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The General 'Toronto Wolfpack' Discussion Thread

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Debts of £2.3m and they planned to lose £4m this year, reported by Johnny Davidson. 

Someone I know is convinced this is Argyle using COVID to jump because he had had enough/got bored etc. He should know, he works at a company that deals with administration in sport. 

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1 hour ago, TIWIT said:

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?

There were a minority who just rubbished the whole thing, however most i saw were just voicing legitimate concerns. After all, the issues around TWP were around long before Covid-19 struck. From the late payments of transfer fees for MCB, Westerman, GOB and Springer, to the ultimately never paid £100k investment into London Skolars that was promised, to later wage payments on multiple occasions blamed on admin errors and Reni Maitua going public on visa concerns after he left. 

All these were dismissed in a way they wouldn't for any of the member clubs because on the opposite side of the coin to the resolute anti expansion lot are a group that places so much hope in expansion teams being the secret to world domination they are willing to overlook almost any legitimate concerns or criticism. Both sides are just as bad as each other and equally damaging to the game.

The best way to maintain any real balance, in my opinion, is before reacting to these kinds of stories, consider what would be your reaction if it was a rival club, then your own and try to find the answer in between. Toronto Wolfpack did have a huge amount of promise and did some unprecedented work in marketing the game to a new market that everyone in RL should be learning from, however behind the scenes it's been a mess from pretty much day 1. Alarm bells should've been ringing the minute Brian Noble and Martin Vickers were given senior positions as both have horrendous track records and should be nowhere near the running of an RL club.

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10 minutes ago, LeytherRob said:

There were a minority who just rubbished the whole thing, however most i saw were just voicing legitimate concerns. After all, the issues around TWP were around long before Covid-19 struck. From the late payments of transfer fees for MCB, Westerman, GOB and Springer, to the ultimately never paid £100k investment into London Skolars that was promised, to later wage payments on multiple occasions blamed on admin errors and Reni Maitua going public on visa concerns after he left. 

All these were dismissed in a way they wouldn't for any of the member clubs because on the opposite side of the coin to the resolute anti expansion lot are a group that places so much hope in expansion teams being the secret to world domination they are willing to overlook almost any legitimate concerns or criticism. Both sides are just as bad as each other and equally damaging to the game.

The best way to maintain any real balance, in my opinion, is before reacting to these kinds of stories, consider what would be your reaction if it was a rival club, then your own and try to find the answer in between. Toronto Wolfpack did have a huge amount of promise and did some unprecedented work in marketing the game to a new market that everyone in RL should be learning from, however behind the scenes it's been a mess from pretty much day 1. Alarm bells should've been ringing the minute Brian Noble and Martin Vickers were given senior positions as both have horrendous track records and should be nowhere near the running of an RL club.

I think one of the biggest alarm bells for me was when they cutbthe broadcasting of those handful of games last year, breaking yet another commitment of theirs, this one being that all games would be broadcast. 

It is interesting to hear people who criticise the current TV deal as it stopped TWP getting every game on TV (and their argument was this is an absolute must in NA), also defended TWPs decision at that time. This was apparently to save a billionaire a few thousand. 

Of course the narrative came up that Sky would only show it on red button, before they confirmed that wasn't the case. 

Then these apparent showpiece games around Europe to launch TWP in SL became a cheap game in Leeds and a miserable one in Warrington. 

Just those things alone really should set off those klaxons. 

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22 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Debts of £2.3m and they planned to lose £4m this year, reported by Johnny Davidson. 

Someone I know is convinced this is Argyle using COVID to jump because he had had enough/got bored etc. He should know, he works at a company that deals with administration in sport. 

Rather than an excuse I think it’s a combination of things. Covid has hit Argyle not just at the Wolfpack but across all his business, he was using the money those businesses were making to part fund the Wolfpack, they are now losing money too.
 

On top of that Toronto are receiving no central funding and were due to play 0 home games, their income will be £0, but their costs haven’t been reduced like other clubs as they have no access to the furlough scheme, so the Wolfpack probably have the highest outgoings and the least coming in from and Super League club.

When they reached out for help the other Super League clubs said no, Argyle realised the rest of Super League was against him and they didn’t want the Wolfpack, hence he’s looking to walk away. 

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13 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Rather than an excuse I think it’s a combination of things. Covid has hit Argyle not just at the Wolfpack but across all his business, he was using the money those businesses were making to part fund the Wolfpack, they are now losing money too. 

That doesn't explain why these problems have been occurring long before Covid. The pandemic may have made the situation worse but they were already heading for a huge loss this year.

13 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

On top of that Toronto are receiving no central funding and were due to play 0 home games, their income will be £0, but their costs haven’t been reduced like other clubs as they have no access to the furlough scheme, so the Wolfpack probably have the highest outgoings and the least coming in from and Super League club.

Whilst some of this is true, and if it was up to me TW would've either received central funding or not had to fund away travel in SL(but not both), the second biggest cost for TW, outside of wages, was flying 11 teams over to Canada and paying for the everything that went with it. These costs were removed, along with renegotiating much of the wage bill when furlough kicked in for the others so their cost base did reduce significantly.

I can sympathise with the bad luck of Covid, however they needlessly over extended themselves financially  by paying astronomical wages on only 22 (mostly average)players to the point where they were having to abuse the trialist system to even get a team on the pitch by round 4. Even if Covid hadn't happened, they were in serious danger of not completing the season without the salary cap being waived for them, which likely would've led to financial issues anyway.

 

13 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

When they reached out for help the other Super League clubs said no, Argyle realised the rest of Super League was against him and they didn’t want the Wolfpack, hence he’s looking to walk away. 

No one knows why he's walked away, so trying to frame it as some dummy spit because the other SL chairmen didn't bend to his every whim is just disingenuous at best. 

Edited by LeytherRob
spelling mistake
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9 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Rather than an excuse I think it’s a combination of things. Covid has hit Argyle not just at the Wolfpack but across all his business, he was using the money those businesses were making to part fund the Wolfpack, they are now losing money too.
 

On top of that Toronto are receiving no central funding and were due to play 0 home games, their income will be £0, but their costs haven’t been reduced like other clubs as they have no access to the furlough scheme, so the Wolfpack probably have the highest outgoings and the least coming in from and Super League club.

When they reached out for help the other Super League clubs said no, Argyle realised the rest of Super League was against him and they didn’t want the Wolfpack, hence he’s looking to walk away. 

Look.. The deal done, didn’t include central funding. Regardless of funding, the model was too big.

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7 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

I will shave every hair on my body and swim the Channel nude if Newcastle United FC buys the Jokepack. 

Great leveller, Toronto. 
 

 

Quoted for the 1 in a billion chance it happens 😄 

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1 hour ago, SL17 said:

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

What is the plan now?

There you go again 😂

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21 hours ago, TIWIT said:

Toronto rugby fans will turn their attention to the Arrows now. RL blows up their beachhead in North America and just hands it over to RU. The shortsighted stupidity of RL and flat-out greed of SL owners boggles the mind... 

I would far sooner watch RL than RU, but if that's the only rugby I'm going to get that's what I'll take.

Or maybe the Union club are built on some sort of foundations rather than dollar bills and actually run the club properly rather than just gob off about what they're going to do and how they're going to do it and how everyone should stop what they're doing and stand in awe as the pack ran...... Away!

It's all very well looking for a blame and playing a victim, but Argyle and the Wolfpack have to accept that they messed up too and accept some of the blame for the embarrassment.

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People forget that Argyle first came in as both a fan of the game but also as a businessman. He always knew that TWP were going to be a money pit, but for a good businessman that equals tax writeoffs.

For that to work his businesses would have to be tied together so that money-losers like TWP could be used to offset the profitability of some other more successful company. That way the financial losses didn't matter so much and Argyle could play fanboy with his toy. And yes, this also led to occasional cash-flow difficulties. Nor did it prevent him from seeking to minimize TWP's losses.

Then Covid hit and in a few short weeks ALL of Argyle's holdings became money losers. He didn't need a tax writeoff anymore. Fanboy Argyle went away and hard-nosed businessmen Argyle took over. What could be cut to save a few bucks? The answer is obvious and that's where we are now.

New owners might have a different perspective on things but I really don't see how anyone can make money on the terms SL is bound to impose, so the team is effectively dead.

The only ones who might want TWP would be a Canadian broadcaster simply for the programming but even that's all tied up with Sky and their new TV deal with SL, so...

I am afraid the dream is dead. The 5-year plan becomes the entire life of the team. Be an interesting book or TV documentary when it inevitably comes out in a few years.

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6 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

This stuff sticks in the craw. https://www.totalrl.com/hes-taken-a-manual-labour-job-his-wife-has-cut-short-her-maternity-leave-greg-worthingtons-family-turmoil-with-zero-confidence-in-toronto-wolfpack-pay/

Super League is supposed to be elite sport, not where players’ wives cut short maternity leave to avoid poverty.

Tom is a very qualified person in another career. He was given time at Leigh to fulfill those qualifications.  He chose to stick the sport out. 
 

 

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4 minutes ago, TIWIT said:

People forget that Argyle first came in as both a fan of the game but also as a businessman. He always knew that TWP were going to be a money pit, but for a good businessman that equals tax writeoffs.

For that to work his businesses would have to be tied together so that money-losers like TWP could be used to offset the profitability of some other more successful company. That way the financial losses didn't matter so much and Argyle could play fanboy with his toy. And yes, this also led to occasional cash-flow difficulties. Nor did it prevent him from seeking to minimize TWP's losses.

Then Covid hit and in a few short weeks ALL of Argyle's holdings became money losers. He didn't need a tax writeoff anymore. Fanboy Argyle went away and hard-nosed businessmen Argyle took over. What could be cut to save a few bucks? The answer is obvious and that's where we are now.

New owners might have a different perspective on things but I really don't see how anyone can make money on the terms SL is bound to impose, so the team is effectively dead.

The only ones who might want TWP would be a Canadian broadcaster simply for the programming but even that's all tied up with Sky and their new TV deal with SL, so...

I am afraid the dream is dead. The 5-year plan becomes the entire life of the team. Be an interesting book or TV documentary when it inevitably comes out in a few years.

Perez left or forced out? Straight question?

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15 minutes ago, TIWIT said:

 

Then Covid hit and in a few short weeks ALL of Argyle's holdings became money losers. 

 

That would further suggest Argyle is a fraud. 

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1 hour ago, LeytherRob said:

There were a minority who just rubbished the whole thing, however most i saw were just voicing legitimate concerns. After all, the issues around TWP were around long before Covid-19 struck. From the late payments of transfer fees for MCB, Westerman, GOB and Springer, to the ultimately never paid £100k investment into London Skolars that was promised, to later wage payments on multiple occasions blamed on admin errors and Reni Maitua going public on visa concerns after he left. 

All these were dismissed in a way they wouldn't for any of the member clubs because on the opposite side of the coin to the resolute anti expansion lot are a group that places so much hope in expansion teams being the secret to world domination they are willing to overlook almost any legitimate concerns or criticism. Both sides are just as bad as each other and equally damaging to the game.

The best way to maintain any real balance, in my opinion, is before reacting to these kinds of stories, consider what would be your reaction if it was a rival club, then your own and try to find the answer in between. Toronto Wolfpack did have a huge amount of promise and did some unprecedented work in marketing the game to a new market that everyone in RL should be learning from, however behind the scenes it's been a mess from pretty much day 1. Alarm bells should've been ringing the minute Brian Noble and Martin Vickers were given senior positions as both have horrendous track records and should be nowhere near the running of an RL club.

Hit the nail right on the head. This is so true, if you criticized TWP you were anti expansion but if you were totally blind to their shortcomings then your missionary zeal was equally damaging. The truth is that for every positive that TWP brought to the game, and there were many, the sheer level of incompetence and mismanagement off the field was staggering. There were plenty of alarm bells, but for some reason they were ignored and now we are where we are. I also suspect that Mr Argyle, having failed to get his own way and failed to get his TV deal has now just said enough is enough and the whole Covid situation has provided him with a convenient get out. Or maybe he has woken up to the staggering level of off field incompetence and realized that it can’t be fixed, either way there is no excuse for leaving the players in their current position.

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15 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

That would further suggest Argyle is a fraud. 

Congratulations. You've added 1 + 1 and come up with 3. Which would suggest you really don't get it.

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27 minutes ago, SL17 said:

Perez left or forced out? Straight question?

We will never really know, I suspect if you disagree with Mr Argyle you don’t stick around long. For a club that only just made it into their 4th season they had a lot of staff turnover, and I mean off the field.

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1 hour ago, SL17 said:

Tom is a very qualified person in another career. He was given time at Leigh to fulfill those qualifications.  He chose to stick the sport out. 
 

 

Tom? 


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4 minutes ago, gazza77 said:

Tom? 

Apparently everybody in Leigh knows Tom.

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55 minutes ago, TIWIT said:

Congratulations. You've added 1 + 1 and come up with 3. Which would suggest you really don't get it.

No, if you genuinely believe what you said, I despair. There’s absolutely no way Argyle is in such a predicament as you believe. It would be hideous asset allocation, which would be the top of a very large iceberg, coincidentally as COVID has been the tip of the iceberg for the Toronto debacle. 

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12 minutes ago, gazza77 said:

Tom? 

Tom Armstrong, I presume. 

Left Saints to study at university, where he combined it with playing at Sheffield, then Leigh. He went on to play for Toronto and then back to Leigh before stepping away from the game entirely. Which is a shame, as he was not a bad player. 

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5 hours 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

He's choosing not to pay players who are under contract to him. For three months and counting.

I don't care whether that's Toronto or the Hastings Mighty Love Gods, someone who chooses to do that should not be welcome anywhere near our game.

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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, Oldbear said:

Hit the nail right on the head. This is so true, if you criticized TWP you were anti expansion but if you were totally blind to their shortcomings then your missionary zeal was equally damaging. The truth is that for every positive that TWP brought to the game, and there were many, the sheer level of incompetence and mismanagement off the field was staggering. There were plenty of alarm bells, but for some reason they were ignored and now we are where we are. I also suspect that Mr Argyle, having failed to get his own way and failed to get his TV deal has now just said enough is enough and the whole Covid situation has provided him with a convenient get out. Or maybe he has woken up to the staggering level of off field incompetence and realized that it can’t be fixed, either way there is no excuse for leaving the players in their current position.

This is the gutting thing. There was, and still is because I'm in it, a middle way. Of feeling of being thrilled that Toronto was a possibility but also increasingly concerned about the noises coming out regarding dodgy dealings, missed payments and the whole host of "don't pull back the curtain to reveal what the Wizard really looks like" concerns.

They've set expansion back decades.

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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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24 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

They've set expansion back decades.

I very much doubt it. You could have said the same for PSG, or Oxford and Gloucester. None of it really mattered because they weren't strategic plans, just the latest wheeze. And so will be the next one because we don't know, and can't agree, how expansion should be done, if at all. 

At least this time it isn't RFL money that was blown on a half baked plan. 

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