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The General 'Toronto Wolfpack' Discussion Thread


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I am devastated by todays decision.Obviously I think its wrong but I think it shows the narrow minded thinking of most super league clubs.I very much doubt the Wolfpack will ever be back as I don't se

Rugby League as a sport - fans, owners, administrators, the lot - gets what it deserves. There was an opportunity here, an owner who's spent £10m, a growing fanbase and a very attractive market,

To avoid the forum being swamped with dozens of individual threads about Toronto which generally all end up heading down the same rabbit hole eventually anyway, we're opening this general discussion t

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3 hours ago, PREPOSTEROUS said:

Still feel the better way forward is putting all the effort/money into setting up a Canadian/NA league and looking to bring in imports from Australia/UK/France. Surely that would capture the imagination of the supporters more by playing against names they recognise as opposed to places they likely never heard of. Toronto vs Ottowa is surely more enticing than Toronto vs Trinity/Farts/Salford or even some of the big boys from small northern towns. 

Indeed. If only the money already spent on TWP had gone into setting up a good quality summer league of six teams based in the North East of America/Canada. Teams made up. of good quality imports (below SL/NRL level) mixed with a few locals.  This is how the NHL started.

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4 hours ago, Blind side johnny said:

Nope, read it again. He says the question is about the viability of SL in Canada, Toronto specifically. No reference nor implication of any question about Ottawa.

SL and RL aren't the same thing at all. The difference may appear subtle but it is real.

While Elstone mentions "the viability of SuperLeague in Canada"  the SL written statement specifically states "Rugby League in Canada" so either someone cocked up the release or Elstone misspoke..so which is it??

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4 hours ago, Blind side johnny said:

Nope, read it again. He says the question is about the viability of SL in Canada, Toronto specifically. No reference nor implication of any question about Ottawa.

SL and RL aren't the same thing at all. The difference may appear subtle but it is real.

True, but:

let’s just imagine

Toronto are excluded from SL by majority vote of the SL board because they don’t believe that either Toronto or any  NA rugby Team is a viable option for SL.

RFL invites Toronto into the championship or L1 together with Ottawa, and later NY.

the super league board then votes that new criteria is required to join the league, and any promotion is provisional. Criteria could include that any promoted side Must be European based.

on the super league board there are (currently) 11 SL team votes, the SL CEO vote and 1 RFL vote. (I think that’s the way it is, but any correction would be appreciated)

of course that could lead to an official separation of the RFL & SL, but in practical purposes they are nearly there now.

then inclusion in SL could be by invitation only.

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1 hour ago, ojx said:

Indeed. If only the money already spent on TWP had gone into setting up a good quality summer league of six teams based in the North East of America/Canada. Teams made up. of good quality imports (below SL/NRL level) mixed with a few locals.  This is how the NHL started.

That would put them head-to-head against RU"s MLR.

OF course pulling out of Canada now hands NA to Union as MLR is very organized with TV deals.

But the Toronto Wolfpack are (were) NA's most successful professional rugby team.

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4 hours ago, CanadianRugger said:

You underestimate the cultural value of the British teams in a place like Canada.  You see this in Canadian Rugby Union, where a game against big bad ole Uncle Sam will struggle to break 5 digits but a game against Wales, Ireland, Scotland, NZ Maori, England, etc will easily draw 20k+ for a test.

The biggest advantage British Rugby League has going for it in a place like NA is it's history and perceived elite status.  

I am 100% convinced top flight rugby league can work in Canada long term commercially.  I am way less convinced it can work in the United States which is why I am always surprised at Rugby Rugby league's obsession with the US, both in England and Down Under.

I think this is an excellent point.

I remember the Toronto fans on here were excited about playing Batley and Hunslet because they are traditional rugby league teams. 

People forget they had large crowds for these games at Toronto also. 

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1 hour ago, Niels said:

I think this is an excellent point.

I remember the Toronto fans on here were excited about playing Batley and Hunslet because they are traditional rugby league teams. 

People forget they had large crowds for these games at Toronto also. 

There is massive affection here for all the traditional heartland teams..you simply had to attend one of the Friday night rave ups at Northern Maverick hosted by the TWP for visiting fans..we helped them put their team flags up over the bar and hoisted pint after pint together. If you werent convinced RL had a place in Canada before you came I bet you were on the flight home..if Elstone had bothered to show up to one he'd be singing a different tune to the one he sings now. Just ask Matt Shaw or Simmo.. they were there...just too bad some of the SL teams supporters never got the chance.

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7 hours ago, CanadianRugger said:

You underestimate the cultural value of the British teams in a place like Canada.  You see this in Canadian Rugby Union, where a game against big bad ole Uncle Sam will struggle to break 5 digits but a game against Wales, Ireland, Scotland, NZ Maori, England, etc will easily draw 20k+ for a test.

The biggest advantage British Rugby League has going for it in a place like NA is it's history and perceived elite status.  

I am 100% convinced top flight rugby league can work in Canada long term commercially.  I am way less convinced it can work in the United States which is why I am always surprised at Rugby Rugby league's obsession with the US, both in England and Down Under.

I’m not surprised by this, and for me it’s best highlighted by the fact Coronation Street, a soap entrenched in the north of England, as parochial a TV show you can get, actually has an audience in Canada. I thought the furthest a show like that (a northern kitchen sink drama) could travel would be Ireland (where I am, as culturally the UK and Ireland are basically the same), so to find out it was watched in Canada was a bit of an eye opener when I first heard. Anne of Green Gables, parochial from a Canadian standpoint, was enormous here, so there must some shared cultural way of life. 

6 hours ago, Big Picture said:

Can that perceived elite status survive Canadians discovering just how small time the "Super League" is though?  Likely not for too long.

The protectionism of the game here is understandable. I didn’t know that much about Rugby League’s history until about five years ago, and then read an article by Jonathan Liew (think that’s how it’s spelt). He wrote about the doomsday attitude of many RL fans, a feeling as though the sport is endangered. I was shocked as I had no idea of the history and the fight it has faced for survival basically. Expansion is a constant theme...expand or die an often repeated phrase. But because so many expansion attempts haven’t worked there is a heightened sense of wariness of any new venture. There is also the fear of diluting the “heartlands” by having teams from outside. So it’s a constant battle of knowing what’s the best way forward. 

I’ve mainly followed the Premier League most of my life so all this protectionism stuff or constant worry about the game’s future is a completely new subject for me. I’ve never known a sport to focus so much on its survival, and what can be done to help it grow. Many RL followers talk about that as much (or even more) as their own teams results. When you read what the sport has gone through though you understand why.

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1 hour ago, DC77 said:

I’m not surprised by this, and for me it’s best highlighted by the fact Coronation Street, a soap entrenched in the north of England, as parochial a TV show you can get, actually has an audience in Canada. I thought the furthest a show like that (a northern kitchen sink drama) could travel would be Ireland (where I am, as culturally the UK and Ireland are basically the same), so to find out it was watched in Canada was a bit of an eye opener when I first heard. Anne of Green Gables, parochial from a Canadian standpoint, was enormous here, so there must some shared cultural way of life. 

Not to get too of topic but I moved into a new flat in Toronto about 15 years ago and while the cable TV company was setting up my cable, they had disconnect the middle aged Canada man’s illegal set up above me. Later that day he was knocking on my doors in tears as he didn’t know what happened to his cable and he would missed that night’s episode of Corrie. 

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9 hours ago, TIWIT said:

So the Toronto matter will be settled one way or the other by then.

I still think Sky's decision holds a lot of weight. Do they perceive TWP as an asset to SL, and Not just in the sense that they could sell broadcast rights here for more.

But rather that the presence of Toronto makes SL seem more, well, super. They could become the signature team, the Barcelona, Man U, NY Yankees, dare I say it, the Toronto Maple Leafs... teams that have the largest fan bases but are also hated. Their fans tune in to watch them win; even more tune in to watch them lose.

And that is the value to Sky - or any other broadcaster. Love 'em or hate 'em, people watch them.

Obviously it's been pretty limited so far, but their figures are no better than anyone else, pretty much in the pack. 

One of the advantages so far has been them paying their own coverage and giving Sky free content, it'll be interesting to understand the plans for that going forward. 

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37 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Obviously it's been pretty limited so far, but their figures are no better than anyone else, pretty much in the pack. 

One of the advantages so far has been them paying their own coverage and giving Sky free content, it'll be interesting to understand the plans for that going forward. 

I think SL has just booted it down the road so everyone will either be preoccupied or have lost interest Dave and if Brexit ( sorry to mention this!) taught us anything it's only the permanently angry who never lose interest.

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" .......means always being with the oppressed and never the oppressors."-- Marek Edelman

 

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Make no wonder the game in the  UK is in such a poor state.The guys running the show are so indecisive.The decision to allow  the WP back into SL should have been made last week.Here we are having to wait another month.

There is  nothing to be lost by letting them in.They are averaging crowds of 8,000 and building where in Sl  a number of teams don't  get gates like that and the ones that do are losing ground.

Just hope that  the clubs getting WPs share of the tv money, isn't the decider of not letting them back in.

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12 hours ago, lucky 7 said:

IF i was a Super League chairman i would want proof that Robert Elstone is worth the money he's being paid as i see no evidence of it yet.

Elstone is perfectly correct in wanting LiVolsi to dot all i's and cross all the t's, I for one would not have give him another chance. 

The opportunity that LiVolsi was given to make a presentation of sufficient quality to entice the SL bosses to re-admit Toronto into their division was the most important one he had to produce and deliver, given that he approched it by his own admission 'half heartedly" speaks volumes of the man's demeanour, manner and attitude that he is used to getting his own way, I would be very apprehensive of this guy going forward.

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25 minutes ago, frank said:

Make no wonder the game in the  UK is in such a poor state.The guys running the show are so indecisive.The decision to allow  the WP back into SL should have been made last week.Here we are having to wait another month.

There is  nothing to be lost by letting them in.They are averaging crowds of 8,000 and building where in Sl  a number of teams don't  get gates like that and the ones that do are losing ground.

Just hope that  the clubs getting WPs share of the tv money, isn't the decider of not letting them back in.

We would be in a far worse state with your approach of just letting them in irrespective of their submission. 

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1 minute ago, Harry Stottle said:

So do you think that Sky would want 27 games involving TWP that have little consequence for one of the teams if they are defeated or not, LiVolsi says no relegation or no Wolfpack. 

Do you have evidence of that Harry? Asking for something isn't the same as an ultimatum. 

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8 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Do you have evidence of that Harry? Asking for something isn't the same as an ultimatum. 

The way I heard it from Elstone on TV last Friday sounded very much like an ultimatum, further to what I said about Livolsi's attitude I think that he believed SL really needs TWP other than the other way around hence his lacksadaisical attitude to his submission. If it had been a commercial proposal and he was in competition with other companies to secure the buisness the address I believe would have been far better presented, hence no I cannot produce any evidence other than quoting Elstone but it seems to be a good fit with Livolsi's attitude.

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12 hours ago, Kayakman said:

Elstone clearly is the problem....the big clubs are for Toronto and everybody is waiting on Sky.   Sky will be calling the shots on this one eventually.

Another thought. 

K'man, last season the jeapordy aspect in SL created a lot of interest that SKY latched onto giving the broadcaster much more content to 'air' than just the the race for the top gong, SKY in my opinion would be absolutely stupid to alienate half of the division from the content that would be available to them by agreeing to let P&R go, no getting away from the fact as you intimate that they are the paymasters so would you not agree they would want to create the best schedules available? TWP involved in a relegation battle would without doubt create interest for any individual if they are a fan or otherwise, LiVolsi apparently thinks that he can call the shots to SL and SKY on this issue.

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42 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

The way I heard it from Elstone on TV last Friday sounded very much like an ultimatum, further to what I said about Livolsi's attitude I think that he believed SL really needs TWP other than the other way around hence his lacksadaisical attitude to his submission. If it had been a commercial proposal and he was in competition with other companies to secure the buisness the address I believe would have been far better presented, hence no I cannot produce any evidence other than quoting Elstone but it seems to be a good fit with Livolsi's attitude.

Thanks. My personal view is that he is aware that there will be a negotiation. Asking for the earth is a good starting point from his point of view, I suppose we will see over time who is prepared to be pragmatic.

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33 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Another thought. 

K'man, last season the jeapordy aspect in SL created a lot of interest that SKY latched onto giving the broadcaster much more content to 'air' than just the the race for the top gong, SKY in my opinion would be absolutely stupid to alienate half of the division from the content that would be available to them by agreeing to let P&R go, no getting away from the fact as you intimate that they are the paymasters so would you not agree they would want to create the best schedules available? TWP involved in a relegation battle would without doubt create interes for any individual be they be a fan or otherwise, LiVolsi apparently thinks that he can call the shots to SL and SKY on this issue.

Could be Harry but you might be reading too much into it...this thing has more twists and turns than a racoon in a cornfield.

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Just now, Kayakman said:

Could be Harry but you might be reading too much into it...this thing has more twists and turns than a ###### in a cornfield.

cant believe the sweary filter blocked out "Theresa May"... 

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3 minutes ago, Kayakman said:

I was using the short form of racoon and the filter blocked it!

probably for the best, as i assume it has the same meaning over there (if its the shortened version i am thinking of)..

Edited by RP London
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