Toronto Wolfpack fail in bid to re-join Super League in 2021

Toronto have failed in their bid to be re-admitted to the Super League in 2021.

The Canadian club withdrew from their inaugural season in the top flight in July, citing financial problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but expressed the hope that they would return next year under new ownership.

However, a meeting of the Super League board on Monday rejected their submission by a vote of 8-4 with one abstention.

Leeds were one of three clubs to support the Wolfpack case, along with the Rugby Football League, whose single vote was cancelled out by that of Super League’s executive chairman Robert Elstone.

Toronto businessman Carlo LiVolsi, the club’s prospective new owner who had made a pledge to pay five months of unpaid wages to the players, made an online presentation to the club representatives.

Super League must now decide whether to run with 11 clubs in 2021 or find a 12th member.

Toronto were formed in 2016 by Canadian entrepreneur Eric Perez and, after starting out in League 1, won promotion twice in three years to claim their place in Super League.

They played in front of crowds of 9,000 in their Championship season but hopes of capitalising on the signing of Sonny Bill Williams for 2020 were scuppered by an inability to play any games in Toronto.

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20 Comments

  1. I hope your not killed of fully , but you couldnt escape scot free with walking out the competition, bringing the game into repute I’d have been happy with a point deduction or relegation and put on special measures like Widnes , Bradford ect . You just need more experience in running a professional club , because it takes a lot more than just money , like starting off with pride , history and respect to a sport with over 125 years of history . Looks like you’ll have to watch wakefield and Huddersfield . Hope you come back stronger . Right RFL and superleague learn a lesson , I’m all for expansion but try Scotland or Ireland first , before jumping over the pond . To big a step in one go looking forward to the abuse from Toronto fans

  2. Why would abusing anyone make things better. Just really sad that there won’t be Rugby League played in Toronto. I think the decision is very short sited. My grandsons are really disappointed they have become quite attached to the Pack!

    • Dear Gordon and the two grandsons , Don’t. Give up hope yet super league might not want you , but if you want rugby league in Toronto, you need to take a step back regroup and join either the 1st division or if you think you have the backing the championship and start again . Keep safe and well Gordon along with your family

        • Yes mike I’m a widnes fan , but we saved our club , I put a monthly amount into the club to help it survive. But we didn’t go bust through buying every Tom dick and Harry or making bad busses decisions we went bust because of O’Connor and a certain mr rules with his hands in till , but one thing for sure were still around because of our supporters and the fact other fans came to the widnes v featherstone match . Even after a 12 point deduction the RFL still couldn’t kill
          Us off , why because we had the right team ( new ) in charge. To guide us to safe , fans who donated to the club money via the quids in programme , people who let the club keep the season ticket monies , plus pride , commitment loyalty honesty passion, so yes I’ll watch batley and Whitehaven two clubs who have been around longer than Toronto and are still around , so before you use your 1 IQ please get your facts right about Widnes before passing you a opinion on here . I’m widnes to I die

  3. This could have been avoided if Toronto had there fair share of the super league money and the mass signing of expensive players the Rfl should have kept a tighter grip on their signing and expenditures They should have been deducted twenty points and deposited an amount of money has a bond There are to many super league owners wanting a bigger cut of the pot this should be dealt out equally and totally controlled by the Rfl who all the clubs as I understand are members of

  4. An erroneous decision. I only hope that the clubs realise the situation global sport is facing and how RL is a figleaf. What an opportunity missed by selfish acts. Toronto pulling in those crowds… Salford, Wakefield, Huddersfield (and I love this club, but…) and London… what have they offered in terms of crowds? And they voted no… amazing how the interests of RL can be overruled by a group of self interested CEOs rather than what is good for the game. What incentive now for any other expansion projects? Ottawa, NYC… what would be the point.

    If they don’t get a 12th team (or more…) in for next season then it is clear its a selfish act over money.

    If they give the place to Leigh, that is fundamentally wrong and the way Beaumont dodged the bills etc was wrong.

    To not deduct points from Toronto and at least encourage – two way relationship? – a crack at getting past Wakefield and other basement bores, is wrong.

    Coronavirus has already finished off a slightly wealthier rugby union (below Champ) until September 2021. What on earth does SL think will happen to it in 2021?

    I am desperately disappointed. An opportunity lost. I have read the statements by Elstone et al. I understand them, I just disagree.

    I wish SL good luck in 2021. I wonder when Elstone will actually start earning his money? I am sincerely glad he is nowhere near the World Cup management.(if he is I will be corrected I am sure!)

  5. Rugby League RIP.
    Killed by self interest, ignorance and greed.
    They have screwed the WHOLE game so it will become a parochial game with minimal, if that, GLOBAL media interest and and WC no one cold care less about.
    Marketing is hard wok.
    SL 100% FAIL.
    Bye SKY.

  6. People need to get over themselves and get their facts right. ‘RIP Rugby league’, ‘Goodbye Rugby league’, ‘Game is screwed up’ are you all serious?

    The Wolfpack are not good enough to play at the highest level. Fact. They have no academy so the game doesn’t grow in Canada, no funds, and a half empty stadium (I’ve been there twice).

    Yes, it is nice having a team in our league from Toronto but it doesn’t damage our game by not having them in it. This is a great chance for teams like Bradford, Leigh, and London (clubs who have the necessary funds) to play in the Super league.

    Stay positive everyone, our game is not destroyed by this decision

    • There are super league clubs with little to offer except history, clubs who after over 2 decades of playing in Super League cant provide a decent stadium let alone any international class players. Terminal decline has already started, keep scheduling matches in opposition to TV broadcasts and the audience declines, less interest and revenue from sky, more of the best players off to RU & the NRL. Welcome to the new Speedway, a sport that’s died the death.

  7. What a shame. I’m among the Torontonians who didn’t know a thing about RL, loved the concept, ended up turning up to most games with my kids, brought a bunch of other families with over time. This leaves a very sour taste indeed. Good luck with your sport and with your league.

  8. Ridiculous decision. Leeds Saints and Catalan should leave SL and join the RFL Championship. Put Ottawa straight in as well and move on to a TV deal and a bright future. Leave the other SL clubs to keep playing each other and run the game into the ground.

  9. To be honest I don’t have any major feelings either way over this decision, but it’s done.

    Now, looking forwards, let’s get another team in to replace them. IMHO there is only ONE choice. A team that has an excellent and committed funder and chairman, coach, team & training staff. A team that has, for years, had an excellent academy, with ex academy players spread throughout the game. A team that has, and can continue to spread the game further into the south. A team which other Super League team supporters have loved to visit…the list goes on!

    It’s obvious to me…of course, LONDON BRONCOS!

  10. Fairwell to the Toronto Wolfpack. I have certainly mostly enjoyed the ride. I just wish things could’ve worked out differently but they made their bed so they had to lie in it. If only they had somehow stayed afloat in this crazy covid19 ridden season. Maybe the writing was on the wall after Eric Perez stepped away/back to work on Ottawa Aces and then this year when Brian Noble left. Having to put most of their eggs in one money basket probably didn’t help either.
    Rugby league in the Americas has slowly been growing for some time and I believe Toronto Wolfpack have and will contribute to it getting bigger and better. So hopefully this is not the end of the Wolfpack but maybe a chance to refocus on growing the game more from there for there. If this is the end, thanks for trying to spread Rugby league football the game we love to watch and play to a wider audience and say hello to the Western Reds, Adelaide Rams, Celtic Crusaders and Paris Saint Germain in failed Rugby league expansion heaven.
    Long live Rugby league football the greatest game of all.

  11. Super league is going to grow and thrive.

    SL said they gave Toronto every opportunity to make it work but their plan wasn’t good enough.

    Everyone you speak with over here in Canada associated with RL has said near enough the same thing; ‘Toronto Wolfpack is a poorly run club that could never survive, the Ottawa Aces however, are in a much better place to make it work long term.’

    SL aren’t stupid, they did what is best for our game long term

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