Wolfpack seek new owner after Super League terminates contract
The Toronto Wolfpack, the Canadian rugby league side, are seeking new owners after majority shareholder David Argyle decided to step down in the wake of the club’s UK-based Super League contract being terminated.
Speaking to reporters, Bob Hunter, the club’s president and chief executive, said the club are now considering “solid” ownership offers after from two undisclosed bidders, one from North America and one in the UK.
He said: “David is walking away and the two groups that are in, I’d call it the horse race, we’re evaluating which is in the best interest of the club and Super League going forward.
“He’s [Argyle] had a great run. He’s spent a lot of his own money. It was time. I hate to say time to give up, but more so important to just stop investing in the club. And so he made the decision a couple of weeks ago and asked us to go and see if we could find some new owners.”
Argyle, a Toronto-based Australian entrepreneur, and his ownership group have invested an estimated CA$300 million ($244.2 million) in the club.
Hunter added that Argyle’s previous plans to sell shares in the club to American football’s NHL franchise Green Bay Packers is now off the table.
The move comes following Super League’s announcement that it had terminated Wolfpack’s participation agreement after the club withdrew from this year’s competition, citing financial challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Wolfpack still have an agreement with the Rugby Football League, English rugby league’s governing body, which means they are able to enter the second-tier Championship next month.
However, if they want to play in the 2021 Super League season, they will have to renegotiate terms and conditions with the competition chiefs.
A statement the Super League said: “Super League’s actions reflects the seriousness of breach of contract by Toronto Wolfpack, which has impacted Super League and its member clubs.
“The Wolfpack would now have to enter into a new Participation Agreement before being able to play in the competition in 2021.”
Championship side Featherstone are now seeking formal talks to replace Wolfpack in Super League for 2021, having missed out on promotion to the top flight following their playoff final defeat to Toronto last year.
The Super League resumed on 2 August with 11 teams, having excluded Wolfpack’s results during the campaign.