Toronto Wolfpack

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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

Post by Quolls2019 »

Toronto Wolfpack game results “expunged” from 2020 Super League records.
Future still under discussion.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

Post by Terry »

I'd say the Wolfpack are done. It was always a massive gamble. Pretty amazing though that a bloke would plough $30M into it. I'd sure like to know what his actual motivation was.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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'No assurance': Wolfpack unsure if SBW will return next season
By Christian Nicolussi
July 25, 2020 — 7.15pm

The Australian billionaire owner of the Toronto Wolfpack says he can't guarantee Sonny Bill Williams will return for the second and final year of his $10 million deal.
And there will be no hard feelings should Williams elect to remain in Australia for 2021 to continue his career on the field or as a coach.
David Argyle was in the headlines this week when the Wolfpack, the team he has pumped more than $30 million into during the past three years, announced they had to pull out of the Super League for the rest of this year because of the "overwhelming financial challenges" posed by COVID-19.
Williams announced late on Friday he was flying back to Australia, and Argyle refused to second guess if his star signing would return.
"I have no assurance if Sonny does go to an NRL club that he will return in 2021," Argyle told The Sun-Herald.
"If he goes to an NRL club in 2020 and doesn't want to return in 2021, we'll accept that. But those decisions don't have to be made all at once.
"We don't have any assurances we'll be in the Super League next year and Sonny could say, 'I want to come back, but you guys are in the Championship and I don't want to spend a year in the Championship'. Therefore, we'd completely understand if he wanted to spend the last couple of good years in him playing at the top level rather than the Championship.
"We're flexible. There are a lot of moving pieces. I'll completely support a player saying, 'This is how I want to spend the next couple of years'. I'd be 100 per cent supportive.

"I couldn't envisage the situation where we'd be trying to enforce someone to be with a club when they didn't want to be here.

Argyle said he had not spoken with Williams or any of the players since a Zoom call at the start of the week when he confirmed they would not take part in the rescheduled Super League.
There have been whispers Toronto would be unable to afford to pay the second year of Williams' deal, especially with players still out of pocket for June and now July. Argyle, 59, did not deny he was struggling financially.
"The well is dry my friend," Argyle said. "Absolutely my wealth has been severely impacted [by COVID-19].
"It's a question of weathering the storm financially. It's not about my desire or will. My remaining assets are not liquid in today's market. If we didn't have COVID, we wouldn't have this problem. If we didn't have COVID, my private assets could be turned into cash.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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TORONTO — David Argyle has a dream. And he's looking for help to make it happen.
The majority owner of the Toronto Wolfpack reluctantly put his transatlantic rugby league team on the shelf Monday, at least for the 2020 season. The financial challenges of the global pandemic — and the prospect of not being able to play any home games this year — were too much for Argyle and his ownership group.
The cupboard was bare. Denied access to the lucrative TV money that other Super League franchises share, the Wolfpack missed payroll in June.
Despite a bottom line that has seen the ownership group pour $30 million into the Wolfpack since its inception, Argyle insists he is not done with the four-year-old franchise.

He believes the Wolfpack have established a beachhead in North America with their rise from English rugby's third tier to the elite Super League — as well as drawing worldwide attention by the signing of former All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams.
The goal-line is in sight, in his view. The Wolfpack just need a push. And that's where you come in, according to Argyle.
He is proposing turning the team into rugby's Green Bay Packers.
The NFL franchise has been a publicly owned, non-profit corporation since 1923. Today, after five stock sales, 361,311 people (representing 5,009,518 shares, including some 2,000 from Canada) are owners of the Packers.
The latest offering in 2011, which saw more than 269,000 shares sold at US$250 a pop, helped pay for the $146-million expansion of Lambeau Field.
Owning a piece of the NFL team is a labour of love. Packer shareholders do not receive a dividend on their investment, which doesn't appreciate and isn't traded on any exchange.
It does buy you access to the annual shareholders' meeting and a vote on new board members.
Argyle wants to eventually raise C$10 million at $100 a shot. The money will go to a non-profit vehicle — not him — to finance and safeguard the rugby team's future.
There is a caveat, however. He wants rugby league authorities — the Super League and Rugby Football League — to give the Wolfpack a vote (they are currently considered only an invitee at the table) and to give the team its share of the money from the Sky TV deal.
Under terms of the Wolfpack's entry agreement, they did not get that so-called central funding. The matter was supposed to be up for discussion this year but the pandemic took care of that.
Argyle says if those two conditions aren't met, he will refund any and all money supporters send in.
The central funding money is worth some 2.3 million pounds ($3.93 million) per team a season.
That essentially covers the salary cap of 2.1 million pounds ($3.58 million) although that number can grow given teams are allowed two marquee players whose salary cap hit is limited to 150,000 pounds ($256,030) per person.
Toronto's marquee men are Williams and Australian-born Samoan international centre Ricky Leutele.
Finding 100,000 people willing to donate $100 seems a tall order. But Argyle is looking around the world for help, citing the 800 million rugby followers around the globe, according to World Rugby.
He sees it as an investment in the sport.
"We are 3 1/2 years in. We have built a platform" said Argyle. "It has generated significant awareness in North America and around the world. And it's too early to call an end to the project.
"Because if rugby is truly going to become a global sport, it has to crack the North American market, which is the most lucrative sports market in the world."
Argyle points to the success of Major League Soccer. The signing of David Beckham put it on the map and the success of Toronto FC helped turn the league into a viable North American entity.
Argyle's hope is that rugby league authorities, who are meeting to decide his franchise's future in the wake of its sudden withdrawal this season, will realize that the North American team is worth keeping.
The Toronto franchise has already turned heads. Williams' signing generated more than 765 million online impressions, according to the Wolfpack.
As for the team's current situation, Argyle has personally guaranteed that his players will get paid. And the Toronto-based Australian is spending his hours working on getting captain Josh McCrone, Williams and four other imports home to Australia or New Zealand.
Argyle, whose day job is as a mining and natural resources entrepreneur specializing in emerging markets, has reached deep into his investments to get the team this far. Friends and family have also pitched in.
But now there are no more assets to sell off to keep the team going.
Argyle blames himself for the team stalling this season. But he is asking for rugby lovers to take a leap of faith — with a C-note in hand.
"You won't need to ask your financial adviser because this is a gut-and-heart decision, not a head decision," he said. "So as a global community-owned team, an expanded Green Bay Packer model, your membership — reflected through a share — will assist.
"There are 800 million-plus rugby fans in the world. We have endeavoured, tried, made great strides to achieve the goal but there's no more firepower in my corner to get us through this season let alone the following seasons. Which is my failure."
He says he needs help to buy time "to showcase a glorious game."
Asked if he believes rugby fans will buy into his dream, Argyle pauses. "I need to know the answer to that question."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 23, 2020.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

Post by pussycat »

#TorontoWolfpack founder Eric Perez says there are "7 or 8 very significant people" from current sports organisations who have approached him about buying his former club.


David Argyle to continue Toronto Wolfpack venture!

https://twitter.com/SkySportsRL


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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I believe their future is no longer in their hands.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

Post by NRL&NFLweLaughATafl »

They will be back in 2021. In some form.
I think the long term goal is to have a professional North American Rugby League comp.
The fact they are getting crowds of 8,000 with growing local team support shows our sport resonates with Canadians.

Something AFL has never been able to achieve outside Australia.


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Rugby League in Canada (Toronto Wolfpack)
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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Betfred Super League has terminated Toronto Wolfpack’s Super League Participation Agreement for the 2020 season following its withdrawal from the competition last month.

Super League’s action reflects the seriousness of the breach of contract by Toronto Wolfpack, which has impacted Super League and its member clubs.

The Wolfpack would now have to enter into a new Participation Agreement before being able to play in the competition in 2021.

As previously stated by Super League and The RFL, any application received from the Club will be given full and timely consideration.

BACKGROUND:

The Super League Participation Agreement, signed by Toronto Wolfpack in February, is a contract all clubs must sign as a condition of taking part in the competition. It outlines the terms that clubs must meet in order to take part in Super League. One of them is a commitment to fulfilling fixtures.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Wolfpack looking for new ownership with majority owner David Argyle stepping aside
Canadian Press 3 hours ago

jco10375155
Majority owner David Argyle is stepping away from the Toronto Wolfpack with the transatlantic rugby league team, currently in limbo, entertaining new ownership.

Wolfpack president and CEO Bob Hunter said the team is mulling over separate "solid" offers, one from North America and the other from the United Kingdom.

"David is walking away," Hunter said in an interview. "And the two (groups) that are in I'd call it the horse race, we're evaluating which is in the best interest of the club and Super League going forward."

Argyle, a Toronto-based Australian entrepreneur who specializes in mining and natural resources in emerging markets, estimates he and his ownership group have poured $30 million into the club that first took the field in 2017.

"He's had a great run. He's spent a lot of his own money," said Hunter. "It was time. I hate to say time to give up, but more so important to just stop investing in the club. And so he made that decision a couple of weeks ago and asked us to go and see if we could find some new owners."

Argyle's plan to sell shares in the club a la Green Bay Packers is off the table now, said Hunter.

Argyle said it's time for him to step aside so the club can move forward — and the new ownership group has "a clear runway."

"From the club perspective it's important that we continue the original mission which is to get North America hooked on rugby and to put more rugby balls in kids' hands. So I think in that regard it is a positive," he said of his decision to let others take up the mantle.

The news comes in the wake of the Betfred Super League's decision Monday to terminate Toronto's participation agreement following its withdrawal from the competition last month.

Super League said its action "reflects the seriousness of the breach of contract by Toronto Wolfpack, which has impacted Super League and its member clubs."


The Wolfpack presented its case to a Super League board meeting Monday, asking for more time to consider its options. But the league, which has already expunged Toronto from the 2020 standings, instead terminated its agreement with the team.

The Wolfpack will now have to apply for and enter into a new participation agreement before being able to play in the competition in 2021.

Hunter, who called the league's move "more of a legality that anything else," said the club plans to submit a restructuring plan in the next seven to 10 days.

Toronto had issues with its existing deal with the Super League. Under terms of that agreement, the Wolfpack were not entitled to a cut of the league's TV deal and were an invitee rather than a member club.

Citing the global pandemic, the Wolfpack announced July 20 that they could not afford to take part in the remainder of the Super League season. Argyle said his players were free to negotiate with other clubs for the remainder of the 2020 season.

Play resumed Sunday with the Super League down to 11 teams.

Argyle had said he wanted to field a team next season but that will be up to rugby league authorities. If they do want Toronto back, there is no guarantee it will be back in Super League — meaning the club may find itself back in the lower divisions of English rugby league.


The Wolfpack started life in 2017 in the third-tier League 1, winning promotion to the second-tier Championship before debuting in the elite Super League this season. Toronto went 0-6-0 before the league shut down in March due to the pandemic.

Wolfpack star centre Ricky Leutele, meanwhile, has signed with the Melbourne Storm for the remainder of the NRL season.

The Australian-born Samoan international, who played 129 NRL games for the Cronulla Sharks prior to signing for Toronto, will serve a two-week quarantine before joining the Storm.

Wolfpack teammate Sonny Bill Williams and his family are currently in quarantine in Sydney after returning from England. The former All Black is expected to suit up for the Sydney Roosters for the remainder of the season.

Williams, who turned 35 Monday, played for Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs from 2004 to '08 and the Roosters in 2013-14.

The 30-year-old Leutele told Sydney's Nine News he was last paid by the Wolfpack in May.

Argyle had said the club will make good on missed salary payments. The Wolfpack now say the new owners "would need to honour all payroll commitments and future contractual obligations."

Leutele said he and his family are living on his savings.

"We're just chipping (away) at that but you know the saving are meant for rainy days and I'm hoping the rain stops soon," he told the Sydney station.

Ironically, Leutele broke Storm hearts in the 2016 NRL grand final when he made a try-saving tackle on Melbourne winger Marika Koroibete in the dying seconds to preserve the Cronulla's 14-12 championship win.

Leutele and Williams were the Wolfpack's designated marquee players this season, meaning only 150,000 pounds ($262,455) of their respective salaries counted against the Wolfpack's salary cap of 2.1 million pounds ($3.67 million).

The Wolfpack's situation casts further doubt into Williams' future with the club, after he recently expressed a desire to settle down with his family in Sydney.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Rugby news 4/8
Hunter gives Toronto takeover update
Toronto Wolfpack chairman Bob Hunter says two parties are vying to take over the Canadian club following David Argyle’s decision to walk away.
The New York franchise are said to be in talks and Hunter has confirmed there has been serious interest.
He told CBC: “David is walking away. And the two [groups] that are in I’d call it the horse race, we’re evaluating which is in the best interest of the club and Super League going forward.
“He’s had a great run. He’s spent a lot of his own money
“It was time. I hate to say time to give up, but more so important to just stop investing in the club.
“And so he made that decision a couple of weeks ago and asked us to go and see if we could find some new owners.”


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Toronto Wolfpack players took to social media Monday to protest not being paid.

"Technically stranded in U.K.," tweeted Australian prop Darcy Lussick. "No visa so I can't work, no help getting home to Australia as promised. About to be evicted from my house.

"A lot of people have it a lot worse then me but this situation has gone too far now."

Several players sent out the same social media message on a black background


It appears the players chose Monday to state their case because they were last paid June 10 -- via June 1 paycheques, which covered May, coming late. The transatlantic rugby league team missed the July 1 and Aug. 1 payrolls.

"When are you going to step in and help the welfare of players who are contracted to your competition?" Lussick asked the Rugby Football League, the sport's governing body in England.

The Wolfpack declined to respond "at this time" to the player complaints.

The transatlantic Wolfpack are on the selling block after standing down last month due to financial problems. Majority owner David Argyle, who is stepping aside, has guaranteed that the missing pay will come but Wolfpack chairman and CEO Bob Hunter has said Argyle is not currently in a position to make good on that promise.

Four groups are interested in purchasing the Wolfpack, according to Hunter. The hope is they might be able to help take care of the missing payroll.

Time is of the essence with Super League saying a new application to return to the league will have to be in by the end of the month.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

Post by Quolls2019 »

Inews rugby league
From bad to worse.
Beleaguered Super League club Toronto Wolfpack are believed to be facing debts of at least £2.3m and are on life support after two groups interested in buying the club pulled their bids.

The consortium behind a new rugby league club in New York has withdrawn from talks to purchase Toronto, as has cross-code group Newcastle Rugby Limited.

It is believed the spiralling debt of £2.3m, according to sources, and an unsustainable business model has deterred potential suitors.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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From worse to disastrous
Toronto players receive food hampers
MATTHEW SHAW 16/08/2020

Food hampers are being delivered to the Toronto Wolfpack squad from their Super League counterparts to ensure they are fed while they continue to be unpaid.

In an extraordinary gesture, all the other Super League clubs are chipping in to ensure the Wolfpack players aren’t going short as they approach three months without pay.

St Helens were the first club to deliver goods to the Wolfpack late last week, with the other clubs set to follow this week.

A huge supply of food was sent to the club, with the players in most desperate need told not to hesitate accessing the food.

The news reinforces the grim reality of the Wolfpack players’ situation, with some players thought to be facing the prospect of going short.

Players were told in a meeting with the GMB earlier this week not to be too proud and take the help being shown by their peers.

There is still no sign of players being paid, despite the club’s owner David Argyle’s promise that their contracts would be honoured for the rest of the year.

Greg Worthington (pictured), the Wolfpack centre, told TotalRL.com last week that he didn’t expect to ever see the money he was owed.

“I have zero confidence I’ll get any of the wages I’m owed,” he said.

“I can’t speak for the rest of the team, but my personal view is that I’ve no confidence I will get paid, so I’ve gone out and got work to make sure my household is financially secure.

“We’ve been given multiple dates on multiple occasions by David Argyle as to when we would get paid and I’ve been let down every time.”


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Wolfpack’s takeover talks face crucial week
MATTHEW SHAW 16/08/2020

This will be a significant week for Toronto Wolfpack is takeover talks intensify for the Canadian club.

Three consortiums, two based in North America as well as another international consortium, remain in discussions with the Wolfpack over a potential takeover of the club.

The challenge for Toronto is time. They are expected to report back to Super League on their position by the end of the month with an outlook on their future after their participation agreement was terminated following their withdrawal from the competition.

Super League has set out a list of terms and conditions they want Toronto to meet should they wish to enter the competition next season. They are based around financial viability and commercial input. However, without having new ownership, it’s unlikely the Wolfpack will be in a position to answer all the questions Super League want answering.

That could result in Toronto asking for an extension, depending on how their talks progress this week.

But the club’s UK CEO Martin Vickers says the Wolfpack remain confident they can meet the deadline imposed and satisfy the RFL

“All potential investment groups are aware of these challenging timescales and are committed to making this happen within these dates,” he said.

“Bob (Hunter) and myself are really clear on what the club needs from any new ownership group, which are robust financial plans, a strong commercial growth strategy in Canada and a commitment to meet current playing liabilities. We have had to not proceed with some conversations where we are not confident some of these elements are not in place.”

It’s believed a North America-based consortium is their preferred option at this time, though talks with all three potential buyers remain ongoing.

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.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Maybe..but a lot of if’s, hopes and beliefs contained herein.

Toronto Wolfpack chairman optimistic of finding new owners by Super League deadline
Wolfpack currently negotiating with three prospective buyers ahead of Super League's August 31 deadline

Last Updated: 20/08/20 6:49pm

Wolfpack chairman believes players such as Sonny Bill Williams will return under new ownership
Wolfpack chairman believes players such as Sonny Bill Williams will return under new ownership
Toronto Wolfpack chairman Bob Hunter is confident of meeting a Super League deadline of August 31 to find new owners for the Canadian club.

The Wolfpack pulled out of the league a month ago after Australian owner David Argyle ran into financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the club subsequently had their participation agreement terminated.

Super League restarted with an 11-team competition but Hunter says Toronto are keen to return for 2021 and are currently negotiating with three prospective buyers.

"We are working very hard and aggressively to see if we can present a new owner in the next week to 10 days," Hunter told the PA news agency.

Previous owner David Argyle ran into financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic
Previous owner David Argyle ran into financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic
"We're still working officially with three different groups but one owner is getting closer to the top.

"We have been asked by Super League to make that presentation, along with a full set of financial supporting documents, to them by the end of this month and we're still focused on that target date.

"Super League and the RFL would have to approve the owner and, if we can get over that hurdle, the Super League owners would have to support us coming back into Super League next year.

"I think we can meet the deadline."

Hunter says talks are "delicate" but all three bidders have the aim of keeping the club in Toronto.

The club received a barrage of bad publicity after players revealed they have not been paid for three months and several have found new clubs, including marquee pair Sonny Bill Williams and Ricky Leutele, but Hunter believes they could be tempted to return under new management.

"We deserve the bad publicity," Hunter admitted. "I wish I could say it's unfair or people are being unreasonable but we put ourselves in a very precarious position and put our players and staff in an even worse position.

"That's why David Argyle has stepped away. Those resources are just not there night now.

Toronto's Liam Kay is one of a number of players to secure a temporary switch away from the club
Toronto's Liam Kay is one of a number of players to secure a temporary switch away from the club
"As well, though, we are working hard on trying to catch up financially and we're hoping that sometime within the next couple of weeks we will be able to resolve this and get back in line.

"If we are able to put this new ownership group in place and show financial stability to the league and to our own players, I believe the majority of those under contract will want to remain as Toronto Wolfpack players.

"But you've got to be able to prove that the horror story that we've put them through over the last three months won't repeat itself.

"I know that Sonny Bill wants to come back and I think Ricky at the end of the day would like to come back but, if they came to us with other offers to play for another team, we would try and work that out to both side's satisfaction."

Toronto-based Hunter, who is also chief executive, says he is hoping to stay involved with the club under new ownership.
"If we can get a good, stable owner that I have confidence in, I'd love to stay involved," he said.

"I've just had my anniversary and I'd really like to stay. It's a matter of fixing the big problem. I'm the world's greatest optimist."


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