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Toronto to make case to remain in Super League on Thursday

They want to stay at the top level in 2021. Toronto chairman and CEO Bob Hunter will make the club’s case for remaining in Super League on Thursday. Hunter will deliver a presentation to Super …

They want to stay at the top level in 2021.

Toronto chairman and CEO Bob Hunter will make the club’s case for remaining in Super League on Thursday.

Hunter will deliver a presentation to Super League officials and aim to convince them to allow the Wolfpack to compete at the top level in 2021.

The club announced their withdrawal from remaining fixtures on Monday, citing a range of challenges.

Some have speculated that this could spell the end of the club, but Hunter told Sortsnet Canada that the Wolfpack will compete next year, whether in Super League or the Championship.

He said: “We will know probably within a week to ten days what Super League’s position will be on us remaining at that level.

“I am actually giving a presentation to the Super League board on Thursday to give all the good reasons why we should remain, and explain in great detail why we couldn’t get through this year.

“We’re hoping that we’ll remain.

“We’ve talked about getting demoted to the Championship and if we do then we’re going to suck it up and figure out a solution, and get a competitive squad, to get us back to Super League.

“I don’t think there’s any way that [the club won’t be here] in one of those two scenarios.

“If the results are more detrimental than that then maybe it’s time to hang up the shield.”

Hunter also indicated that receiving a share of TV money could be critical to the club’s “long-term viability”.

He said: “Long-term viability is one consideration and I’ve advised David [Argyle] a number of times, and he’s a very smart business guy.

“We need to be fully participating in television and other revenues, but 90% of those revenues are that deal with Sky.

“It’s up for renewal at the end of next year and so those discussions are already commencing.

“That is the critical factor in us continuing.”

Hunter also claimed that more than half of the 11 remaining Super League clubs back the Wolfpack’s inclusion at the top level.

“I think there are six or seven clubs that totally get it, and put value in our international brand and as an amazing city.

“I was talking to one of the owners today and he said ‘if I’m Sky Sports, do I want to bring in a small community in Northern England or do I want to have that Toronto brand on our masthead?’

“I must admit that it’s the first time I’ve thought about it, and you’ve got to stay in Super League once you get there, but it relates to international marketing and looking at the fact that we do add something to the other 11 clubs.”

Hunter went on to elaborate on the process that concluded with the Wolfpack’s decision to step back from this year’s Super League.

“We’d been planning for not having any revenue for a couple of weeks but it all came to a head this past week.

“We’ve gone to the League in the past week and said ‘guys, we’re really struggling to be able to play’.

“And it’s not just financial either. We have seven international players whose work permits were going to expire at the end of July.

“They literally had to go back to Australia and New Zealand.

“There was the issue of fielding a team with us being down to 15 or 17 players, and we needed the other teams to lend us players or draw from Championship level.

“Then there was the whole issue of the finance, but we were able to get to a level where we felt we were going to be OK.

“The schedule was an issue too and how it played to our disadvantage on some of our home dates over there.

“We wanted to play the bigger games at the end of the season and try to generate some revenue.

“All that said and done, it became very obvious to us that financially we just couldn’t do it.

“We’ve got around a million and a half in salaries still to pay over the season and we’re still committed to doing that for our players.

“But it was just going to get worse before it got better, and we just came to the conclusion that we truly had to step down, and that’s where we are today.”

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