Toronto Wolfpack

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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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31/8/20

Come and get me - former Leeds Rhinos skipper 'available' after Toronto Wolfpack crisis
Former Leeds Rhinos captain Kallum Watkins says he is keen to find a new club following Toronto Wolfpack's exit from Betfred Super League.

Watkins signed for Toronto during the coronavirus shutdown, but has yet to make his debut and can look for another club after they withdrew from this year's competition.

The England centre left Rhinos to join NRL club Gold Coast Titans last summer, but returned to England for family reasons.

He was a guest on Sky Sports' coverage of Sunday's Super League Matches.

Questioned about his future, Watkins confirmed: "I am contracted with them so officially I am a Toronto player."

But he insisted: "I want to be playing and I am looking elsewhere.

"I know the new ownership is trying to come into place, but I just reckon it is going to take a long time for that to come through.

"For me, I just want to get out there and play.
“ I am available. Since we found out they weren't going to be playing in the rest of Super League this year, they gave us the opportunity to go look elsewhere, whether it's short-term or long-term."

Of why he returned from Australia, Watkins said: "The NRL was a fantastic experience for me.

"A lot of decisions happened during that time from a family aspect; my dad became ill and before that a lot of things went on from my wife's side as well so we made that decision .

"I did come back to try and see my dad at that time and was hoping to go back to the Gold Coast, but me and my wife had a chat about what we wanted and we felt it was right to come back and look after the family as much as possible."
The move to Toronto reunited Watkins with former Leeds boss Brian McDermott.

"I came into that situation, it was a good opportunity to work with Brian again and I anticipated a really exciting journey," Watkins added.

"Working with Brian would have been great because I felt he got the best out of me at Leeds, but with the pay situation it has been really hard.

"I feel really sorry for the other players and the staff there who haven't been paid.


"A lot of the players haven't been paid since May so it has been very hard for everybody involved, but I am trying to keep as positive as possible."

My comment: No players:No team.
At the best they will be put back in a lower division....at the best,
Otherwise it will be another embarrassment for RFL.
Unless they poach a lot of 1st class players and, I would think, pay them up front, their standard will Be lower than the team that did not win a game this year.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Toronto Wolfpack meet Super League deadline ahead of possible return
By PA Media
Last Updated: 02/09/20 9:36am

Toronto Wolfpack have taken the first steps towards a possible return to Super League after they met the deadline to submit an application to rejoin the competition in 2021.

Toronto chief executive Bob Hunter, who was also at the online meeting, is hoping the club can present their case to the rest of the Super League owners and is not expecting a decision for several weeks.

The Canadian side withdrew from Super League in July amid financial issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


But they have now found a prospective new owner to take over from David Argyle and he has laid out his plan to revive the club, after Super League cancelled Toronto's participation agreement following their sudden withdrawal.
T he Canadian businessman, who wishes to remain anonymous at present but was one of the original investors in the Wolfpack, met the deadline on Tuesday when he held informal talks with Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone and RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer.

The business plan will eventually go before the Super League board and PA understands the club will be given every chance to demonstrate their argument for re-registration.

Toronto chief executive Bob Hunter, who was also at the online meeting, is hoping the club can present their case to the rest of the Super League owners and is not expecting a decision for several weeks.

Rimmer says he believes Toronto have proven themselves and the clubs appear to be coming around to the idea of re-admitting the club for 2021, which would enable the competition to return to the desired 12-team format.

The Wolfpack have not paid their players and staff for over three months but say the new owner has pledged to honour those missed payments.

The club's two marquee players, Sonny Bill Williams and Ricky Leutele, have both secured short-term contracts with NRL clubs but remain contracted to Toronto for 2021 and coach Brian McDermott remains committed to the cause.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Toronto Wolfpack enter fresh negotiations with Super League
https://lastwordonrugby.com/2020/09/02/ ... er-league/

Pay us and we will come back?


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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https://www.wigantoday.net/sport/rugby- ... ue-2959865
Coming back? Should be come back.
Some English experts?
2 yes. 3 no.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Some of the stuff in this article is a bit all over the place.

https://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/?search=toronto+wolfpack


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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New Toronto owner revealed
MATTHEW SHAW 06/09/2020
Total Rugby

The identity of Toronto Wolfpack’s prospective new owner has emerged.

League Express can reveal the man behind the bid is Carlo LiVolsi, a Toronto businessman who has previous involvement with the club.

LiVolsi is the founder of Wolf Grooming, who became the club’s official grooming product partner in 2019.

Little is known about LiVolsi outside Canada, but he is involved at board level of several companies in North America and was a founding stakeholder of the Wolfpack back in 2016.

His major involvement is with Apex Branded Solutions, a company that works in the wholesale distribution of prescription drugs, proprietary drugs and toiletries. LiVolsi is chief executive and President of the company and he is a director of several other Canadian companies.

He was introduced to Super League chief executive Robert Elstone on Tuesday and the Wolfpack hope to introduce him to Super League club executives in the coming weeks. Wolfpack Chairman Bob Hunter said last week that they hoped to have a call with LiVolsi and the Super League owners in the near future.

The Wolfpack lodged their documentation for readmission to Super League on Tuesday and initial feedback from the RFL and Super League is expected in the coming days.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Sportsmole
5/9/20

Brian McDermott pleads for rival clubs to give Toronto Wolfpack second chance.


Wolfpack have met the deadline to submit an application to rejoin Super League for 2021 having pulled out of the competition in July amid financial issues related to the coronavirus pandemic.

But McDermott fears the league's first North American outfit may be destined to pay a heavy price for a series of on and off-field blunders as they await a likely vote which will determine their future.

Reflecting on what he described as a "nightmare" first campaign in the top flight, McDermott admitted his club were underprepared, antagonistic and hampered by ill-judged attempts to operate under the salary cap.

In an open letter, McDermott wrote: "After a period of self-reflection I feel it's right and proper to admit that we were underprepared both administratively and on the field within the football department.

"I personally highlighted at the start of the year how I felt that certain rules and regulations were extremely difficult to abide by and some of them were near impossible for us to comply with.

But I must admit I and the club were too distracted by those elements of our weekly challenges and we let slip certain aspects of our organisation that should have been tighter and better prepared."

McDermott admitted the club's work within the salary cap rules – which was severely restricted by the £2.6million contract paid to Sonny Bill Williams – "wasn't as shrewd and as effective as we needed it to be".

“And he accepted the relationship with the game's governing bodies was "strained", adding: "We spent too much time antagonising too many people within the game – and not enough time preparing ourselves for a competition that takes no prisoners."

Wolfpack's first top-flight season was dogged by a plainly underprepared squad and rumours of financial strife which were realised when a number of players revealed they had not received their wages for three months.

Talks are ongoing with a prospective new owner and Wolfpack chiefs hope to be able to present their case to the RFL, Super League and its member clubs ahead of an expected vote over 2021 re-admission.

But McDermott admitted: "I'm nervous about our re-application into Super League. I know we have damaged bridges within the game and I know too many have already come to a judgement about us.


"We have learned some harsh lessons – but now we must look to the future.

"We're excited. We have a potential new owner who possesses the complete package of ownership that every club desires.

"He has the wealth to back up the club through its tough years of development. He has the business acumen to come up with a business plan to make the club self-sustaining within a planned number of seasons.

"I personally feel that rugby league and Super League is a more attractive sport with Toronto Wolfpack in it – that it has a real chance to reach and impress wider audiences and potential investors.

"I also understand that this will only be true if we are a well-run organisation that complements Super League – not antagonises it. We as a club need to recognise that we haven't been as good as we needed to be to enhance the Super League.

"Decisions will be made soon regarding our future. For the sake of a number of interested parties – our players and staff, our fans and sponsors, the city of Toronto and maybe the game as a whole – I respectfully hope a brave and compassionate decision is made."


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Mirror Rugby League
5/9/20

Toronto coach Brian McDermott admits Wolfpack mistakes but calls for brave Super League decision

Canadian club are hoping to be reinstated into the competition in 2021

Brian McDermott has called on Super League to make a “brave” decision over Toronto’s bid to return next season - despite admitting the Wolfpack have made a host of mistakes.

The Canadian club pulled out of this year’s competition just 13 days before the campaign’s August restart, citing crippling financial issues.

In an open letter McDermott concedes the club mismanaged its salary cap, failed to resolve visa issues and had strained relationships with the sport’s governing bodies. When the season was suspended, the Wolfpack were bottom having lost their first six matches.

McDermott said: “In short I feel that we were underprepared for Super League, and we got exposed both on and off the field during the early part of 2020.

“We spent too much time antagonising too many people within the game, and not enough time preparing ourselves for a competition that takes no prisoners. We recognise we got our preparation wrong and made too many mistakes - it won’t happen again.”

The club has now submitted a business plan involving new ownership to the RFL and Super League in the hope it will be readmitted to the top flight in 2021.

McDermott concedes he is “nervous” about the decision and that the Wolfpack have “damaged bridges within the game". But he insists the sport can still have a bright future in Canada.

He added: “The potential for Toronto Wolfpack and rugby league in North America is massive - it truly has a chance of taking off in a big way. I personally feel that rugby league is a more attractive sport with Toronto Wolfpack in it, that has a real chance to reach and impress wider audiences and potential investors.

“But I also understand that this will only be true if we are a well run organisation that complements Super League, not antagonises it. We as a club need to recognise we haven’t been as good as we needed to be to enhance the Super League.

“Decisions will be made soon regarding our future - by a potential new owner, potential investors who only want to invest in a club that has Super League status, and the two governing bodies of rugby league, the RFL and Super League.

“For the sake of a number of invested parties, our players and staff, our fans and sponsors and the city of Toronto who want it to survive and maybe the game as a whole, I respectfully hope a brave and compassionate decision is made.”


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Yorktown Press
Potential new owner of Toronto Wolfpack identified as Carlo LiVolsi
6/9/20

TORONTO — Local entrepreneur Carlo LiVolsi is the potential buyer looking to revive the financially troubled Toronto Wolfpack.
Team officials confirmed that LiVolsi is the proposed new owner who was introduced to Super League officials earlier this week. Previously the transatlantic rugby league club had only said the potential buyer is a Canadian who had been part of the original ownership group.

LiVolsi's business ventures include Wolf Grooming, a Canadian company that signed on as the Wolfpack's "official grooming product" in March 2019. At the time, the team called LiVolsi the founder of Wolf Grooming.
He is also listed as a director of the Apollo Health Corp, formerly known as Acasta Enterprises Inc.


The Wolfpack stood down on July 20 citing financial problems prompted by the pandemic. Unable to fund the team, majority owner David Argyle announced he was stepping away from the franchise which has not paid its players since June 10.
Argyle has said he will make good on the missed payrolls when he is in a position to do so.
Toronto met a Super League-imposed deadline last Tuesday to submit its reapplication paperwork. Super League tore up the Wolfpack's participation agreement after the club opted not to finish out the 2020 season, citing challenges caused by the pandemic.
The Wolfpack started life in England's third-tier League 1 in 2017, winning their way first to the second-tier Championship and then Super League — where they were 0-6-0 when the pandemic halted play in March.
Argyle has said the ownership group has poured $30 million into the Wolfpack since its inception.
In the absence of Toronto, Super League is down to 11 teams — 10 from England and France's Catalan Dragons.
The Wolfpack hope they can return to Super League in 2021 — and for the first time get their share of central distribution funding which includes a cut of the broadcast revenue from the league's Sky TV deal.
While star players like Sonny Bill Williams (Sydney Roosters) and Ricky Leutele (Melbourne Storm) have signed loan deals with other clubs to finish out the 2020 season, McDermott says both are committed to the franchise if it returns to Super League.
Bodene Thompson (Leeds) and Gareth O'Brien (Castleford) are also willing to return, according to McDermott.
"The majority of the squad are staying strong," he told The Canadian Press. "I've talked to most of them the last few weeks. Clearly they're all concerned, clearly the whole squad is massively financially strained at the moment.
"But we've got the main part of the squad that are already here, that have already been recruited, who have pledged to stay and want to see through next year ... I've got some recruits that we're bringing in for next year and I've had a word with those guys and they're willing to see what September brings.
"Clearly we need an answer in the next few weeks. Because if we don't get one soon then everybody's going to have to go sort themselves out for next year These things can take time.
"I know there's a sentiment out there from people or an understanding that all the players are leaving. And that's not true. The main bulk of the squad will stay together."
Wolfpack chairman and CEO Bob Hunter has said he hopes the team's future can be resolved by the end of the month. Super League and the Rugby Football League will decide that.
McDermott says the team has to show some humility in the meantime, given it is responsible for what happened to it. But he remains committed to the viability of the North American franchise.
The Wolfpack opened the vault to sign Williams last November, believing the rugby union and league star would bring eyeballs around the globe to the club. It appears the 35-year-old is doing just that with the Roosters and the National Rugby League.
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said Williams, who played on the weekend for the Roosters, comes with an "X factor."
"And you can put a dollar-value on it," Abdo told nrl.com. "He's had 17,000 mentions in the media in the lead-up to the game this week.
"We quantified that at somewhere in the region of $30 million (C$28.6 million) in terms of media value across print, digital, radio and television."
McDermott said LiVolsi, with his background with the club, understands the potential of the transatlantic franchise.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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https://www.torontowolfpack.com/wolf-gr ... -the-pack/
Older spiel from the Wolfpack site.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Players union back calls for central funding to save Toronto Wolfpack
Rugby League 7/9/20

The GMB players union has called on the RFL to provide central funding to Toronto Wolfpack to help secure a new owner for the troubled club.

Wolfpack chairman Bob Hunter has been in talks with Super League chiefs regarding the future of the club, which hopes to return to the league in 2021 – having withdrawn on the eve of the season’s restart citing difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the key issues surrounding not only the withdrawal, but the Wolfpack’s hopes of finding a successor to David Argyle, is the receipt of central funding.

Toronto haven’t taken a penny of central funding since joining the RFL pyramid in 2017, and their share of Super League’s lucrative broadcasting deal was divided up between the other 11 clubs for 2020 after they earned promotion from the Championship.

Former GB international, Gareth Carvell, GMB’s lead rep for players said: “Every club deserves a slice of the TV revenues. It’s only fair that Toronto get a fair share like every other club in Super League and I am urging the RFL and Super League to support the bid by providing a level playing field for Toronto.

“We have the World Cup next year and it’s our chance to showcase the game by cementing Toronto into the league. North America and Canada are vital markets if this game wants to grow and whilst ever that opportunity presents itself, we need to grab it.”

The potential new owner of Toronto was revealed at the weekend as local entrepreneur Carlo LiVolsi, who was introduced to Super League officials. He was part of the original ownership group of the club.

Toronto’s players haven’t been paid since June, and have all been told they can find deals elsewhere – Sonny Bill Williams has taken up a deal with Sydney Roosters until the end of this season, but remains on contract for 2021.

The Wolfpack’s most recent signing, Kallum Watkins, signed for Salford on a three-year deal without playing a game for the club having been left in limbo by the club’s withdrawal from competition.

GMB Senior Organiser Peter Davies said: “I can accept the concerns that Super League and the RFL have around Toronto’s failures to complete this season but the Covid crisis is a once in a generation event and was hardly of Toronto’s making.

“The hard truth is that with no access to Furlough, the U.K. government rescue loan and anything from the league wide TV deal they stood no chance of taking to the field again as the season restarted.

“Our main concern is for the players and their families and with new potential owners in the wings who are willing to step in now to save the club; we need to do everything we can to support that.”

I haven’t changed my mind on what I think will happen or what I think should Happen, but it Does seem a little brighter....although the “potential” buyer is not in the same league as Argyle is/was.

A return to Super League would be delaying the inevitable and if, as some sites are suggesting, that they will have a season or two of guaranteed non-relegation, well that will make a lot of the other clubs very....annoyed.
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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Toronto Wolfpack coach Brian McDermott says team still has much to offer
NEIL DAVIDSON
TORONTO
THE CANADIAN PRESS
PUBLISHED 18 MINUTES AGO

The Toronto Wolfpack made mistakes on and off the field, were underprepared for promotion to the top-tier Super League and have “damaged bridges within the game,” according to coach Brian McDermott.

But McDermott, one of the rugby league’s most successful coaches, says the troubled transatlantic franchise, which stood down July 20 because of financial problems, is good for the sport if it can solidify its structure and business plan.

In an open letter released Tuesday, McDermott says while no one could have anticipated the global pandemic, the club has to look into the mirror for some of its problems.

“In short I feel that we were under-prepared for Super League, and this showed as we got exposed both on and off the field during the early part of the 2020 season,” McDermott said of his team, which struggled to an 0-6-0 start prior to Super League halting play in mid-March.

“We spent too much time antagonizing too many people within the game, and not enough time preparing ourselves for a competition that takes no prisoners. We recognize we got our preparation wrong, made too many mistakes and were underprepared in certain areas. That will not happen again.”

While Super League’s remaining 11 teams have restarted play, the Wolfpack remain on the sidelines. Their hope is to be readmitted in 2021 under new ownership — with Toronto businessman Carlo LiVolsi hoping to buy the team.

“We have a potential new owner who possesses the complete package of ownership that every club desires,” McDermott said of LiVolsi. “He has the wealth to back up the club through its tough years of development. He has the business acumen to come up with a business plan to make the club self-sustaining within a planned number of seasons.”

The Wolfpack coach, who helped fill Leeds Rhinos' trophy case in his eight seasons as coach there, called the COVID-19-interrupted season “a nightmare for not only our club but for the Super League in general.”

“The game as a whole has had to face up to one of its most serious challenges in its 125-year existence,” he added.

He still believes the sport and Super League are better with Toronto part of it.

“However I also understand that this will only be true if we are a well-run organization that complements Super League, rather than antagonize it. We as a club need to recognize we have not been as good as we needed to be to enhance the Super League.”

McDermott said while some of the league’s existing rules and regulations were hard on a trailblazer like Toronto, the club did not help the situation by failing to manage its salary cap as shrewdly or effectively as needed.

He said the franchise should also have found a resolution to the visa issue for its overseas players long before promotion to Super League. McDermott also pointed to the club infrastructure on both sides of the Atlantic as being “not as cohesive as it needed to be.”

And he said the franchise had to take responsibility for the “strained” relationship with the sport’s two governing bodies: the Rugby Football League and Super League. Those two bodies will decide the club’s future.

McDermott hopes they will make “a brave and compassionate decision” on Toronto’s future. But he admitted he is “nervous” about the club’s reapplication to Super League.

“I know we have damaged bridges within the game and I know some may have already come to a judgment about us. I feel it would be an awful shame if did not now get the chance to showcase Toronto Wolfpack in the Super League to the city of Toronto. It does work, it has been working.”

McDermott, who took over Toronto in December 2018 and led the team to promotion to England’s top tier in his first year at the helm, says he still believes the potential for the Wolfpack and rugby league in North America is “massive.”

“It truly has a chance of taking off in a big way. That is easy for me to say that as I’ve seen it firsthand. It really is impressive to see a soldout stadium in Canada watching Toronto Wolfpack play teams from the U.K.”

“The city and people of Toronto have embraced the Wolfpack as one of their sporting family, which is no small feat given the sporting heritage the city has,” he added.

McDermott paid tribute to majority owner David Argyle, who is stepping away from the team because he says he can no longer fund it.

“He must receive huge applause for his contributions to Toronto Wolfpack so far while the gesture of him writing off his personal loans, to the tune of $20 million, cannot be overstated and will be remembered forever.”

Still, Toronto players have not been paid since June 10. Some have left the club while others have joined teams on short-term loans.


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Brian McDermott Open Letter – September 8, 2020
08/09/2020 by admin

https://www.torontowolfpack.com/brian-m ... er-8-2020/


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Re: Toronto Wolfpack

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Mailbox: Fans still waiting for Toronto ticket refunds

https://www.loverugbyleague.com/post/ma ... t-refunds/


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