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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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1 hour ago, Big Picture said:

Could they afford the severance and the cost of hiring new staff though?

Problem is that often in RL the off field and back office positions are more jobs for the boys rather than people hired for their skills, Lewis was probably the last hire who had a track record and until appointments reflect ability rather than connections nothing much will change.

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19 hours ago, Damien said:

An interesting article in the Sun that raises yet more questions about this decision. I would like to know a lot more about this report because anything I have heard so far doesn't stand up to any scrutiny at all:

But one of them, commercial vice-president Jon Pallett, slammed the decision and its effects, particularly an independent report that found there was no commercial benefit of having a team in Canada, even though TV rights there were thought to have already been sold before they were promoted.

Questions over the role of Andy Anson and Matthew Wheeler in compiling it – and any links they have from Elstone’s time in football – have been raised. Wheeler refused to comment when approached by SunSport.

Pallett said: “This was positioned as an independent report, however it was produced using only two external contributors, both being based in the UK and both being former business associates of Super League executives.

“Super League have been clear on their desire that the Wolfpack not be re-admitted for a number of months now and the report was used to instruct other clubs to vote against.

“Clearly there were some financial issues before the pandemic. However, I genuinely believe that the greatly increased revenue from a Super League season, along with additional investment that would have come from shareholders, means the team would have been able to navigate those challenges.

“I personally do not feel the extent of these pandemic related issues was considered. The voting process to exclude the Wolfpack was indicative of the wider issues I personally feel rugby league faces at this time.

“I cannot help but feel that the decision will always be looked back on as a massive missed opportunity for the sport.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/13109532/some-of-the-numbers-in-toronto-wolfpacks-failed-super-league-bid-revealed/

See the thing about reports such as this Damien is there are those who want to hang off every word and believe it wholeheartedly, conversely there are those who take it as journalistic sensationalism and take it with a pinch of salt.

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4 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

See the thing about reports such as this Damien is there are those who want to hang off every word and believe it wholeheartedly, conversely there are those who take it as journalistic sensationalism and take it with a pinch of salt.

Indeed. Odd that you have never took that attitude about a negative Toronto report though.

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18 hours ago, Big Picture said:

Yes you can call them Toronto and New York, just as you can call big soccer clubs Manchester, Liverpool, FC Barelona, Paris Saint-Germain etc. regardless of how many foreign players they have.  The name is from where they are based, not where their players are from.

It may have escaped you BP, but those clubs you mention have the whole wide world of round ball players to choose from how many millions that constitutes I don't know,  measure that figure with available RL player's and you can see the problems we have, I am all for expansion but where I differ from you and Michael, Tommy, Damien et al is expansion in RL must no if's or but's encompass encourage and promote participation levels, new teams in new area's must mean new player's obviously in time.

We simply cannot support 3 new teams across the Atlantic with our present resources, not without present teams going to the wall to make way for them so allowing the same group of players to move around.

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15 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

It may have escaped you BP, but those clubs you mention have the whole wide world of round ball players to choose from how many millions that constitutes I don't know,  measure that figure with available RL player's and you can see the problems we have, I am all for expansion but where I differ from you and Michael, Tommy, Damien et al is expansion in RL must no if's or but's encompass encourage and promote participation levels, new teams in new area's must mean new player's obviously in time.

We simply cannot support 3 new teams across the Atlantic with our present resources, not without present teams going to the wall to make way for them so allowing the same group of players to move around.

The same old arguments about players which we heard with Toronto. They got the players and no one noticed any difference. The players loved it, loved the experience and loved the very good money and additional full time opportunities. Yes queue the jibes about players not getting paid.

Yes teams should be looking to develop the game and develop players. I don't doubt or question that at all. At the very least if there were 3 teams they should each be setting up 3 teams in a domestic league to provide players and a pathway. However getting a source of players initially is absolutely no issue. You could source 3 teams from Australia and NZ quite easily and not touch an English player. As is plenty of lower league English player who were part time loved the additional opportunities and/or chances to play at a higher level.

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18 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

It may have escaped you BP, but those clubs you mention have the whole wide world of round ball players to choose from how many millions that constitutes I don't know,  measure that figure with available RL player's and you can see the problems we have, I am all for expansion but where I differ from you and Michael, Tommy, Damien et al is expansion in RL must no if's or but's encompass encourage and promote participation levels, new teams in new area's must mean new player's obviously in time.

We simply cannot support 3 new teams across the Atlantic with our present resources, not without present teams going to the wall to make way for them so allowing the same group of players to move around.

Harry if the situation is so dire the solution is obvious. Cut off every team below Super league that is not in its own Council area or doesn't run an academy. The immense pressure on the player pool will be alleviated!

Or is it that such a simplistic and tunnel visioned approach to player numbers isn't productive at all?

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3 minutes ago, Damien said:

The same old arguments about players which we heard with Toronto. They got the players and no one noticed any difference. The players loved it, loved the experience and loved the very good money and additional full time opportunities. Yes queue the jibes about players not getting paid.

Yes teams should be looking to develop the game and develop players. I don't doubt or question that at all. At the very least if there were 3 teams they should each be setting up 3 teams in a domestic league to provide players and a pathway. However getting a source of players initially is absolutely no issue. You could source 3 teams from Australia and NZ quite easily and not touch an English player. As is plenty of lower league English player who were part time loved the additional opportunities and/or chances to play at a higher level.

Citing a lack of players to argue against expansion is a strange argument given the swathes of young talented players who have been given their chance this season.

In normal times how many of those young players would be lost after being stuck on the sidelines for a few years unable to unseat some expensive import.

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But is the most important word isn't it ?

I do love when someone writes a thesis on here with tons of positive sentiments all qualified with a three letter word.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Damien said:

The same old arguments about players which we heard with Toronto. They got the players and no one noticed any difference. The players loved it, loved the experience and loved the very good money and additional full time opportunities. Yes queue the jibes about players not getting paid.

Yes teams should be looking to develop the game and develop players. I don't doubt or question that at all. At the very least if there were 3 teams they should each be setting up 3 teams in a domestic league to provide players and a pathway. However getting a source of players initially is absolutely no issue. You could source 3 teams from Australia and NZ quite easily and not touch an English player. As is plenty of lower league English player who were part time loved the additional opportunities and/or chances to play at a higher level.

And all of that is before we consider the effect of teams like Toronto raising the sport's profile and thereby inspiring more young guys to start playing as a consequence, not only in Canada but also in Britain.

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I think people are mixing up two questions:

1) Would having a strong, viable toronto team in SL be a good thing?

2) Is this a strong, viable proposal to achieve that?

I would answer absolutely yes to question 1.  But you cannot have question 1 without question 2.  As someone who reviews business plans for a living, I must say the covering letter from LiVosi inspires zero confidence.  The fact that it opens by effectively saying "OK, I've now had a look at the numbers and fed in my ideas" is quite remarkable as it implies he hadn't bothered previously.

There is also the unsubstantiated jam tomorrow blurb around Wolf Grooming that you see all the time from people desperately trying to justify something that on the face of it doesn't make any sense.

I hope one day we can get a yes answer to question 2 but there is nothing at all to suggest that this is it.

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2 minutes ago, FearTheVee said:

I think people are mixing up two questions:

1) Would having a strong, viable toronto team in SL be a good thing?

2) Is this a strong, viable proposal to achieve that?

I would answer absolutely yes to question 1.  But you cannot have question 1 without question 2.  As someone who reviews business plans for a living, I must say the covering letter from LiVosi inspires zero confidence.  The fact that it opens by effectively saying "OK, I've now had a look at the numbers and fed in my ideas" is quite remarkable as it implies he hadn't bothered previously.

There is also the unsubstantiated jam tomorrow blurb around Wolf Grooming that you see all the time from people desperately trying to justify something that on the face of it doesn't make any sense.

I hope one day we can get a yes answer to question 2 but there is nothing at all to suggest that this is it.

Or completely forgetting the 3rd question, should Super League be helping to have a strong, viable Toronto team in SL rather than doing all it can to hinder one?

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1 minute ago, Damien said:

Or completely forgetting the 3rd question, should Super League be helping to have a strong, viable Toronto team in SL rather than doing all it can to hinder one?

That presumes that SL can afford to provide that help, when they evidently can't afford it because SL is such a poor hand-to-mouth operation that they only want to give whomever they promote for next year half a share of the central distribution.  If FTV is right about the poor quality of LiVolsi's bid and that was the only (or the best) bid put forward, that simply underscores that Eric Pérez's concept of teams over here playing in the RFL structure isn't viable.

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13 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

That presumes that SL can afford to provide that help, when they evidently can't afford it because SL is such a poor hand-to-mouth operation that they only want to give whomever they promote for next year half a share of the central distribution.  If FTV is right about the poor quality of LiVolsi's bid and that was the only (or the best) bid put forward, that simply underscores that Eric Pérez's concept of teams over here playing in the RFL structure isn't viable.

I'm not talking about just now. I'm talking about going back the last year. I think few would question that £1.8 million more would have made a huge difference this year. Another £1.8 million would have made a big difference next year too. SL weren't exactly bending over backwards regarding fixtures at the start of the year and took long enough to even give them the nod in the first place. None of Elstone's comments have been positive and most have been carefully crafted to portray a negative impact. There are loads of examples. All we've had is a series of actions from Elstone, and those clubs that didn't want Toronto in the first place, to align to a self fulfilling prophecy .

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54 minutes ago, Damien said:

Or completely forgetting the 3rd question, should Super League be helping to have a strong, viable Toronto team in SL rather than doing all it can to hinder one?

Again - you are mixing up your third question about SL helping with the real questions about support which should be:

1) is this a potentially viable proposition worthy of risk capital from us, (or are we just throwing money at something that layers on costs to the clubs, whilst in operation, will inevitably fail and in doing so not just lose that money but create additional potential losses and destabilise the competition), and

2) if we are happy that 1 is satisfied, can we afford it anyway?

You act as if the only consideration is would it be nice to have a team in Toronto and if so, everyone should just pretend that a yet to be launched grooming brand is certain to support it with its success.

And when it all fell apart I'm sure you would also be the first to say SL is a farce for believing this pie in the sky and not asking for proof of funds before saying yes.

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2 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

Harry if the situation is so dire the solution is obvious. Cut off every team below Super league that is not in its own Council area or doesn't run an academy. The immense pressure on the player pool will be alleviated!

Or is it that such a simplistic and tunnel visioned approach to player numbers isn't productive at all?

Or is it you have your head in the sand when it comes to player availability.

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9 minutes ago, FearTheVee said:

Again - you are mixing up your third question about SL helping with the real questions about support which should be:

1) is this a potentially viable proposition worthy of risk capital from us, (or are we just throwing money at something that layers on costs to the clubs, whilst in operation, will inevitably fail and in doing so not just lose that money but create additional potential losses and destabilise the competition), and

2) if we are happy that 1 is satisfied, can we afford it anyway?

You act as if the only consideration is would it be nice to have a team in Toronto and if so, everyone should just pretend that a yet to be launched grooming brand is certain to support it with its success.

And when it all fell apart I'm sure you would also be the first to say SL is a farce for believing this pie in the sky and not asking for proof of funds before saying yes.

Well no , you are deciding what the questions should be based on your opinion and believing what you want to believe. As for the rest of your post it's quite clear what you believe so there is little point in continuing. 

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10 minutes ago, Damien said:

Well no , you are deciding what the questions should be based on your opinion and believing what you want to believe. As for the rest of your post it's quite clear what you believe so there is little point in continuing. 

If you think that there should be no critical assessment of prospects before saying yes and allocating funding then I agree.

Put simply, there is one of two things happening:

1) There is a solid and viable business plan that makes sense and is fully funded without magical assumptions about yet to be launched grooming brands.  If this is the case, I agree that SL is wrong to dismiss it; or

2) there is a heavily lossmaking business plan with hitherto undisclosed proof of funding and reliance on a speculative venture to make sense.  If this is the case, SL is right to dismiss it.

By campaigning that SL is being self interested and blind to opportunity, one is essentially buying into point 1.  That is fine, but there is zero proof that point 1 is correct.  There is a fair amount of noise that it isn't based on declining to show proof of funds until after a yes vote and basing a business plan on selling lots of Wolf branded moisturiser in Europe.

Lots of people (me included!) want to believe there is a viable plan, but if we are truly honest with ourselves we would probably accept that no realistic sales of Wolf branded moisturiser are going to turn this into a viable proposition and therefore without cast iron proof of funds and a believeable business plan - it's a non-starter.

That's before considering COVID and the current starting point of being based in York and maybe ending up in Toronto at some point.

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13 hours ago, Oldbear said:

I agree, but more than anything they would not want to see what happened after theTWP v  Fev play off game, when it seemed to take an eternity to decide that TWP could actually move up to SL. As I said, no point getting promoted twice then be told that you can’t come up, if anything the recent actions by SL clubs seem to be trending to a closed shop, which is bad news for everyone currently on the outside.

I don't think that Sky will allow a closed shop, the quality of SL is not enough alone to entice viewers, that being the case content comes into play, getting rid of jeapordy will be reducing the interesting content available, also no point in screening the race for promotion from the Championship, abandon P&R and reduce the interest by half.

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