Manchester United chief Ed Woodward has claimed the club's involvement in the rejected Project Big Picture plans for reform in the English game were motivated by a desire for a "financially sustainable and robust pyramid".
United and Liverpool had worked on the proposals with EFL chairman Rick Parry, but the plans drew criticism from other clubs, the Football Association and the Premier League.
Within a matter of days the Premier League said that all 20 of its member clubs had "unanimously agreed that Project Big Picture will not be endorsed or pursued by the Premier League of the FA".
But Woodward, United's executive vice-chairman, has rejected some of the criticism of the plans, including that they were a power grab from two of the Premier League's biggest clubs.
"While our strong commercial business puts us in a more resilient position than many clubs, these remain exceptionally challenging times for everyone in football, and especially for clubs in the lower divisions," he said.
"We have been pushing the rest of the Premier League to provide emergency assistance to the EFL on a no-strings-attached basis and we will also remain at the forefront of discussions about reforms to improve the long-term financial sustainability of the entire English football pyramid.
"A strong Premier League and a financially sustainable and robust pyramid are both crucial to the health of the national game and that’s the principle we will continue to pursue within the strategic review recently launched by the Premier League.
"Those objectives were at the heart of our involvement in Project Big Picture. It’s important to reflect that this was a work in progress. It was not a behind-closed-doors power grab; only draft proposals and a discussion document. The next step would have been to roll them out to all stakeholders in search of consensus."
Manchester United were hit by a double Neymar sucker-punch as they lost 3-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in their crucial Champions League match on Wednesday.
It means United travel to Germany needing a point from their final group match against RB Leipzig to qualify for the last 16.
Before then, the Reds have a tricky Premier League trip to West Ham to negotiate at the weekend.
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Woodward revealed United are also heavily involved in discussions around the future of the Champions League, with talk of an expanded group stage from 2024 onwards.
But, speaking at a fans forum, he said supporters would remain "in the centre of our thoughts" and reaffirmed United's commitment to a strong Premier League.
"We are also at the centre of discussions about the future of European club competitions and, as with the reporting of Project Big Picture, context is important," said Woodward.
"Most of my time in this regard is focused, through the ECA [European Club Association] and the UCCSA [a joint-venture between the ECA and UEFA], on the strengthening of existing UEFA club competitions.
"The dialogue focuses on them continuing to be predominantly midweek games having little or no impact on the Premier League. We believe that any changes to European competition post-2024 must be complementary to thriving domestic leagues. Other domestic leagues feel the same way, reflected in conversation with our counterparts in other clubs and countries.
"We expect progress with UEFA through the ECA to be made in coming months. We’ll stay in dialogue with ECA and UEFA and we will endeavour to keep this forum abreast of key developments.
"What I can assure you of is that we will keep match-going fans firmly in the centre of thoughts, whether with the Premier League, ECA or UEFA, and across our decision-making processes overall, because the past eight months has reminded us all of just how crucial you are to the fabric of the game. This game without fans is nothing."