Bradford Bulls head coach James Lowes threatened to quit rugby league after his side failed to win promotion back to Super League through the Million Pound Game.
The Bulls were condemned to a second year in the Championship after Wakefield won the play-off game 24-16.
Lowes, who also works as England assistant coach, said defeat may force the Bulls to become a part-time club.
"If this is the future of rugby league I won't be in it," he said.
"I just don't think it's the way forward for the game.
"We've got 17 blokes down there who could potentially lose their jobs in one game after they've worked so hard to put themselves in a good position.
"It's not guaranteed that we will remain full-time unfortunately. Marc [Green, Bulls chairman] is fantastic, but we're limited by a budget."
It is the first season that the play-off has been introduced to decide the final Super League spot.
Bradford earned their place in The Qualifiers - a group of eight teams consisting of four Super League and four Championship sides competing for four top-flight spots at the end of the season - by finishing second in the Championship after 23 games.
Wakefield coach Brian Smith said Super League's split format is a disadvantage to those teams outside the Super 8s.
|Bradford's former glories|
|World Club Championship: 2002, 2004, 2006|
|Super League champions: 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005|
|Minor Premiers: 1999, 2001, 2003|
|Grand Finalists: 1999, 2002, 2004|
|Challenge Cup winners: 1943-44, 1946-47, 1948-49, 2000, 2003.|
"It's like going to the Olympics in the 400m and starting at the 450-metre mark," said Smith.
"From within it's thoroughly debilitating. It's almost impossible to talk about next season.
"The other eight clubs have been able to have a running start on us and they're going to get another running start next season.
"It's so much harder for clubs that don't have the finances to compete with those at the top."
All four Super League teams that featured in The Qualifiers have maintained their Super League status, with Wakefield joining Hull KR, Widnes and Salford.