Toronto Wolfpack are confident of meeting next week’s deadline to submit an application to rejoin Super League in 2021.
The Canadian club, who were promoted from the Championship last October, pulled out of Super League in July, citing visa and financial issues exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, and had their participation agreement formally terminated earlier this month.
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Championship side Featherstone are seeking formal talks aimed at securing a place in Super League for 2021, taking the spot which was held by the Wolfpack this season.
Despite the high-profile signing of Sonny Bill Williams, Toronto had lost their first six matches of their debut top-flight season and were facing the imminent prospect of relegation back to the Championship.
Current owner David Argyle admitted he could no longer sustain the club and the players, including New Zealand dual-code international Sonny Bill Williams.
Toronto chairman and chief executive Bob Hunter has been in talks with four prospective bidders and says the front runner is a North American businessman who was an original investor of the Wolfpack in 2016.
“As per the documentation requested by Super League, we’ve been working diligently and quickly to try to pull that together on a recommended ownership group,” Hunter said.
“That deadline is next Tuesday and we fully intend to have absolutely the lion’s share of that material in their hands by then.
“If we need an extension, we’ll ask for it but right now we’re focused on getting it done on time.
“Following that, they will take the appropriate time to study it and I am sure come back with questions.”
Hunter says he hopes to present the prospective new owner to Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone and Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer next week.
Toronto’s records were expunged and Super League resumed on August 2 with 11 teams but the Wolfpack’s hopes of re-admission have been raised by a plea from St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus for Super League to operate as normal with 12 clubs next season.
Hunter says he is in the dark over a suggestion made on Thursday by Hull KR coach Tony Smith that Toronto are set to be allowed back in the competition but has confidence in the prospective new owner’s ability to restore confidence in the club.
“He was one of the original investors in 2016 but he’s not been actively involved since,” Hunter said.
“He’s been to a couple of games a year and that sort of thing, he’s just very busy personally.
“But he sees the opportunity, he believes in Super League and feels that Toronto should be there.
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