Toronto Wolfpack could be forced to pull out of this season's Super League campaign when it resumes in August, because visa issues could rob them of up to seven players, including multi-million pound signing Sonny Bill Williams.
BBC Sport understands Wolfpack representatives took part in a meeting of clubs earlier this week, and were unable to guarantee they would be able to complete fixtures in 2020.
The club say visas for seven overseas players, from Australia and New Zealand, only allow them to stay in England for a maximum of six months.
That time limit has been exceeded because they have been forced to remain here during lockdown and they will now have to return home.
Toronto owner David Argyle told the Daily Mirror: " We have laid this out to Super League and the RFL and it's an issue that we can't keep kicking down the road.
"It's been suggested to us that we could loan young players from other clubs, but we're not here to make up the numbers and we never have been.
"I'm not blaming anybody.
I can understand the bureaucratic position and we are only a very small issue for an organisation like the Home office.
But we've come to a crunch point now where it needs to be resolved.
" Toronto's playing roster was stretched even before the season was suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis - and they have had visa issues in the past, with Australian prop Darcy Lussick unable to re-enter the country last year.
But it is also understood that the club is facing financial stresses as well with rumours persisting of players being regularly paid late.
Many of Toronto's income streams have dried up in 2020 with the club unable to play any home matches in Canada since being promoted to the Super League for the first time in their five-year history.
They do not take a share of central TV funding and have been unable to place players on furlough.
The Rugby Football League has still to decide whether relegation from the Super League will be scrapped this year.
If it is not, then the Wolfpack would be heavy favourites for the drop if they were to lose the core of their squad, as they are already bottom of the league after losing their opening six matches before the season suspension.
Even if the threat of relegation was lifted, officials at the clubs' meeting admitted they still might fail to make the starting gate on resumption in less than three weeks time.
That would leave the RFL and the other 11 clubs with a tough decision - whether to suspend Toronto's place in the Super League until the 2021 campaign because of exceptional circumstances, or relegate them to the Championship or maybe back to League One as punishment for failing to fulfil fixtures.