RALPH Rimmer today admitted it is “impossible” to predict when rugby league can start again.

The sport last week announced an initial suspension until April 3 – but that is set to be extended as the football authorities have done.

The RFL submitted a document to the government on Friday outlining their current position and appealing for help as clubs face potential financial oblivion.

Halifax have already asked players and staff to take a wage cut during the suspension.

RFL chief executive Rimmer said they cannot put a timescale on when it will be considered safe to get back playing.

“We’ve come up with different scenarios build around different periods of lockdown but it’s impossible for anyone to answer that question with confidence at the moment.

“We’ve come up with different scenarios which are built around different periods of lockdown.

“April 3 was a marker for us to get a considerable amount of planning done, so we could collaborate with all of the rugby league community.

“It put a deadline on us to produce some high-quality planning and allowed us to distribute material to our stakeholders to see how they feel about it.

“That’s why the date was put in the diary. I don’t think anybody realistically thought the competition was going to restart at that point.”

The Bulls were involved in a conference call with the RFL on Tuesday as the authority kept clubs informed with their plans to seek government aid.

“The government have been really good in messaging with us, both on off the record,” added Rimmer.

“They’ve been really clear and they absolutely understand our importance to the communities in which we are embedded, and have been really supportive throughout.

“(The document) highlights different milestones of importance to the sport along the way. They know there’s an urgency around the first element of that.

“I’ve had a verbal response, nothing committal of course, on the quality of what we have submitted and it seems to have been very positively received.”

Former Bulls coach Garreth Carvell, who represents the Rugby League Players Association, has already suggested that players may agree to defer wages during the coronavirus crisis.

Rimmer insisted that would be down to individual clubs rather than the RFL.

He said: “We’ve talked about it. I don’t think there’s any virtue to a game-wide approach to that.

“The governing body would certainly not want to get involved with any of those negotiations.

“If (clubs and players) want to sit down independently, assess the situation and enter into a voluntary arrangement then nothing is stopping them from doing that.

“We all understand this is completely uncharted waters for us all and I think it would be realistic to think that pragmatic approaches would be taken by all parties involved.

“If we’re going to find a way through this as a rugby league family then everybody at the table has to give something.

“That’s the only way we can make some sense of a solution.”

Playing games behind closed doors, something that Bulls coach John Kear would not be keen on, remains an option – but the RFL would want assurances of support from the broadcasters with clubs missing out on any matchday income.

Rimmer said: “It would be naive of us to knock anything off the table at this moment in time. That may well be a solution.

“We’ve spoken regularly to Sky and BBC, so they would be involved in any decision such as that.

“But if we did go forward in a way such as that then clearly the clubs involved would (lose gate receipts) which are an important part of their business model.

“If we were to come up with a solution such as that, there would need to be some support to ensure that we nursed the sport through that period, where they would be recompensed to such a degree that they could go forward.”

The Bulls are due to face Featherstone in the Summer Bash at the end of May. But the two-day Blackpool extravaganza is obviously under threat – particularly if the football season is back underway at that point.

There is also a question mark over the 1895 Cup, although Rimmer would not suggest it was a likely casualty from the expected fixture congestion.

“I can’t categorically say that,” he added. “There’s a lot of creative thinking going on.

“It would almost be a go-to place straight away, but when you peel that back and feel some of the energy around the table about what is possible and what isn’t, everything is still up there.

“Everything depends on the period of lockdown. Everything could be on or off the table at this moment in time.”