Toronto Wolfpack: RLPA’s Garreth Carvell concerned decision deferral does not help players | Rugby League News

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Last Updated: 25/09/20 9:10pm

RLPA head Garreth Carvell wants more certainty for Toronto's players

RLPA head Garreth Carvell wants more certainty for Toronto’s players

Garreth Carvell is disappointed Toronto Wolfpack’s players will have to wait another month before finding out whether the club will be allowed to return to Super League in 2021.

The decision over the Canadian side’s future was expected to be announced following a Super League board meeting on Friday, but instead was deferred to October to allow new owner Carlo LiVolsi an opportunity to detail the club’s plans.

Rugby League Players Association head Carvell is pleased the Wolfpack have been given more time to state their case for inclusion next year. However, he is concerned the players are facing yet more uncertainty without being paid.

“There are some clubs worried about the financial plan they’ve set out, so it’s good they’ll have an opportunity to go into that with a bit more depth and prove it is viable,” Carvell told Sky Sports News. “It’s a shame it has come to this, but having a deferred decision is better than a no, I guess.

“Those guys, including staff, haven’t been paid for five months so the decision to defer for another month doesn’t help them whatsoever.

“It means they’ve got to struggle again for another month, they’ve gone into their life savings and there’s this misconception Toronto players are mega-rich. I can guarantee you that’s not the case.

“Ideally the decision would have been yes, but I think kicking it into the long grass for another month doesn’t help anybody, especially the players.”

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Players Union Chief Garreth Carvell feels a deferral on the decision on whether to admit Toronto Wolfpack into the 2021 Super League prolongs the players anguish over unpaid wages

Players Union Chief Garreth Carvell feels a deferral on the decision on whether to admit Toronto Wolfpack into the 2021 Super League prolongs the players anguish over unpaid wages

LiVolsi has agreed to cover the outstanding payroll of around £1m owed to Wolfpack players and staff as part of his takeover of the club, although should that not happen the RLPA will continue to pursue former owner David Argyle for monies owed through legal means.

However, Toronto’s problems were exacerbated by not getting any central funding, and being unable to access any of the money the government loaned the RFL to get clubs through lockdown or place players on the furlough scheme and Carvell is not surprised by the situation which arose.

“It’s been difficult for all clubs with Covid happening, but the situation at Toronto has been different in that they’ve had no furlough, no TV money, no access to the £16m loan from the government,” Carvell said.

“With that in consideration, it was always going to be difficult for the club to survive and play this year. I think any other club in the same situation probably would have struggled or gone under.

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Super League’s executive chairman Robert Elstone explained the deadline set on the prospective new owner of Toronto to resubmit their proposal for inclusion in Super League 2021

Super League’s executive chairman Robert Elstone explained the deadline set on the prospective new owner of Toronto to resubmit their proposal for inclusion in Super League 2021

“It was disappointing given how late in the day it was announced, but I think it was inevitable given the circumstances.”

Despite everything, the former Great Britain international prop believes Toronto should be accepted into Super League for 2021, with provisions in place to re-assess their status ahead of pre-season to ensure this scenario does not arise again.

“It needs to be put on Toronto’s toes now,” Carvell said. “Yes, this pandemic has caused a big issue and players haven’t been paid.

“There is a genuine case for the club to go forward, for someone to show an interest and someone with money who is prepared to pay the payroll which has gone – which they’re under no obligation to do – and show there is a future for the game in Toronto.

“I think it’s a chance to prove that, which this month they can go into the finances and everything in more detail. But letting them in with a review built into that [just before pre-season]… that’s where I’d be with it.”