlton with dismay; OK, so it never happened. But that Middle Eastern money eyed The Valley for one, simple reason – Charlton are London, not industrial Lancashire.
Which is why you can expect other provincial city football magnates to drift towards Gartside's battle flag – the two Sheffield clubs and Leeds, for example. Given the tone and timing of Derek Bowden's comments down the road, you can add Marcus Evans' signature to any break-away deal. The big boys won't give a monkey's either way.
Does Peter Kenyon really care about the fate of the Colchesters of this world? Nah…
All of a sudden, therefore, and you can start to see where a sizeable majority vote would come from in the Premier League; which way their Championship counterparts would vote is another very moot point.
The suspicion would be that the Premier League One and Two would be by invite only; that someone, somewhere is already out with the red marker pen carving up the country into 36 'supporter zones'.
Given that Norwich currently sit 39th in the league 'ladder', it is one of the richer ironies that the club's isolated geography could actually prove to be one of its trump cards – that it has this one million-plus supporter catchment area to call upon; dwarfing that which surrounds either the JJB or Ewood Park. Or, indeed, the Reebok.
But the whole process is fraught with legal peril. Are Wigan a bigger club than Leeds United? And what do you do about a South Wales 'rep'? Cardiff City with their promises of a new stadium? Or Swansea City with the Liberty Stadium already up and running? Are the MK Dons about to be forever consigned to the Conference-esque wilderness that awaits all those outside the Gartside fold?
But then is there, actually, a legal defence anyway? The Football League is just a members club, isn't it? The 16 clubs handed the 'golden ticket' and a guaranteed ?25 million a season simply resign their membership and pop up in cahoots with the Premiership… and what you going to do about it?
Watch the MPs of Grimsby, Doncaster, Barnsley and Blackpool kick up an almighty storm, but is it illegal? Or is it simply a case of brutal market forces and naked self-interest over-riding any sense whatsoever of the Football League being this 'extended family'?
Which way the Canaries fall will be fascinating – because it goes completely against everything the club has come to stand for to condemn the Colchesters and the Southends to their impoverished fate.
Bowden's line – that for them, it would be like 'trying to get into the last lifeboat on the Titanic…' – is compelling evidence of the brutal thinking that's at work right now as those in the state cabins leave those in steerage to their certain fate.
For the Delias and Wynn Jones' of this world that whole prospect will present a moral dilemma of the highest order.
One thing is, however, certain. That as the credit crunch digs its teeth ever deeper into the likes of your Boltons – as their lenders look ever more unfavourably on supporting the Trotters as a Championship concern – so the Gartsides of this world will become ever more determined to see their vision through; to ditch 130 years of history if it spares them a date with the administrators.
He means business; as do any number of his counterparts. The plotters are a-foot; a revolution is in motion. And even now, the guest list is being discussed; the invites being written.
The face of English football could be about to change forever.