“It’s Super League or bust” says new Toronto owner

The man who wants to revitalise Toronto Wolfpack has described the actions of the previous administrators as “disgusting” and has pledged to run the club differently if he is given the chance to take it back into Super League.

The Canadian club pulled out of the league in July after owner David Argyle ran into financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic but is now hoping to return in 2021 under new ownership.

Carlo LiVolsi, a Toronto businessman who was among the original shareholders in 2017, has already put his proposals for a relaunched club to Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone and Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer.

In his first media interview, LiVolsi reveals he fell out with Argyle after a disagreement over the way he ran the club.

LiVolsi claims he is among the unpaid creditors and says one of his first actions if he gets the go-ahead to rebuild the club would be to pay the players the three months wages they are due, thought to be worth £500,000.

Asked about the club’s previous actions, he said: “It’s disgusting. I know David Argyle more than anyone does, I chose months ago not to speak to him any more because I didn’t like some of the things he did.

“My belief is that you don’t try to promote yourself to be something you’re not for the sake of people liking you from an ego perspective.

“I think it’s unfair to the players who have worked hard and have rent to pay and they can’t even get paid what they’re owed. I think that’s dishonest and it’s not the way you run a business or live your life.

“From a personal perspective, I feel for all the players. I can only say that if we’re given the opportunity, things are going to be much different.

“They will prosper under us, they’re going to make more money and be treated like family versus outcasts how they were treated before.”

LiVolsi, whose business ventures include Wolf Grooming, a Canadian company that became Toronto’s official grooming product in March 2019, says he will be the sole owner but is confident he can pull in major sponsorship and has plans to make the club profitable.

“Essentially, I feel that the prior ownership did a very good job of putting a good product on the field but was devoid of basic structure that you need to run a business,” he said.

“From my perspective, part of the problems are that a lot of money has been spent and wasted in the wrong areas. David wanted to be liked by all and wanted to be known as a magnet which he was never.

“I have very good people internally that can help streamline the business from the financial side.”

LiVolsi, who needs to persuade the other Super League owners and chief executives to back his plans, says he would require central distribution and insists a return to the Championship or League 1 is not on his agenda.

“It is Super League or bust,” he said. “There’s no other alternative from my perspective, I’m not interested in anything other than that.

“We have a plan and in five years’ time we want to win the whole thing. I’m a competitive person, I hate losing more than anything.

“We’ll build the business from the ground up and the rest of the owners better watch because we’ll be one of the best teams for years to come.

“We’ll go after the top players, we’ll be aggressive and we’ll listen to the people who know the sport too, that’s not my job.

“Do I think we’ll be successful in five years? Absolutely.”

5 Comments

    • They don’t deserve to be in SL they failed not because of the pandemic but because of one mans ego and poor management, they need better structure first, I hope they can do this so we can see good rugby played in Toronto

  1. I hope Toronto get a team back together but not in Super League until they can prove they have a better structure, more Canadian players and not just high priced imports and a youth program with an A team to draw from when needed

  2. I hope Toronto stay alive you’ve already had the coach on here begging to stay in super league , the players union asked for you to stay in super league and now the blackmail trick super league or bust . Cast your mind back to widnes vikings going bust because of O’Connor and Rules . Which ended up with a 12 point deduction and a ban on buying players to we could show accounts in good order . All I’m asking for is each team to be treated the same and no special treatment for a overseas club . They agreed a deal to join super league and messed it up . They walked away from the league and the challenge cup . They were not pushed out , or thrown out they walked out , please don’t mention the virus as a excuse it’s the same for every club amateur or professional . It’s down to financial reasons and a crap chairman it’s as simple as that . But good luck in the survival battle Toronto. Been there three times with Widnes so we know how it feels stay and keep well

  3. To the new chairman of Toronto some advice from a rugby league fan with over 52 years experience in this great sport . Please do not come into this game thinking your going to be another Marian Koukash thinking I’ve got piles of money and we can change the game and buy Tom dick and Harry and win everything in 5 years it won’t happen , for you Toronto fans if you don’t know who Koukash is check out the inter- net . So what you learn don’t let it happen to your club again

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