Cardiff City, Fulham and Norwich City are considering joining forces to launch legal action against the Premier League over the punishment meted out to Sunderland earlier this season, reports Daniel Taylor of The Observer.
The Black Cats avoided a points deduction for fielding an ineligible player, Ji Dong-won, in four league matches earlier in the campaign.
Instead, the Premier League handed out a "six-figure fine," according to the article.
Cardiff and Fulham were relegated to the Championship on Saturday, while Norwich could follow them on Sunday if they are beaten at Chelsea.
But the three clubs are preparing a legal challenge to the Premier League over the punishment given to Sunderland, whose recent run of form has propelled them to the brink of safety, says Taylor.
Norwich and Cardiff have enlisted Fulham's support to challenge the league, and a legal letter has been sent on behalf of the three clubs arguing that the offence was serious enough to merit a points deduction.
The three clubs taking on the league are demanding a review of the Ji case. If that request is turned down, there is the strong chance that whichever club finishes 18th will sue.
League Two side AFC Wimbledon have just been docked three points for fielding an ineligible player and the lawyers for Norwich, Cardiff and Fulham have put together a lengthy list of cases in which other clubs have broken the rules in similar positions and lost points as a result.
Their argument is that Sunderland have been treated as an exception, whereas there is a clear history of evidence (going down the leagues) that this offence ought to merit more than a fine.