The Toronto Wolfpack and their fans will know the future of their team later this month. There are three-four dates in particular Wolfpack fans should be aware of. This includes September 25th, which will most likely determine whether the team continues to play in 2021 or not.
Toronto Wolfpack future to be determined in September
Over the next few days a decision will be made on the Wolfpack’s application to re-join the Super League in 2021.
During this crucial period for our club we are asking fans to share their favourite memories from following the team.
To take part simply reply to this thread.♥️ pic.twitter.com/FX1AaZ7oge
— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) September 10, 2020
Three to Four Important Dates for the Toronto Wolfpack
All three-four dates between the Toronto Wolfpack, Super League, and the Rugby Football League (RFL) has been outlined by Matthew Shaw of Total Rugby League.
On September 18th, the Super League executives will give their assessment on the Wolfpack. An assessment will also be given on the Wolfpack’s application, which includes input from the RFL and Super League. Lastly, the RFL will confirm sanctions to the club if the Wolfpack is accepted back into Super League.
A recommendation on Toronto will be sent from the executives to the clubs on September 21st, a decision will then be made on September 25th. If Toronto is accepted on September 25th, the new potential owner would present to the clubs in the week of September 28th.
The decision will be based on the viability of the Toronto project and the vision of the rugby league in Canada. This should not affect the Ottawa Aces XIII as they are now in the third tier of the RFL in League 1 for 2021. However, it may impact potential ownership groups in other cities like Montreal and Vancouver, who have shown interest in owning a professional rugby league team.
— Love Rugby League (@loverugbyleague) May 21, 2019
Alternative 12-Team 2021 Super League Option
There could still be 12 teams in Super League even if the Toronto Wolfpack is not accepted through mini licensing. All Championship and League 1 clubs must have their bids submitted by October 16th with an official decision made by October 26th. There are eight teams that put their bids in for Super League according to Mick Gledhill, a broadcast journalist for Pulse 1 Radio, Proper Sport, and the RFL.
Another thing to consider if the sport of #RugbyLeague heads to mini licensing is that the team that gets promoted to Super League will need replacing in the Championship. That will open the door for Newcastle, Doncaster, Rochdale and Barrow. #RugbyLeague pic.twitter.com/ERXWaeJsks
— Mick Gledhill 🗣🎙📻 (@TheGameCaller) September 12, 2020
If the Wolfpack were not accepted back into Super League their future would be uncertain and bleak. This is especially true as the potential new owner only wants to be in Super League.
Carlo LiVolsi is the Potential Owner of the Toronto Wolfpack
Carlo LiVolsi is the person trying to buy the Toronto Wolfpack. The Canadian is from Woodbridge, just north of Toronto. LiVolsi owns 12-13 businesses mostly from the beauty industry and is the founding shareholder of the Wolfpack.
However, the business he owns that rugby league fans should particularly pay attention to is Wolf Grooming. Wolf Grooming became the “official grooming product” of the Toronto Wolfpack in March 2019.
Wolf Grooming is stylin' the Pack for 2019.
— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) March 20, 2019
LiVolsi also plans to bring this grooming brand to the United Kingdom next year. He will monetize the Toronto Wolfpack and Super League. LiVolsi expands on this in Total Rugby League:
“From my perspective, grooming brands are a sector of the marketplace that’s worth a lot of money, a lot more than a Super League team would go for. I believe that by taking the brand itself, building a story around the guys, the players and injecting that into the core of what Super League is today will help it succeed.”
This is just part of LiVolsi’s big plan for Super League according to Gary Carter of The Sun:
“I’ve a robust plan I believe will help make it successful and given the male audience is rugby’s largest, we can build it into a $100million partnership revenue wise over five years.”
LiVolsi also promised to have a sound five-year business plan. His priority when taking over the Wolfpack is to pay the players’ salaries.
Carlo LiVolsi Conditions for Super League
LiVolsi had made it particularly clear that buying the team is contingent on the Toronto Wolfpack staying in Super League. “It’s Super League or bust,” he said to Love Rugby League. Additionally, LiVolsi also wants central distribution, something which the other 11 Super League clubs already possess.
Future Overview of Professional Rugby League in Toronto
The Toronto Wolfpack deserves a team in Super League next year. Yes, there might have been some bad practices by former Toronto Wolfpack owner David Argyle. However, the Toronto Wolfpack project would not have been questioned if COVID-19, a once in a century pandemic happened. Furthermore, the Wolfpack’s attendance has risen every year from 2017-19.
Brian McDermott, head coach of the Toronto Wolfpack, says rugby league in Canada can work. He states about how rugby league was able to breakthrough and create large attendances in Toronto. Something, which he stated was hard to do in his Sky Sports Rugby League interview below:
— Sky Sports Rugby League (@SkySportsRL) September 11, 2020
The Wolfpack drew an average attendance of 7,882 fans at Lamport Stadium in 2019. This includes drawing 9,974 fans in their Championship Grand Final win against the Featherstone Rovers on October 5th.
— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) October 5, 2019
Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images