Four bids lodged to buy Toronto Wolfpack

5th March 2020, Emerald Headingley, Leeds, England; Betfred Super League, Leeds Rhinos v Toronto Wolfpack : Josh McCrone (C) of Toronto Wolfpack celebrates scoring a try against Leeds Rhinos.

Toronto Wolfpack remain confident they will be part of Super League in 2021 after it was revealed four bids have been lodged to buy the club.

But the Canadian side only have until August 31 to submit a formal application to rejoin the competition.

Toronto had to withdraw from the league this year after hitting major financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.

Championship teams Featherstone, London Broncos and Leigh all offered to take Toronto’s place, but a decision was made to continue with 11 clubs, with the Wolfpack’s results being expunged from the Super League table.

Wolfpack chairman Bob Hunter met potential buyers this week alongside head coach Brian McDermott and UK general manager Martin Vickers and two have entered the due diligence process in the last 72 hours.

“Despite a hugely challenging period for the club and its employees, we are genuinely impressed by the quality of interest we have received in taking the team forward,” Hunter said in a statement.

“Like ourselves, all potential ownership groups share a genuine appreciation of how a North American team enhances the global attraction of the Betfred Super League.

“All four interested parties have demonstrated ambitious plans to build upon the progress the Wolfpack have made to date.

Toronto Wolfpack's had lost six out of six in Super League before the sport was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic
Toronto Wolfpack’s had lost six out of six in Super League before the sport was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic (Mike Egerton/PA)

“We have been advised by Super League chief executive Robert Elstone that any new investor will be required to submit a formal application for rejoining the 2021 Super League by the end of this month.

“We would like to offer assurance that our team are working around the clock to secure a deal that will meet that deadline, and most importantly secure the futures of our players and staff.

“During our meeting with Super League on Monday we understood the league’s position as well as the decision to terminate our participation agreement for 2020.

“We are confident that both the Super League board and the Rugby Football League will consider our reapplication for 2021 in a fair manner.”

Toronto chief executive Vickers added: “Based on the level of interest to date we remain extremely confident of being able to put forward a robust business case for our re-entry into the league for 2021.

“All investment groups are adamant that Toronto Wolfpack can be at the forefront of taking the Super League, and our wider game, forwards.

“On our part we are ensuring that we find the right investor and ownership for the club, which means one that is able to meet both our current and our future financial obligations.

“We will therefore not rush into any model that fails to work for the club, regardless of the challenging timescales.

“Whilst these talks progress we continue to work with our majority owner David Argyle and the RFL to ensure that the club can meet its payroll obligations to players and staff, as David has publicly stated.”

12 Comments

  1. I’m fed up with this Toronto crap , they walked out and should be not be allowed to walk back in . Should be forced to start again from the 1 div . What sort of message does this send to London , featherstone and the sport as a whole

  2. I totally agree Alex Toronto should be eliminated and teams like Widnes Leigh and featherstone and any other championship clubs who can show what their business plan is replace them but with super league run by Elstone don’t expect anything other than fantasy island teams like Ottawa next

  3. Old news from 2 days ago, stating absolutely anything which would fill me with optimism of a good outcome. Trust me been there a few times, then made redundant

  4. Toronto,Super League and RFL have turned this game of ours into a complete laughing stock . Get shot of Toronto and get this great sport of ours back to where it should be . No more of this fixing to keep a Canadian team in super league . They should be punished for what they have done .

  5. Dont you think they HAVE been punished? Are you aware they got NO money from Super League shared revenues, they paid for ALL travel costs for the opposing teams travelling to Canada, and now because of the pandemic they lost ALL home revenue for 2020. Not a single game was to be played in Toronto. How many RFL teams could put a team on the field with those same blows?

      • That’s your opinion and everyone is entitled to their own.

        I’m sure there are more fans against Toronto joining a national league and as for costs associated with the traveling/accommodation/rents, they joined a league not even in their country – more fool them.

        I fail to see what they are bringing to the league so far. More interest and fans into the sport?

        Let’s get the clubs steeped in history back in the league and the crowd attendances where they used to be before all this hype started.

        If Toronto (and other overseas clubs) are interested then maybe they could set their own leagues up and we could also have a more interesting worldwide league every few years.

        • I gave you no opinion, i gave you facts.

          Here’s some more to answer your questions- What does Toronto bring?
          -In a city where they were behind established sports teams in football, american football, hockey, basketball, and baseball, the Wolfpack had the highest average attendance in the RFL.
          -38 million new potential fans in a sports loving country/continent.
          -The first primetime league games on SKY since 2011- that the wolfpack paid for, btw.

          As for starting their own league, that’s the kind of small mindedness that has kept our sport a regional success. Intercontinental league play is the future in all sport, and this puts the RFL at the forefront.

          And btw, the RFL isnt done. Ottawa Canada has also been granted a team, and NYC is the next announcement.

          What do these team bring? Everything the existing teams have failed to do on their own.

  6. I gave you no opinion, i gave you facts.

    Here’s some more to answer your questions- What does Toronto bring?
    -In a city where they were behind established sports teams in football, american football, hockey, basketball, and baseball, the Wolfpack had the highest average attendance in the RFL.
    -38 million new potential fans in a sports loving country/continent.
    -The first primetime league games on SKY since 2011- that the wolfpack paid for, btw.

    As for starting their own league, that’s the kind of small mindedness that has kept our sport a regional success. Intercontinental league play is the future in all sport, and this puts the RFL at the forefront.

    And btw, the RFL isnt done. Ottawa Canada has also been granted a team, and NYC is the next announcement.

    What do these team bring? Everything the existing teams have failed to do on their own.

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