Toronto Wolfpack have made a shock announcement today, purchasing what has been described as a “sizeable minority” in League 1 club London Skolars.
The two clubs have already forged close relations in the two years the Wolfpack have existed, with Quinn Ngawati and Ryan Burroughs spending time on loan at the capital city outfit last season, but the Canadian club have moved to purchase a stake in the club.
The partnerships is described to have an in-kind financial investment alongside ongoing commercial, performance, development and community support, while also aiding both sides in terms of investment from the two of the world’s largest cities in Toronto and London.
London Broncos pipped Toronto Wolfpack to promotion to Super League last season, while London Skolars finished third from bottom in League 1, but the two clubs have now joined forces to boost the profile of Rugby League in both cities.
“We are hugely excited with Toronto Wolfpack’s investment and partnership; the impact they have had on Rugby League in a short period of time is very exciting, and unprecedented in our game,” said London Skolars owner, Hector McNeil. “This financial and business partnership with a fellow key global city will allow us to amplify our own ambitions, and work together to elevate through the leagues and establish a club capable of eventually reaching and competing in Super League.
“London, to many, is the most important commercial and sporting city in Europe, possibly the world, whilst North America is showing a genuine thirst for expanding Rugby League in a key sporting market. This partnership reflects that and moves those wheels around. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank the RFL for supporting this vision and joint venture.
“We will be exploring digital rights growth as part of this partnership and ultimately ensure that we help Rugby League grow as a global sport. Sports fans are becoming more demanding and nuanced in how they absorb sports brands and content. We intend to respond to this with some exciting initiatives alongside expanding community work and impact. These are hugely exciting times for global Rugby League and the growth of the sport in the Capital.”
Toronto Wolfpack Owner, David Argyle, added: “We are very excited at this opportunity to combine the brand power of the two global cities of London and Toronto. Importantly, our investment allows us to satisfy two of Toronto Wolfpack’s core values; expanding and accelerating our platform to put rugby balls in kids’ hands, and further developing transatlantic trade for our partners.
“London Skolars have a fantastic history and have worked tirelessly for almost 25 years to establish Rugby League on the UK capital’s sporting map. We intend to support the Skolars and do all we can to continue building on that success.”