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The General 'Toronto Wolfpack' Discussion Thread


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5 minutes ago, CanadianRugger said:

Argyle speaks:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/12177587/toronto-wolfpack-owner-david-argyle-wants-lessons-to-be-learned-from-their-withdrawal/#comments

DAVID Argyle admits Toronto Wolfpack’s future is out of their hands after they amazingly quit the 2020 Super League season as they fight a meltdown.

But the Canadian club’s owner has told the powers that be to let them know if they will stay in Super League sooner rather than later – and it would be a ‘travesty’ if their success is just thrown away.

He also feels the embarrassment of pulling out, of facing seven overseas players being ordered home because of visa issues and of wages being paid late could turn out to be a GOOD thing for rugby league.

For now both Super League and the Rugby Football League should learn exactly what it takes and what is needed for expansion teams, especially ones in the USA and Canada, to come in.

Argyle, who admitted it was his call to pull out, admitted: “It would be a travesty not to build on what we’ve achieved.

“Let’s get all the issues on the table and find out what it means to have an expansion side in a competitive North American market.

“We’ve got to address expansion teams in the competition, whether that’s in League One, Championship or Super League.

 

“The governing bodies need to look at how best to move forward. Expansion teams are expensive and time consuming, that needs to be addressed right up front.

“Participation of expansion clubs has to be discussed. Any financial issues, things like central distribution, have to be sorted.

“The NFL has been looking at getting an expansion team in the UK for a long time but they haven’t figured out how to do it yet.

“Toronto has been nothing short of fantastic but if the decision is that it’s not the right time or if things aren’t quite there, let us know now – sooner rather than later.

“Then it gives clarity to people that are with the club. We don’t want to take away opportunities players, coaches or support staff may have in front of them.

“But people in Canada love the sport and there are benefits. Let’s try and assess everything and figure out how we take things forward.

“I made the call but only after talking to financial investors and the on and off-field teams. I didn’t hide in a bubble and say, ‘It’s the right decision to pull out.’”

Toronto, who also withdrew from the last 16 of the Challenge Cup, made the call after players did not turn up for the first day of training because guarantees of when they would receive their last pay packet were not made.

But they have been guaranteed their wages for the remainder of the year, as have refunds for any match and season tickets already bought.

Toronto were meant to play Hull KR on August 2 but Super League will be an 11-team competition for the rest of the year.

The Wolfpack do want to be part of the top flight in 2021 and Argyle says the blame rests on his shoulders – and his only.

He added to SunSport: “Obviously it’s a critical juncture for the club, not playing for the remainder of the season."There are risks to the decision in the form of what if any action Super League will take with regards to our participation in 2021.

“They have to decide if they want Toronto Wolfpack involved going forward and I’d imagine Super League’s decision may come in the near-term.

“It’s their call. It’s challenging times but we’re not going to hide under a rock – it’s a combination of issues that have cascaded together but I take the responsibility, it’s completely with me.”

SunSport also understands players are being offered to other clubs, including ones they have recently signed or have signed for 2021.

Australian Josh McCrone had already headed home while Blake Wallace remains in Canada, where he has been for the whole of the Covid-19 shutdown, as the pressure built.

However, the axing of automatic promotion and relegation between the top tier and the Championship, which will not resume in 2020, may enable Brian McDermott’s men to start afresh in Super League in 2021.

Sunday saw Martin Vickers’ appointment as director of Toronto’s UK arm terminated but he is still working for the club.

A ‘very disappointed’ Super League and RFL warned the consequences for Toronto’s decision could be huge, after they were assured as recently as Thursday they will be OK.

They said: “The club’s decision is especially disappointing given the imminent restart of the season.

“A discussion around the longer term consequences and the future of the Wolfpack in Super League will commence shortly.”

 

Honestly. If RFL fail again in expansion teams, and vision (i appreciate its a hard time right now) I am done with RL regularly

 

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I can understand and have some sympathy with many of the problems facing TWP - especially given the COVID situation - but I'm a bit confused at why players and other creditors are being paid late.

If there's money available to pay the players, it would seem strange not to do so when all you're doing is giving your critics another stick to beat you with.

It's not a good look to have players speaking to journalists and moaning about late salary payments etc.

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10 minutes ago, CanadianRugger said:

His comments would seem to confirm that teams over here playing within the RFL domestic structure isn't a viable option.

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58 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Only a couple of weeks ago you were willing to wager TWP would be in SL next year, but it is not my style to kick a man while he is down🤫

OWWWW!  That left a bruise Harry....methinks you might be jumping the gun on this one Oldtimer!

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1 minute ago, Big Picture said:

His comments would seem to confirm that teams over here playing within the RFL domestic structure isn't a viable option.

 

You can read between the lines, basically says the present model doesn't work.  Super League could give them their TV funding which they should have received in the first place.  

 

Forty20 podcast makes some good points.  Basically the conditions the RFL and SL placed Toronto under were untenable.

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11 minutes ago, 17 stone giant said:

I can understand and have some sympathy with many of the problems facing TWP - especially given the COVID situation - but I'm a bit confused at why players and other creditors are being paid late.

If there's money available to pay the players, it would seem strange not to do so when all you're doing is giving your critics another stick to beat you with.

It's not a good look to have players speaking to journalists and moaning about late salary payments etc.

Its also not a great look when one of their players is getting paid more per year than the whole club’s salary cap.

I wonder if Sonny Bill has got paid?

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4 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

To be clear, that's no relegation of any of the 11 clubs going ahead with playing when it restarts.

https://www.bbc.com/sport/amp/rugby-league/53474508

So theyre going down to 11 for next season? I mean championship isn't returning....

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9 minutes ago, TboneFromTO said:

News about is rfl has confirmed that there is NO RELEGATION this year from super league 

Demotion isn’t relegation.

There’s a very real chance Toronto won’t exist next year.

If I was a fan I’d take whatever money is on offer regarding refunds now, unless you’d be happy to lose it.

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51 minutes ago, SL17 said:

But the fixtures can’t be completed without a 12th club. So either a club takes TWP’s place with a guarantee they are in SL for 2021 or they increase the amount of clubs in SL.

It would mean dividing the cake up even more, but I don’t see any other option. 

If only it had been divided up properly this year there would be no problem...so short sighted.

s-l1000.jpg

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6 hours ago, THE RED ROOSTER said:

Three Points

First, Toronto are gone.. Full stop from Super League no comebacks and an 11 Team Super League this year . this takes care of the issue of relegation.

Secondly, the clubs that want to go up to Super League, Toulouse, London, Widnes, Leigh, Bradford and Feathersone play the season out as a six team comp. Winners go up for 2021. One proviso, No dual registration players, You go up with your own club's players or not.

Thirdly, David Argyle should be banned by the RFL, Super League and NRL from having a shareholding in a Rugby League club as not having passed the "fit and proper person" test

That is all

I also agree with your first 2 posts, but not the last. I really think the only thing Mr Argyle is guilty of is putting too much faith in the guys he hired to run the day to day things after Mr Perez left, namely Mr Noble and Mr Vickers. The former was responsible for player recruitment, hence the whole salary cap farce, the latter was supposed to be an executive so almost certainly responsible for visas, supplier payments and probably player wages. Both of these guys have a past of involvement in failed/struggling enterprises and I can’t believe Argyle was taken in but he obviously was. I don’t think you need to worry about him becoming involved in another RL team, my guess is he either goes to the Arrows, or he just stays away from pro sport having learned a sorry and expensive lesson.

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Just now, SL17 said:

Tripe, he’s a billionaire.

Repeating what an earlier poster said: multimillionaires and billiionaires don't sit around with squillions of dollars/pounds sitting in a chequing account. Their wealth is in the businesses they own. The money may not be liquid. If you've already shovelled millions into a venture or a hobby, and have been kicked in the face continually thwarted, you might decide not to sell your mine, or your CBD company, or your Toronto restaurant, in order to free up yet more cash for the Wolfpack. At some point you hit your budget and at some point, you realize SL is not gonna stop treating you like a cash cow.

I've always liked David Argyle, he's a good bloke and makes enormous efforts on game days with fans and visiting fans alike. He loves the club. I hope there's a massive re-think by the governing body and that Wolfpack take the field in 2021 with a fairer deal.

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5 hours ago, LeytherRob said:

I really like Perez, and followed his work closely from the initial set up of CRL(particularly as Scarborough Centurions played in old Leigh kit). To be honest I was always curious why he left the Toronto project so quickly when it was what he'd been working for so long.

That was my worry, did his vision not match Argyles and what was his relationship with Noble. My guess he was either forced out or just realized he would never get to implement his plan.

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5 hours ago, Agbrigg said:

Give over 🤣there is no way they could make that amount net from about 14 home games. Also from what I hear half the spectators get in the ground on freebies 

Freebies was definitely not my experience, but the ticket prices are very low (ridiculously low for North American sport)

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The stars have certainly aligned to make life as difficult as possible for Toronto, to the point where I'm not surprised this announcement was made.  The inability to actually convert sponsorships because the club is unlikely to be able to play in Toronto this year, the Visa issues, players returning home during the break and not necessarily being in a position to return in time for kick off, and the increased costs (and not foreseeable revenue) being based in the UK for the remainder of the year would make it difficult for any business.

It would be like asking any company to drastically increase costs, and cut your revenues by 95%+ and try and make it work.  Most would either go bust trying, or take the Toronto approach of cutting their losses, going into hibernation and hoping to emerge on the other side.

For me, the most frustrating part of this is the fact that they didn't make this decision before the recent 'Super League is returning' announcement.  Waiting until after the announcement makes the game look like amateur hour (not that we have to try hard) as we announced these amazing 21 games in 29 days all to be televised, puts pressure on our relationship with Sky (something we can't afford to do) and just creates a more negative public sentiment. 

Arguably if this was all sorted before the announcement, a nice story could have been painted that it was deemed in the interest of whatever (public safety, feasibility, etc) Toronto was going to sit out the season or alternatively, Toronto will start next year in the Championship and the Championship clubs can play for a promotion spot.

All in all not great... Anyway, I do sincerely hope that Toronto can come out the other side of this.    It is important for the game, both in the UK and in Canada, and for the likes of Ottawa, etc.  If they can take the field in 2021, whether that's in SL or back in the Championship, doesn't matter, we just need them.

There is a reason why the 2020 Super League seasons has generated more media coverage globally, especially in markets like Australia, New Zealand, UK, etc, than any other season, and the Wolfpack is a significant reason for that, and this is despite the season only lasting a few weeks so far...

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2 hours ago, CanadianRugger said:

 

You can read between the lines, basically says the present model doesn't work.  Super League could give them their TV funding which they should have received in the first place.  

Forty20 podcast makes some good points.  Basically the conditions the RFL and SL placed Toronto under were untenable.

The podcast makes some excellent points, and Phil Caplan in particular brought out some sobering truths about the game and where it stands in the UK which echo what former St Helens chief executive Sean McGuire said in his three interviews with Tony Collins about why there's so little money in the game.

Here's a link to the podcast, everyone should give it a good listen.

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4 hours ago, fcl said:

I would like to be able to read an article with real journalistic work on Toronto: who is David Argyle, what financial means does he have? Who does he rely on to manage the club? why so much change at the head of the club? The real crowds, the number of paying spectators, the contracts with the players, the recruitment strategy, the financial difficulties already encountered. What links in Canada? In England ? etc etc there are so many questions never addressed ...

I have only 2 things to say in response to this, Brian Noble and Martin Vickers, look at their past involvements then tell me whether you would hire either, sadly David Argyle obviously didn’t!

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