London (AFP) - Toronto Wolfpack announced on Monday they were withdrawing from Super League for the rest of the 2020 season due to financial problems.
The Canadian side have been playing in English rugby league's top flight for the first time after winning promotion from the Championship.
Just hours after the Toronto announcement, Super League chiefs revealed there would be no relegation from the top-flight in the 2020 campaign.
"There will be no relegation from the 11-team Betfred Super League in 2020, for reasons of integrity, player welfare and also to protect the solvency of clubs," an RFL statement said.
"The Betfred Championship and League 1 seasons will not resume in 2020.
"These clubs will be invited to play in a competition this autumn, with a theme of celebrating the sport's 125th anniversary - and with a prize pot of £250,000, thanks in part to financial support from the Betfred Super League clubs.
"There will be no automatic promotion to the Betfred Super League from this competition."
Wolfpack, who have dual-code star Sonny Bill Williams in their squad, had been due to resume the season against Hull Kingston Rovers on August 2 and their move drew a strongly worded joint statement from Super League and the Rugby Football League.
The league's only transatlantic club cited "overwhelming financial challenges" as a result of the coronavirus pandemic for the decision to temporarily withdraw from the competition.
"Toronto Wolfpack can confirm that the club has informed both Super League Europe (SLE) and the Rugby Football League (RFL) that the team will not be restarting the campaign as scheduled on August 2nd," the club said in a statement.
"The Wolfpack will not participate in the conclusion of the 2020 Betfred Super League season, or in the remainder of the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup.
"This decision has not been taken lightly, and in consideration of a range of factors specific to the club as the only transatlantic team in the league."
Super League and the RFL said they were disappointed with the move, with the competition about to restart after the coronavirus shutdown.
"Super League Europe and the RFL have been in regular dialogue with the Wolfpack over the past weeks and months regarding the club's ability to take part in the competition and firm assurances had been received as recently as last Thursday, 16 July," they said in a statement.
"The club's decision is especially disappointing given the imminent restart of the season."
Despite the high-profile signing of Sonny Bill Williams, Toronto had lost their first six matches of their debut top-flight campaign.
The club announced last week the team would be unable to host fixtures this season at their Lamport Stadium in Toronto. All their matches so far have been in England.