The first-class counties have asked the ECB for extra funding to help with cash-flow problems and infrastructure repayments.
The request, which has been initiated by the Category B and C counties (the non-Test hosting clubs), is understood to be for a minimum £300,000 a year.
The counties, whose interest was piqued by rumours of the value of the ECB's new broadcast deal, argue that some of them are struggling to make loan repayments or even salary commitments.
While the new broadcast deal does not kick in until 2020, the ECB is understood to have requested 10 percent of the value to be paid up front when the contracts are agreed in the next few weeks. That could leave the ECB with a windfall of up to £120 million by some estimates - roughly equal to an average annual turnover - before the end of July.
The ECB have already promised the counties an extra £1.3 million a year once the new-team domestic T20 competition starts in 2020. As a result, they declined this new approach, though it is understood talks are on-going.
Part of the ECB's concern is that some counties will fritter the money on Kolpak registrations and increased salaries. But having promised the counties great riches if they agree to the new-team T20 competition, they may now struggle to temper their expectations.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo