Wolfpack face crucial week

Toronto Wolfpack will submit their revised application to Super League on Friday as the club prepares to learn its fate in the next fortnight.

After being given a four-week extension to work on their submission, the Wolfpack will lodge their application on Friday.

Prospective owner Carlo LiVolsi has had more input into the latest bid, which has been focused on financial forecasts and Covid contingency plans at the request of Super League.

“We touch base with him every day on one thing or another,” Chairman Bob Hunter said.

“We’re getting his blessing to approve what we’re saying and doing. A good part of that is the financials. I would say we’re 98% done on our financial forecasts and that’s one of the things the league wants to understand. The first couple of years will be significant on the assumption we’re back. Hopefully we’re going to be back in Canada next season, but Covid is going to dictate that. We certainly don’t want to, but if policy dictates then we have to cope with it.”

Since their inception, Toronto have played early-season ‘home’ games in the UK, which has aided their projections and logistical planning for a full year away from Canada, though that would inevitably have an adverse effect on their finances.

Season-tickets sales remain the club’s primary revenue stream by a considerable distance and easily outweigh the cost of travel and accommodation.

“It’s just about understanding the best financial arrangement,” added Hunter.

“We’ve looked at different options; we’ve been approached by some cities and towns to consider having them host us.

“I don’t want to sound like we’re not well prepared, but we’ve run a bunch of different models and versions. From past experience, we have an idea of where our revenue streams might be and what they are. But being away from Canada certainly isn’t to our advantage.”

On the playing front, Toronto are trying to prepare for the 2021 season despite currently having fewer than 17 players contracted.

Should they be welcomed back, Hunter confirmed they would spend close to the full salary cap spend.

“We have to be competitive; we have 15 or 16 players under contract for next year. We’ll want to enhance that and to get the calibre of player we need.

“There’s a couple of big decisions to be made. Sonny (Bill Williams) is obviously a big one. We hope that he will come back, but there are a number of other players we want to renew.

“Sonny is a unique case. We’ve indicated to his agent we would love to have him back.”

When D-Day does arrive, the future of the club will be in the hands of their Super League peers, who are split on the prospects of the Wolfpack.

“It’s like all organisations, we have a strong support group among certain teams and we’ve got others who don’t see the value, that we’re more or less unable to prove our value too. It’s really going to come down to a numbers game, either in our favour or not.

“I’m just glad we’re down to two weeks and I hope for a favourable decision. It’s been very challenging but exciting and you’ve got to believe what you’re selling. It’s a significant sport in a major market and we believe it has tremendous potential.”

The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.