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The General 'Toronto Wolfpack' Discussion Thread

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6 minutes ago, CanadianRugger said:

Airlines laid off most of their employees, what makes Rugby Players special?

Did they lay them off after not paying them for three months having promised them they would?

Wolfpack were cutting costs long before COVID - it's a handy excuse for someone whose grandiose proclamations were already ringing hollow.  I have no doubt he had been hit by COVID, but why does a billionaire with a focus on developing a global megabrand pull the plug on televising the team for a few grand last year?

It was all bluster based on nonsensical ideas of enormous sponsorships and North American TV deals that were never remotely realistic.

Edited by FearTheVee
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1 hour ago, Robin Evans said:

Has kayakman returned from faffing about with his oars?

EUPHEMISM KLAXON

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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1 hour ago, CanadianRugger said:

DA has/had a lot of money, the problem being most of it was tied up in assets which are now performing very poorly aka potash, iron, zinc mining, etc.

These assets have significantly devalued as a result of Coronavirus and liquidating them to pay salaries to workers (who aren't working btw) would be a poor business move.  

David Argyle also owns restaurants, all of which have been shuttered as a result of Coronavirus.  As well, the flagship sponsor who provided TWP with travel, funding, etc is presently bleeding $200 million a quarter and its parent, Air Canada is losing $1 billion a quarter.

Airlines laid off most of their employees, what makes Rugby Players special?

Toronto gets bought and the players get paid or they don't the club folds and the players get nothing.  Unfortunate and TWP share some blame but the RFL and SL are not innocent partners in all of this.

Don’t bother explaining mate, some people just don’t understand that billionaires don’t have a billion in their current account, or that they shouldn’t have to spend it if they choose not to. 

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1 hour ago, FearTheVee said:

In signing that PG I'm sure Argyle is well aware that he can throw more cash at legal bills than the RFL can afford.

It will go nowhere - the RFL did the right thing, they asked a billionaire (does anyone actually know how much money this chancer has or is he a "billionaire" in the same way people said Marwan Koukash was?  Not bad-mouthing MK but he's clearly not a billionaire and his own ego-trip is neatly manifested in the club mascot introduced during his time at Salford) to provide a personal guarantee that players would be paid if things went wrong.  He is a dishonourable disgrace for leaving players unpaid for three months.

The RFL should NOT be paying three months wages to the likes of SBW.   Maybe small hardship contributions but certainly not full wages - we can't afford it and shouldn't do it even if we could.

It literally couldn't have been any more apparent that this was an ego trip built almost entirely with hot air - people were so desperate for it to be true (publically listed global sporting megabrand based in the UK Super League - do me a favour) that they ignored or worse still shouted down people who pointed out the blindingly obvious.

I agree with your comments about what the RFL should be doing, although let's not forget that the RFL in reality is basically just all the other clubs, so they aren't about to start paying one club's wages. 

I don't agree it was "blindingly obvious" that this was always going to go pear-shaped. David Argyle IS a very rich man and has poured more money into English rugby league over the past 3 years than any other individual - and by a country mile. We can't just ignore that, and if it wasn't for COVID, I believe none of this would be happening. 

However COVID did happen, which destroyed the Wolfpack model, and Argyle has decided he wants out, and he's gone about it in the most despicable, damaging manner possible. 

Were there previously signs that he perhaps was not the most ethical operator? Yes. But he's certainly not alone in that among rugby league owners so I'm not sure we can cast too many stones in our glass house. 

We must move forward. I myself think if we can get a sufficient level of guarentees, a Toronto club should be readmitted to the system, and I actually think it would be better for that club to come in below SL level, given the current team is being broken up and they would surely just get battered all year in SL and relegated. 

The biggest reason I think we should let a Toronto team back in is to help Ottawa - because surely without Toronto as a rival, Ottawa on its own just doesn't work, right? 

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3 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

We can't just ignore that, and if it wasn't for COVID, I believe none of this would be happening. 

The biggest reason I think we should let a Toronto team back in is to help Ottawa - because surely without Toronto as a rival, Ottawa on its own just doesn't work, right? 

Snipped down to these two - why were there unpaid bills, rumour of players being paid late and termination of broadcasting games as a cost-cutting measure pre-COVID if he was a billionaire with serious designs on growing exposure?

I agree Ottowa would not work without Toronto.  But then it wouldn't work with Toronto either.

Take a deep breath, stand back and think about the concept of a transatlantic club in the SL, indeed one that can't play games at home for part of the season due to the weather.  Think about the commercial landscape of SL, then think about the idea of a transatlantic club.  If you are really, truly honest with yourself you will know it is doomed to failure.

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

Don’t bother explaining mate, some people just don’t understand that billionaires don’t have a billion in their current account, or that they shouldn’t have to spend it if they choose not to. 

The knives were out for Argyle and TWP long before Covid-19 struck. Haters gonna hate. This just gives them an excuse.

Ignore the 30 million spent. What are you gonna do now?

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1 hour ago, FearTheVee said:

Snipped down to these two - why were there unpaid bills, rumour of players being paid late and termination of broadcasting games as a cost-cutting measure pre-COVID if he was a billionaire with serious designs on growing exposure?

I agree Ottowa would not work without Toronto.  But then it wouldn't work with Toronto either.

Take a deep breath, stand back and think about the concept of a transatlantic club in the SL, indeed one that can't play games at home for part of the season due to the weather.  Think about the commercial landscape of SL, then think about the idea of a transatlantic club.  If you are really, truly honest with yourself you will know it is doomed to failure.

Guarenteed to work? No. 

But inevitably doomed to failure? Also no.

All the logistical issues around the weather and travel were dealt with, and the financial growth needed to make the club sustainable was a pittance in the bigger picture of pro sports. In some ways the weakness of SL was the reason why it might have worked.

People were interested in watching "pro rugby" and for once, league happened to get in there first, showed some flexibility that bigger sports were unable to, and established a brand.

It was never gonna be comparable with the NA major leagues, but then it didn't need to be. A deal to film the games with a minor sports cable channel, and then on sell to Sky, could well have been enough to make it viable. 

But it was still a punt, and it wasn't to be. 

And Argyle's personal faults aside, I believe the Toronto model is still the only one that has the potential to suceed in NA. Understand your target demographic, and then spend big up front to establish a winning team and fanbase. 

The Ottawa plan to develop local players (complete red herring) and happily bounce around the lower leagues for a few years is a non starter. But then I don't believe that's really their plan, I think that's just what Perez tells people over here because they lap it up. 

Edited by Toby Chopra
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1 hour ago, FearTheVee said:

Snipped down to these two - why were there unpaid bills, rumour of players being paid late and termination of broadcasting games as a cost-cutting measure pre-COVID if he was a billionaire with serious designs on growing exposure?

I agree Ottowa would not work without Toronto.  But then it wouldn't work with Toronto either.

Take a deep breath, stand back and think about the concept of a transatlantic club in the SL, indeed one that can't play games at home for part of the season due to the weather.  Think about the commercial landscape of SL, then think about the idea of a transatlantic club.  If you are really, truly honest with yourself you will know it is doomed to failure.

 

Does anyone actual think Ottowa is a real thing?  Other than another vehicle for Perez?

We get lots of big statements, but never any details. 

Start to question and your an unambitious flatclapper who would never be able to understand visions and dreams of those on the other side of Atlantic.  

The whole thing was the Emperors New Clothes. 

Video clips of members of the RFL making bold statements are going to look terribly embarrassing when watched back.

 

 

  

 

Edited by TheLegendOfTexEvans
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Don’t bother explaining mate, some people just don’t understand that billionaires don’t have a billion in their current account, or that they shouldn’t have to spend it if they choose not to. 

 And billionairs dont ask for a £200k loan,lets face it they blew it out there rear for years with all the look at how it shoul;d be done time and time againwhile poncing around downtown on the fancy pushbikes living it up while things fell apart,

i would love it for ottowa to come to the table and do things spot on and show us all how its done,there could be some very tasty games coming up.

toronto are done/spent up/no paddle.and not a good advert for how things should be done,players left in the lurch for weeks, and a billionair leaving debts to be paid?

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12 minutes ago, silverback said:

And billionairs dont ask for a £200k loan

Billionaires absolutely do take advantage of cheap lending when it suits them.

And it's not just you, but I'd have thought after what, a year of the club being announced would be enough time for people to learn how to spell Ottawa properly. 

Edited by TheReaper
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35 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

All the logistical issues around the weather and travel were dealt with

They weren't actually - my recollection is that they fell at the first hurdle.  As in the expectation gap was a yawning chasm and they were left scratching around for anywhere to play.

Wolfpack early - we want to play our early games in big European Capitals, it will be a carnival of RL!

Wolfpack a little later - actually, we're playing at Saracens but that is still good isn't it, London and all that.

Wolfp[ack a little later - we're not sure we had a deal agreed, or can afford it, at Saracens but it is definitely not our fault.

Wolfpack eventually - please Mr Hetherington and Mr Moran, can we borrow your stadiums in the heartlands?

Blah blah global brand blah blah european capitals blah blah guaranteed player payments blah blah stock market flotation blah blah NA TV deals blah blah billionaire.

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50 minutes ago, TheLegendOfTexEvans said:

 

Does anyone actual think Ottowa is a real thing?  Other than another vehicle for Perez?

We get lots of big statements, but never any details. 

Start to question and your an unambitious flatclapper who would never be able to understand visions and dreams of those on the other side of Atlantic.  

The whole thing was the Emperors New Clothes. 

Video clips of members of the RFL making bold statements are going to look terribly embarrassing when watched back.

 

 

  

 

My impression is Ottawa have the same plan but with a full RFL membership because they are Hemel Stags moved to Canada.

They will also spend less on players in the championships if they have any sense.

They will still have the small hurdle of being 3500miles away from the rest of the league.

A league even more skint than normal 😬

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10 minutes ago, FearTheVee said:

They weren't actually - my recollection is that they fell at the first hurdle.  As in the expectation gap was a yawning chasm and they were left scratching around for anywhere to play.

Wolfpack early - we want to play our early games in big European Capitals, it will be a carnival of RL!

Wolfpack a little later - actually, we're playing at Saracens but that is still good isn't it, London and all that.

Wolfp[ack a little later - we're not sure we had a deal agreed, or can afford it, at Saracens but it is definitely not our fault.

Wolfpack eventually - please Mr Hetherington and Mr Moran, can we borrow your stadiums in the heartlands?

Blah blah global brand blah blah european capitals blah blah guaranteed player payments blah blah stock market flotation blah blah NA TV deals blah blah billionaire.

Ever thought that the reason some of these grand plans fell through is that maybe the proposed partners did a little due diligence on the Wolfpack’s past business practices and thought “no thanks”. After all John Davidson pointed out there was a number of worrying signs about how the Wolfpack did business long before Covid.

I think Toby made some good points, had they managed to land the cable deal then they might have got away with it, but of course they didn’t, then Covid struck. I think we all forget how Argyle makes his money, he is a gambler by nature, this was another gamble which didn’t pay off, only this time he has screwed around with people’s livelihoods which is wrong. There’s little point pursuing him in the courts, he will always be one step ahead of the RFL and after all he did invest $30 million of his own money into the venture. 
For me the actual problem is that whenever the RFL is approached by any rich men (I say men as women are too smart to waste money investing in RL), instead of carrying out the necessary due diligence and asking for plans to cover such things as rich man walking away they have a tendency to go weak at the knees and roll over like a puppy dog. I would hope we are being more careful with Ottawa and at least know the names of the people we are dealing with (something we still don’t seem to know for the New York bid, another reason I have my doubts), because we seem to fall for the same three card trick too many times.

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46 minutes ago, TheReaper said:

Billionaires absolutely do take advantage of cheap lending when it suits them.

And it's not just you, but I'd have thought after what, a year of the club being announced would be enough time for people to learn how to spell Ottawa properly. 

Then how much did he borrow for SBW superstar status.they were on the brink of going a full season with nill-point and bailed for a pitance of 200k, chump change to him,he cut corners from the start with leaving teams stranded at glasgow when they had work next day, and dont think stood at gate with a few FREE  beer tokens for the 35 beer stalls worked, as half of the folks dident even stand looking at the game,made the crowd look good like.talked the talk but sure as hell dident walk the walk.

Edited by silverback

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56 minutes ago, silverback said:

Don’t bother explaining mate, some people just don’t understand that billionaires don’t have a billion in their current account, or that they shouldn’t have to spend it if they choose not to. 

 And billionairs dont ask for a £200k loan,lets face it they blew it out there rear for years with all the look at how it shoul;d be done time and time againwhile poncing around downtown on the fancy pushbikes living it up while things fell apart,

i would love it for ottowa to come to the table and do things spot on and show us all how its done,there could be some very tasty games coming up.

toronto are done/spent up/no paddle.and not a good advert for how things should be done,players left in the lurch for weeks, and a billionair leaving debts to be paid?

Looks like Argyle can’t afford a chippy tea, as for Ottawa we will have to see what the structures bring. As things cannot continue as normal. 
 

It’s quite clear some Clubs have just had enough. New structure or the lower tiers go it alone. Stick Ottawa in SL along with Toulouse. 

Lets get this c rap over with.
 

 

 

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1 minute ago, SL17 said:

Looks like Argyle can’t afford a chippy tea, as for Ottawa we will have to see what the structures bring. As things cannot continue as normal. 
 

It’s quite clear some Clubs have just had enough. New structure or the lower tiers go it alone. Stick Ottawa in SL along with Toulouse. 

Lets get this c rap over with.
 

 

 

a lot more to come yet when things maybe get sorted.even thou it took 4 years it still seemed rushed for me,i really do hope ottawa get things right and dont bring in loads of hangers on clambering for a brown pay packet while doing diddly,

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a transatlantic league will work if ALL the involved participants want it to work. Clearly some did not and refused to share the income derived from the competition regardless of the fact that one of the participants, an attractive one if viewing and spectator numbers are to be believed, enabled that income to be earned. That fact and a pandemic are the reason the current Wolfpack problems have manifested themselves..certainly DA and his fellow investors and management screwed up by not ringfencing the funds needed to sustain the club but a new business model run by professionals can work but only with a buy in from the ALL I mentioned above. And that ALL includes those fans who claim to love RL and want to see it grow into a global sport. Those that dont can sit back with smug "I told you so" smirks on their faces but be prepared to watch it decline. 

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I really don’t understand why so many people willed TWP to fail the whole way through from the start to now, and why they want Ottawa to fail also (along with Euro XIIIs), it’s as if they don’t want the game to grow and thrive - bizarre. 
 

Often it’s the same people who say ‘we’ should be doing this or that but then do nothing about it themselves. The last fortnight has seen two excellent initiatives aired on this forum asking for small donations to help get them going (Coventry’s new community clubs and Central America development officer) but they haven’t had a sniff, from all the people who talk the talk but who aren’t prepared to put a fiver in to help people who are walking the walk. It’s obviously easier to sit in your bedsit on the Internet trying to sound clever. 

Edited by Eddie
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9 minutes ago, silverback said:

a lot more to come yet when things maybe get sorted.even thou it took 4 years it still seemed rushed for me,i really do hope ottawa get things right and dont bring in loads of hangers on clambering for a brown pay packet while doing diddly,

They’ll need to create entertainment and success. That comes at a cost as with all clubs. Interest in the sport has to again start again. Ottawa as I was constantly bombarded being they can’t survive without TWP. Now need a new plan or do they?

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Times are forecast to get really tough in the U.K. and regional sport might be the only option for RL outside Super League unless there’s a medical breakthrough relating to COVID-19.

I feel sorry for Ottawa, but the timing isn’t right now for their plan.

We need to save as many Championship and League One clubs as possible and not burden them unnecessarily.

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8 minutes ago, Eddie said:

I really don’t understand why so many people willed TWP to fail the whole way through from the start to now, and why they want Ottawa to fail also (along with Euro XIIIs), it’s as if they don’t want the game to grow and thrive - bizarre. 
 

Often it’s the same people who say ‘we’ should be doing this or that but then do nothing about it themselves. The last fortnight has seen two excellent initiatives aired on this forum asking for small donations to help get them going (Coventry’s new community clubs and Central America development officer) but they haven’t had a sniff, from all the people who talk the talk but who aren’t prepared to put a fiver in to help people who are walking the walk. It’s obviously easier to sit in your bedsit on the Internet trying to sound clever. 

You could say Ottawa have lost their parent club. The original plan would have included TWP. 
 

What is the plan now?

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3 minutes ago, SL17 said:

You could say Ottawa have lost their parent club. The original plan would have included TWP. 
 

What is the plan now?

Ottawa become the parent and help Wolfpack..forgot aiming for SL in 3 years  get both clubs in Championship and watch it take off

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1 minute ago, RobertAM said:

Ottawa become the parent and help Wolfpack..forgot aiming for SL in 3 years  get both clubs in Championship and watch it take off

Now you’re talking. 

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6 minutes ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

Times are forecast to get really tough in the U.K. and regional sport might be the only option for RL outside Super League unless there’s a medical breakthrough relating to COVID-19.

I feel sorry for Ottawa, but the timing isn’t right now for their plan.

We need to save as many Championship and League One clubs as possible and not burden them unnecessarily.

Very sensible post. Not many on this thread but this certainly is. 

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