Wakefield Wildcats have backed plans for a reduced Super League from 2015 despite the threat of two clubs being relegated next season.
Wildcats indicated their support for a reduction of clubs from 14 to 12 at a Super League meeting on Thursday - but the plans could not be rubber-stamped owing to six clubs walking out.
Officials from Catalan Dragons, Huddersfield Giants, Hull FC, Hull KR, Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors were all absent from the vote, meaning there will be a further delay in deciding the structure of the British game.
Wildcats chairman Michael Carter told the Express that Wakefield would go into the meeting with an open mind.
But a vote to reduce the number of clubs in the Super League from 2015, and thus relegate two teams next season, could put Wildcats’ top-flight status in jeopardy.
Thursday’s walk-out means Wildcats players could return to pre-season training not knowing the make-up of the competition for 2014.
And Super League chairman Brian Barwick was disappointed a resolution could not be found.
“It is very disappointing that we were unable to take a vote on such important issues because some clubs chose to leave the room and refuse to participate further,” he said.
“In many ways this form of action is unprecedented. These proposals would have had a positive impact on the whole sport but they were halted by a minority of clubs.
“Clearly some of the clubs have deep-rooted issues and between us we have to find a way of resolving our differences for the benefit of both Super League and the wider game.
“It is my view that this was a very unsatisfactory way for the six clubs to demonstrate their frustration.”
The six clubs that blocked a vote did so on the basis that any debate on change should only take place alongside a review of the competition’s commercial management and governance.
Wigan Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan is leading the six-club revolt.