Wakefield Trinity Wildcats chief executive James Elston says the club's future must be resolved before the start of the Super League season.
The Wildcats, who face a winding-up petition from HM Revenue & Customs on Wednesday, are in talks with four potential buyers.
They kick-off the new season against Castleford in Cardiff on 12 February.
And Elston told BBC Radio Leeds: "This whole episode needs sorting out before we get into the new season."
He added: "It's not a minor issue, it's something that's going to take time because people need to do their due diligence.
"Although there is an immediacy about it, nobody will rush into it but we are stressing that everything would need to be resolved before we start playing Super League."
As well as their court date looming over an unpaid tax bill, there is a danger that Wakefield could go into administration early next week.
But with plenty of interest in taking over the club and plans for a new stadium still in the pipeline, Elston is confident there is a bright Super League future in the city.
"All the people who are involved have the future of the community and the future of sport in Wakefield at the heart of this," he said.
"As often in times like this, it is only when pushed to the very limits of what may happen to a city's sporting club that people come to the fore and decide they can do something to help.
"As they have looked at the opportunity that exists in Wakefield it becomes more and more clear that there is a fantastically bright future on the horizon.
"There is a new stadium in the offing which allows the club to battle against the issues it has had during the last 12 years of Super League.
"There is an interim period of hard work to be put in to fight against the Super League licence and the issues that come with playing in a 130-year-old stadium, but at the end of that there is the rainbow of a new stadium that allows you to trade and be sustainable."
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