Manchester United bosses reckon the Premier League will not have the bottle to ban them from the top flight.
United have been warned they will be thrown out of the competition along with fellow rebel European Super League clubs.
But United reckon the threat to expel those teams who have formed the breakaway ESL would not be enforceable in in a court of law.
United have joined forces with Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal in becoming founding members of the ESL.
But Old Trafford chiefs believe the English top flight could not survive without its biggest clubs.
United want to take part in both the Premier League and ESL at the same time.
The so-called 'Big Six' remain confident of being able to push ahead with the ESL plan – which could be launched as early as next season – and still retain their domestic interest in the Premier League.
The 12 clubs who have founded the ESL have taken legal advice and are confident there is no basis in EU law for banning a new competition such as the ESL.
The rebel group were warned in a joint statement from groups including the Premier League, FA and UEFA that sanctions, including being banned from all domestic and European competitions, would be imposed on the ESL clubs.
But such is the belief in their own power and standing within European football, in particular their commercial pull in terms of TV rights, that any attempt to ban them from domestic competition, such as the Premier League, would ultimately fail.
United's stance is that the ESL will be a significant upgrade on the current Champions League format, pitting the biggest teams with the best players against each other on a regular basis.
The view of those clubs who have formed the ESL is that the Champions League does not get interesting until the big sides meet in the latter stages, particularly with regard to TV audience numbers, which is something they aim to address with the formation of the elite league.
The ESL will also, it is claimed by those clubs behind it, create a more sustainable financial model for the European football pyramid, which will see larger solidarity payments for the rest of the game.
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The founding members of the ESL are promising £10billion in solidarity payments, which is understood to be around three times more than the amount generated by the current Champions League format.
While United and other clubs involved in the ESL acknowledge the depth of feeling towards the seismic change in European football, there is a confidence it will be accepted after the initial reaction, just as it was with the launch of the Premier League in 1992 and the restructuring of the Champions League.
Those clubs involved in the ESL insist it is not a breakaway league, as its midweek format allows for domestic league and cup competitions to continue at weekends.
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