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The General 'Toronto Wolfpack' Discussion Thread


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55 minutes ago, TIWIT said:

Magic Weekend down under? Who pay for that pray tell?

Funding model similar to now, tourist board/local councils, sponsors and media deal. 

In other words, you get others to fund it. Wigan and Hull's tour over there was good in principle, but SL could have been bolder. 

We get others to pay all the time, whether it is Sky, sponsors, individual investors, etc. 

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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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1 hour ago, Damien said:

There are things that could be done and decisions that could be made that aren't. I don't see any reason why Toulouse couldn't have been in Super League years ago in the way Catalans were. They seem well funded, maybe this could have been done without them taking TV money like Toronto. Catalans TV share could have been halved with Toulouse and Catalans taking half each. There are huge spin offs for Catalans and the French game which would have helped with this shortfall. More French teams would hopefully produce more TV streams through a French TV deal and increased sponsorship. A competitive 3 match mid series v France, with increased French strength in depth, would also have off set this cost and benefitted England and the international game. This is where we get into speculate to accumulate territory but I personally see little risk and a lot of upside. France should be the priority for quick, easy gains and should have been done in a more meaningful and concerted way a long time ago.

This season every club got Toronto's share. That was £1.8 million for expansion right there. How many development officers could that funded? Probably about 25 for 4 years or so. With the new TV deal every club got an extra £500,000, that could have been just an extra £400,000 with the £100,000 going towards development. Where there is a will there is a way. In RL all too often there isn't that will and there is too much self interest.

I can completely see Dave's argument with Toronto, on what the deal was etc, and I have sympathy for it. I however think we are now where we are and I would hate to see all of that good work wasted. I also have a lot of sympathy for those against North America expansion. I myself would much prefer the development of a North American league. If Toronto survive and New York and Ottawa come to fruition for me it is much more preferable for them to try and get more cities on board in that area and develop a league there. I would love to see a 3rd full time RL competition. Again though beggars cant be choosers and that isn't what was on offer. Maybe what has happened could change things. I don't see though how Toronto wasn't a good thing for the game and the opportunity was too good to pass up. It came money free and risk free to the game. I think only the most ardent anti-TWP person would say they wasn't a success, with crowds way beyond expectations and more innovation in a few years than I have seen in RL in decades. It took a once in a lifetime event to put them in the position they are now.

So many things here, perhaps a summary of why things go wrong.

I totally agree with your point about development officers. The money spent there, rather than going to clubs as an extra share, could have helped safeguard the games future, and allow grass roots expansion, instead the clubs get the money to blow on another over the hill import.

France really needs 2 SL teams, that way you can build a rivalry, offer TV a home game every week and commercially promote the game there like never before. 
 

A NA league would be nice, but don’t ever think it will happen, the US will be really tough to crack and the continent is so vast the sheer cost of travel needs to be underwritten by someone, plus without TV it will be difficult to survive, so back to sugar daddies and I agree with Dave T on that one, when they get involved it never turns out well. Especially American sugar daddies, who often want to change the whole game to suit them (just look how whenever a US sports team wants a new stadium or arena, the end result is either the sugar daddy blackmailing the city taxpayers into paying, or the team gets moved).

TWP a success? Difficult to say, crowd wise definitely, development of the game from a playing point of view definitely not. Plus there has been a whole range of off field admin issues from the visa fiasco to poor salary cap management to supplier payments missed. Much of this however could have been averted with a better calibre of off field administration in place and has to be something that is top of the list to be addressed if TWP is allowed back. Of course we will never know how many of those issues were born out of Argyles management style, hopefully the new ownership will be different.

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NRL.com...today...abridged

https://www.nrl.com/news/2020/10/28/sbw-joins-refugee-campaign-as-he-waits-for-wolfpack-call/

Williams played five games for Sydney Roosters at the end of the season after the Wolfpack withdrew from the Super League due to COVID-19 restrictions but is committed to the Canadian club if they are allowed to rejoin the competition next season.

A decision is expected as soon as Friday, with each of the other 11 Super League clubs to decide their fate after prospective new owner Carlo LiVolsi tabled a new submission on the Wolfpack’s viability if they were permitted to return in 2021.

LiVolsi has promised to cover unpaid wages and honour contracts for all players, including Williams and Ricky Leutele, who joined Melbourne after the Wolfpack withdrew from the Super League.

Despite proving in the 22-18 semi-final loss to Canberra that he can still make an impact in the NRL with a 38-minute performance that included three off-loads, a try-assist, a tackle-break and a line-break assist, Williams will not consider any other options until the Wolfpack’s future is determined.

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1 hour ago, ATLANTISMAN said:

Magic Weekend in New Zealand your having a laugh:)

On a serious note there is not the money there try getting money out of New Zealand for sponsorship its almost impossible the ALL BLACKS made/make most of their money from NIKE.

The prices for sports sponsorship TV in NZ are peanuts Australia does a brilliant job considering how small the population is Canada is reasonable but most of the money is Toronto centric on major league American sports although the CFL does pretty well for TV viewing but is mainly funded by paying spectators.

 

Paul

Wasn't my idea - it was Dave T's above. I am pretty dubious but he seems to think it could be done so who knows?

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1 hour ago, ATLANTISMAN said:

Magic Weekend in New Zealand your having a laugh:)

On a serious note there is not the money there try getting money out of New Zealand for sponsorship its almost impossible the ALL BLACKS made/make most of their money from NIKE.

The prices for sports sponsorship TV in NZ are peanuts Australia does a brilliant job considering how small the population is Canada is reasonable but most of the money is Toronto centric on major league American sports although the CFL does pretty well for TV viewing but is mainly funded by paying spectators.

 

Paul

My post said Oz/NZ. Tiwits said Down Under. 

I also recall you being extremely confident that the HJ would not be used for SL because of advertising boards. You were quite certain 😉

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8 hours ago, Dave T said:

Money can be routed where we want, based on what we prioritise. 

As has been pointed out, previous attempts were at least pro-active, even if poorly executed. And its not an issue if this will be privately funded, that would be part of the remit. 

You are right, that is a professional approach. However, I'd like to know how that "re-routing of money to expansion" line would go down with many SL Chairmen.

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4 minutes ago, ojx said:

You are right, that is a professional approach. However, I'd like to know how that "re-routing of money to expansion" line would go down with many SL Chairmen.

Yep its not an easy sell for cash strapped clubs, but that's where a strong leader can get people into their vision. 

I often make the point that we have admitted plenty of teams over the years, done half assed things like Magic on a seemingly random basis, played on the road - having a % ring-fenced for development of the game outside of the existing game boundaries should be a priority IMHO. 

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7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Yep its not an easy sell for cash strapped clubs, but that's where a strong leader can get people into their vision. 

I often make the point that we have admitted plenty of teams over the years, done half assed things like Magic on a seemingly random basis, played on the road - having a % ring-fenced for development of the game outside of the existing game boundaries should be a priority IMHO. 

I agree and I actually think the game suffers from being too democratic at times. In principle everyone having an equal say is great but it does lead to stagnation and a protection of the status quo. Both aren't really that great for the position that Rugby League is in. Yes the game is old but in many ways we are a developing sport rather than a mature one. We need a strong leader that has the power to push through some of these things rather than simply relying on clubs whose interests are often at contrast with what is best for the game and competition.

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5 hours ago, Scubby said:

Are they trying to filibuster the Wolfpack into submission? Whether they get the green light or not, this leaves them next to no time to get ready for 2021. Something has to be decided asap. 

What makes you think SL will happen in 2021?

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5 hours ago, Dave T said:

Lenegan's comments were interesting in the fact he also talked about the game in Oz, which was apparently going to be the biggest and most important commercial deal in Wigan's history. 

It didn't turn out that way, and he spent no more money on it. There are parallels here. 

By the way, I'd absolutely push for a Magic Weekend in Oz/NZ to try and push TV rights value in those territories. 

If I remember rightly I think Wigan made a loss of that ridiculous venture,I was at the dinner when Radlinski was selling the idea I thought it daft then and still do a few years on, sometimes because it looks a good idea on a powerpoint presentation doesn't always go to plan in the real world.

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13 hours ago, Robin Evans said:

Toronto cost me a small fortune which went down just fabulous with the memsahib,  but it really was a cracking experience. I loved the city.... not quite as much as Vancouver 

Goes without saying! Vancouvers hard to beat, if you can afford it.

I just hope that international leisure travel can be back someday soon, although it’s not looking too good right now.

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3 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

What makes you think SL will happen in 2021?

Got to say I have my doubts too, even if it does there’s no way on earth Toronto can be ready to step back in, too many players to recruit and still a lot to sort out regarding the off field structures. If we are going to be realistic they would be much better off returning in 2022, by which time they should be better set up, both on and off the field, plus there’s more likelihood that games with fans could actually be happening in Canada by then. Again I know it’s a different sport, but it has relevance here, my eldest sons university gridiron team are being told that there’s a chance games with fans COULD return, still with limited capacity, by early fall 2021, now if that applies to all sports then TWP would either have to accept no games in Canada for most of the 2021 season, or just wait till 2022. I think I know what I might want to do, especially as TWP couldn’t field a 9’s team right now, and there’s not many months before the 2021 season would be due to start.

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9 hours ago, briggyq said:

If I remember rightly I think Wigan made a loss of that ridiculous venture,I was at the dinner when Radlinski was selling the idea I thought it daft then and still do a few years on, sometimes because it looks a good idea on a powerpoint presentation doesn't always go to plan in the real world.

It's a good example of something that could have been a good idea as part of an ongoing strategy but just done on a whim because an individual investor (in this case NSW tourist board) puts money up, it won't work. 

I think international rights are a real weakness of our game. We pretty much don't have other territories interested to sell TV rights to. We don't have a coherent strategy to tap into these markets. We know the most valuable RL market in the world is Oz, if we actually tried to serve that market we may be able to get a tiny part of that. France and Canada should also be aggressively 'wooed' if we are going to have teams in those territories. 

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11 hours ago, Damien said:

I agree and I actually think the game suffers from being too democratic at times. In principle everyone having an equal say is great but it does lead to stagnation and a protection of the status quo. Both aren't really that great for the position that Rugby League is in. Yes the game is old but in many ways we are a developing sport rather than a mature one. We need a strong leader that has the power to push through some of these things rather than simply relying on clubs whose interests are often at contrast with what is best for the game and competition.

And this is the crux of the point i was trying to make. 

I agree with much of your previous post too but the answer to why these things dont happen is this.. why did the TV money go to SL clubs and not a "central pot", because SL Chairmen look after themselves and not the game. Why did Tolouse not come in like Catalans? because the SL Chairmen look after themselves and not the game. and we can go on and on.. 

I am not blaming SL Chairmen for this, they do have to look after their clubs, that is their priority and their job. Whether they are right or not is open to debate as some of these developments would potentially help raise the clubs up and help them make more money.. but that is a debate for another day. 

All of this, though, is why i say there needs to be an Expansion director at the RFL.. they are the people that have to drive this, they are the body that has to look into where we go and have a plan. IF the RFL were to turn around to SL and say.. "right the plan is that we are going to look to expand here and here, we're going to talk to the local authorities and put together a funding model to get teams in place, we're going to get people on board with some cash and business acumen to help run it. We will set up 2-3 amateur clubs around the area with teams at every age group and we're going to speak to the LEAs to get into the schools etc.... " they start to prove the concept and THEN when money becomes available they turn around and say "can we have 500k and it will really push this forward.. look at what we have done with very little so far.." then they may get somewhere. 

At the moment if they had gone to the SL chairmen and said "you know that £1.4m... can we have it to employ DOs" the questions fly back with Where, why, what are they going to do... do they RFL have a plan? it certainly doesnt seem like it.. 

The SL Chairmen should look to develop expansion territories themselves (salford looking at wales for example) but for the majority its hand to mouth and they have to take care of their own first and that is totally understandable.. The expansion areas are long term gain and that is what the governing body should be planning for. 

The RFL need to get a plan and take people with them otherwise we will be saying this again in 10 years time (and then again and again) because the SL club have enough to worry about from day to day without trying to plan for expansion as well.

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This week’s episode of the Forty Twenty podcast is all about TWP, quite a good listen. It’s certainly reinforced my view that if SL turn them down (or even accept them but give them a points deduction / don’t give them their share of TV money) they don’t have the interest of the future of the game at heart. Absolutely their own club should be their main priority but in the medium term having Toronto in could benefit them massively. 

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

It's a good example of something that could have been a good idea as part of an ongoing strategy but just done on a whim because an individual investor (in this case NSW tourist board) puts money up, it won't work. 

I think international rights are a real weakness of our game. We pretty much don't have other territories interested to sell TV rights to. We don't have a coherent strategy to tap into these markets. We know the most valuable RL market in the world is Oz, if we actually tried to serve that market we may be able to get a tiny part of that. France and Canada should also be aggressively 'wooed' if we are going to have teams in those territories. 

You can add Wigan's "London" venture to that too from a few years ago. Played Catalans (?) at Milwall trying to grow the brand and never repeated it. 

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2 minutes ago, Scubby said:

You can add Wigan's "London" venture to that too from a few years ago. Played Catalans (?) at Milwall trying to grow the brand and never repeated it. 

That was them dressing it up as some sort of marketing plan when they’d just been booted out of their own ground and had nowhere to play. 

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22 minutes ago, Eddie said:

This week’s episode of the Forty Twenty podcast is all about TWP, quite a good listen. It’s certainly reinforced my view that if SL turn them down (or even accept them but give them a points deduction / don’t give them their share of TV money) they don’t have the interest of the future of the game at heart. Absolutely their own club should be their main priority but in the medium term having Toronto in could benefit them massively. 

Want to explain why Toronto not being re-admitted “doesn’t have the interest of the future of the game at heart”?

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31 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Absolutely their own club should be their main priority but in the medium term having Toronto in could benefit them massively. 

Could you tell us a bit more about this rather vague claim?

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

This week’s episode of the Forty Twenty podcast is all about TWP, quite a good listen. It’s certainly reinforced my view that if SL turn them down (or even accept them but give them a points deduction / don’t give them their share of TV money) they don’t have the interest of the future of the game at heart. Absolutely their own club should be their main priority but in the medium term having Toronto in could benefit them massively. 

Was it a debate from both angles, or a group of TWP sympathisers patting each other on the back?

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"Nothing to lose by readmitting Toronto Wolfpack - let’s see what can be achieved"

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/toronto-wolfpack-super-league-future-4557656

"Peacock – rated one of the greatest players in Super League history – said Toronto had “cut through in a way that others haven’t’’.

“They have built a fanbase and a strong brand from nothing.’’

He said Toronto, as a destination, could attract casual fans.

“The more places you can watch rugby league, the better.’’

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/league/122932389/super-league-star-warns-against-dumping-sonny-bill-williams-toronto-club

Against the backdrop of covid these seem optimistic, against the backcloth of enthusiasm for finding fault and looking backwards they appear even worse. If the pandemic has taught us anything, apart from hiw to spell pandemic, it is that vague arguments and guesses about the future are all there is.

I admit I feel a bit odd as I've watched my last game of RL but still post.

Edited by Oxford

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

 

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6 minutes ago, Oxford said:

"Nothing to lose by readmitting Toronto Wolfpack - let’s see what can be achieved"

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/toronto-wolfpack-super-league-future-4557656

"Peacock – rated one of the greatest players in Super League history – said Toronto had “cut through in a way that others haven’t’’.

“They have built a fanbase and a strong brand from nothing.’’

He said Toronto, as a destination, could attract casual fans.

“The more places you can watch rugby league, the better.’’

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/league/122932389/super-league-star-warns-against-dumping-sonny-bill-williams-toronto-club

Against the backdrop of covid these seem optimistic, against the backcloth of enthusiasm for finding fault and looking backwards they appear even worse. If the pandemic has taught us anything, apart from hiw to spell pandemic, it is that vague arguments and guesses about the future are all there is.

I admit I feel a bit odd as I've watched my last game of RL but still post.

pity it hasn't taught you how to spell "how" 😜

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