BRADFORD Bulls chief executive Mark Sawyer is hopeful that reported plans for the remainder of the Championship and League One season come to fruition, but admits the prospect of no promotion spot to Super League is still a major concern for clubs.

Reports have emerged that all 25 clubs in the second and third tier were sent a document last Friday, proposing that the rest of the season take place from the last weekend of August to the last weekend of November.

Teams would only play against each other once, so with Bulls having already played Featherstone, London, Oldham and Sheffield in their Championship fixtures so far, they would have nine games left to complete.

It has apparently been proposed that the play-offs would then be reduced to top four semi-finals, with possible promotion finals taking place at the end of November.

Nothing is set in stone by any means though, and Sawyer said: “The most likely scenario, if we do return, is that we complete the season by playing each other once and then hopefully have a play-off series.

“But the big issue that’s concerning some clubs is there’s no definite promotion spot to Super League at the moment, that’s still up in the air, just as being able to play again is.

“If we do restart, clubs will be looking to play their eight or nine matches they have left, and then we’d have that play-off series.

“We’re trying to push this back to late in the year, so we can possibly have small crowds attend.”

And Sawyer was keen to emphasise the importance of the fans to Bulls and other clubs in rugby league.

He said: “Whether you’re involved in running, working for or supporting a rugby league club, the main thing for clubs is for people to be able to watch matches.

“You’ve got to make sure that’s as safe as possible at the moment though.

“But fans have been disengaged for three or four months now, as we were cut off in mid-season.

“So we’ve got to engage and get them back onside, and what better way to do that than with matches?

“The main negative feedback we’ve had about restarting is doing it behind closed doors, because many clubs can’t afford it, putting it bluntly.

“We are looking at our options financially, like streaming games as well.”

Unlike football and rugby union, rugby league’s season had only just got underway when the coronavirus pandemic struck.

Sawyer admitted that is something which has put the sport on the back foot, saying: “We’d just got into the season and it’s not good that we’ve played so few games.

“It means you have to get back into the routine of supporting your club again (for several months).

“Everybody has their own personal issues with what’s happened with coronavirus, and it’s easy to put rugby league on the back burner at the moment.

“It’s good news that we might be playing again, but we just don’t know when fans will be back yet, it depends on the infection figures.

“But that’s the reason we’ve left these matches as late as we could, to possibly have fans, and you know it won’t take much for Bulls fans to get back in and support us.”