Toronto Wolfpack have pulled out of the 2020 Super League season.
With just under a fortnight to go until the competition’s restart, where the Wolfpack had been due to play Hull KR, the Canadian club have informed Super League and the RFL that they will not participate in the league or the Challenge Cup.
A statement said: “This decision has not been taken lightly, and in consideration of a range of factors specific to the club as the only transatlantic team in the league.
“The COVID pandemic has presented unexpected and overwhelming financial challenges to the Wolfpack organization.
“Greatly reduced ticket, sponsorship, merchandise and game day revenue streams have resulted from the loss of all 11 of the team’s home Super League games in Toronto.
“The Wolfpack would be left covering significant additional costs simply to complete a season of games in the UK including COVID testing, stadium rentals, medical costs and player pay increases to align with the rest of the league.
“Player and staff payroll, an issue of recent media attention, has been guaranteed by Wolfpack majority owner David Argyle and is secured by a personal guarantee to the RFL.
“The Wolfpack would like to thank both the SLE and the RFL for their support in addressing a number of the club’s issues in recent weeks including immigration, scheduling, promotion / relegation and consideration for financial support.
“The club fully intend to field a team in the 2021 season, and will be working with SLE and the RFL to understand this process moving into the next season.”
It has thrown the future of both Toronto and Super League up in the air, and Super League were quick to issue a statement of their own.
It read: “Betfred Super League and the RFL are very disappointed to learn that Toronto Wolfpack will not be able to fulfil their obligations to Super League 2020.
“Super League Europe and The RFL have been in regular dialogue with the Wolfpack over the past weeks and months regarding the club’s ability to take part in the competition and firm assurances had been received as recently as last Thursday, 16 July.
“The club’s decision is especially disappointing given the imminent restart of the season. Our immediate focus is on getting the season back underway on August 2 and meeting the needs of our host broadcaster, Sky Sports.
“A discussion around the longer term consequences and the future of the Wolfpack in Super League will commence shortly.”
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