Questions remain after Crusaders decision
The stunning news that Wakefield will continue to play in Super League for another three years but Crusaders will, after this season is over, no longer sit at the top table is a major blow to the Rugby Football League.
Tuesday's announcement also poses so many more questions than it answers given that the writing appeared to be on the wall for the Wildcats after they failed to make the necessary strides to meet the licensing criteria governing stadia.
The RFL's executive chairman, Richard Lewis, had preceded his announcement by insisting that the licensing system was "meeting its objectives" in encouraging a wholesale move away from short-term thinking and thus improving the health of the game.
But is it?
We cannot blame the RFL's hierarchy for the financial plight of the Crusaders.
Indeed, the game's governing body bent over backwards to help the Welsh side out, especially with the relocation to Wrexham when Newport failed.
But what would the RFL have done if Crusaders had not withdrawn their licence application because of the financial demands of maintaining a Super League club?
Would it have booted out Wakefield, as many had anticipated it would do?
There are other questions to ponder too.
Given that Wakefield's application had looked primed to fail, why is it now good enough? Or are we left with a 14-team Super League in which only 13 clubs are Super-League fit?
And if Wakefield's application was not up scratch, then, regardless of the withdrawal of Crusaders, why didn't the RFL elevate Halifax to the elite instead?
Now that Wakefield have been granted a surprise reprieve, what does it mean for their immediate future? I understand several players had already begun contemplating their options for next season. Will they stay or will they leave in light of Tuesday's news?
Finally, where does Tuesday's announcement leave rugby league in Wales, not to mention Crusaders coach Iestyn Harris and recent Crusaders signing Keith Senior?
The Senior question is one I can answer. I spoke to the veteran Great Britain centre straight after the RFL's announcement and he was absolutely fuming. He only found out what was happening by watching the media conference live on television and tells me other Crusaders players only learned the bad news minutes before the conference began.
Senior believes the contract he signed is now null and void and he is already looking for a new employer.
He says Fax should be in Super League at Wakefield's expense, arguing that his club's history equals that of Wakefield, that his club have a ground and Wakefield don't, and that his club are in much better financial shape than Wakefield.
"They've broken the terms of their existing licence, so why give them another one?" asks Steele, who is left with the same kind of bad taste that Widnes experienced when they were excluded from Super League three years ago.
The licence system was introduced to stop clubs over-stretching their finances with the short-termism of avoiding relegation. Yet the fate that now awaits Crusaders after falling out of Super League could realistically be that they go bust all together.
Lewis will rightly argue that this first licensing system has coincided with the most pressing period in recent financial memory. I cannot disagree with that claim or the assertion that standards have improved since the introduction of licensing.
Where the license system has been excellent is encouraging the development of homegrown talent. Lewis is right to highlight the 118 locally-cultivated players in the game this year.
The licensing system has also kicked the backsides of Castleford, St Helens, Salford and now, hopefully, Wakefield, on the issue of stadia.
But the Crusaders gamble has backfired spectacularly and that is an embarrassment for the sport's governing body and a hammer blow to their bid to promote the game in Wales.
Discussions will continue about the possible participation of the Crusaders in the Championship but I fear for their very future.
I understand that Harris is, like the players, absolutely livid and ready to walk out. I would be amazed if he sticks around.
As for Wakefield, I am delighted for the club, the players, the fans and coach John Kear.
We spoke to Lewis on the BBC a couple of hours before he made his shock announcement.
When challenged on the merits of the controversial licensing system, he said he was confident it was the right path.
"When rugby league introduced the play-offs, there was controversy but - hey presto - look who has copied us," he said, no doubt with rugby union in mind.
"Licensing might be something other sports copy in the future. Right now, rugby league believes it is the right thing to do for our sport."
Right now, I'm not so sure.