Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver admits the number of Super Rugby teams wasn't the only concern laid bare in a miserable season for Australia.
The arbitration hearing which could result in the removal of the Western Force from the Super competition starts on Monday.
ARU chairman Cameron Clyne recently suggested he would stand down if the governing body fails to cull one of Australia's five Super Rugby teams.
Pulver did his best to stay mute about the looming legal battle on Thursday, when he helped launch a new domestic women's sevens series.
"That was a pretty academic comment on the part of Cameron. I'm confident we're going to get to four teams," the under-siege administrator said, repeatedly trying to change topics during the press conference.
"Australia doesn't have either the financial capability or the player depth to justify staying at five teams.
"I'm not going to speculate on the arbitration ... we'll talk about it when it's complete."
The Super semifinals are on this weekend but it became clear a long time ago there was little danger of an Australian outfit winning the title.
None of the five Australian franchises managed to defeat a New Zealand team in 2017, while they racked up a combined 21 wins from 76 games.
Crowds were also down. A total of 9,771 fans watched the Brumbies lose their quarter-final in Canberra.
"It was a really disappointing season and I don't think anybody would hide from that," Pulver said.
"There's a lot of work going on right now between the high-performances groups of the Super Rugby clubs and the ARU.
"We can probably organise ourselves a little better, to make sure there is more of a consistent focus across every elite team.
"That's a work in progress."
It doesn't bode well for the Wallabies' hopes of victory in the ANZ Stadium Bledisloe Cup opener on August 19.
"There is always hope...anything can happen," Pulver said.
"We're quite capable of beating New Zealand, clearly New Zealand are going to be the favourites.
"He (coach Michael Cheika) is beating them pretty hard, in terms of getting their condition ready for the Rugby Championship, so I think we've got a lot to look forward to."