With the Coal League facing a potential crisis, Wests Devils president Mat Reh has called for a major overhaul of rugby league in the Illawarra.
Shellharbour are pushing for a return to Group Seven next season while Berkeley met this week to discuss a critical player shortage.
As a result, the Coal League board called a meeting with all clubs for 5pm today.
Grand finalists Helensburgh are also facing issues.
Long-term major sponsor Peabody Energy is currently locked in an ongoing industrial dispute with workers at its Helensburgh site.
Reh said Wests were concerned with the developments and called on the Country Rugby League (CRL) to consider a promotion-relegation system akin to Illawarra Premier League football.
"Someone needs to look at what we're doing," Reh said.
"Country Rugby League need to sit down and look at possibly joining Group Six and Group Seven and having a promotion and relegation system.
"If the local soccer can do it, why can't we?"
"We can at least sit down with Country Rugby League and have a think about it."
However, while other clubs are struggling under the financial and player strain, Wests are trying to pull off a coup by signing ex-NSW State of Origin playmaker Brett Finch (see full story, page 47).
Reh suggested that the troubles facing the mining industry were having a flow-on effect for clubs battling to stay financially viable.
"It's definitely concerning," Reh said.
"At Wests we want to have every team in the competition but we understand what clubs are going through with sponsorship dollars.
"You only need to look at the coal industry at the moment with Peabody and NRE. There's definitely some issues there.
"It's hard to get sponsorship in the region and football's struggling because of it."
Collegians secretary Bruce Prior was reluctant to speculate on the Coal League's future ahead of today's meeting but suggested a rethink of the way the competition operates.
"We don't want to pre-empt anything until we sit down with the clubs," Prior said.
"We've just got to listen to all clubs get all the cards on the table and see what is the best way forward for our competition and for rugby league in the area."
Prior also called for the CRL to become involved.
"It's not an easy fix but I think the clubs have got to sit down with officials from both the Coal League and the Country League and try to come up with a solution going forward," he said.
"We have all got to get together for the betterment of the game of rugby league."
Prior admitted that the prospect of the Coal League fielding less than eight teams was a concern.
"I think everyone is concerned," he said.
"If there's going to be that number of teams in the competition, it gets to the point where the competition becomes untenable, but until we know what's actually going on it's no good second-guessing anything."