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Canadian rugby

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Mon, 07 Jan 2019, 11:20

Oh indeed, the Arrows have to worry about themselves. No point looking over their shoulder because their priorities are different. They're are now the professional pathway for the national team and there's going to be a bunch of young players growing up who want to take that path. Hoping Vancouver get their act together in the next few years with MLR. I still think long term Canada can sustain 3-4 MLR teams.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby Tobar » Mon, 07 Jan 2019, 14:08

Right, everyone keeps saying “but what about the Wolfpack??!” and really the Arrows just need to focus on their own thing and build up their own brand. They can’t spend their first few years of existence trying to imitate a League team that’s only been around for 1 or 2 more years in a city that has next to 0 League players.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Mon, 07 Jan 2019, 15:37

Canadaman wrote:Seems like the Wolfpack forgot to pay their players, oops.

https://nationalpost.com/pmn/sports-pmn ... -coming-in



I thought Argyle was filthy rich? Even if he wanted to bring in an investor to alleviate some the risks non-payment of players gets to be a joke.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby snapper37 » Mon, 07 Jan 2019, 18:59

Tobar wrote:Right, everyone keeps saying “but what about the Wolfpack??!” and really the Arrows just need to focus on their own thing and build up their own brand. They can’t spend their first few years of existence trying to imitate a League team that’s only been around for 1 or 2 more years in a city that has next to 0 League players.



Personally I think the Wolfpack will die within a year or two, There is no league being played at the school level, little to none at the club level, none at the provincial level. The only Canadian on the team has New Zealand heritage and grew up watching it but playing union. He has also gone back to Union, were his future looks brighter. And by all reports the Wolfpack give away huge numbers of their tickets, you cant sustain a team especially with the travel that they have by giving away tickets, i hear the owners have deep pockets but charity will only work for so long. kudos for trying,.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby 4N » Mon, 07 Jan 2019, 19:31

Obviously some will have an “us vs them” attitude and that’s not going to change, but the two clubs seem to be working fine together. Both codes of rugby have enough of an uphill battle in North America without carrying on some old feud that’s largely rooted overseas.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Mon, 07 Jan 2019, 22:04

What perplexes me is that there doesn't seem to be an plan for the Wolfpack to do any work at a grass roots level. There's apparently no consultation or partnership with the CRL, so I don't know what the long term plans are for the team. At the moment it's just someone with deep pockets willing to put their own money in to prop them up. But hey, it's their money.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 02:32

thatrugbyguy wrote:What perplexes me is that there doesn't seem to be an plan for the Wolfpack to do any work at a grass roots level. There's apparently no consultation or partnership with the CRL, so I don't know what the long term plans are for the team. At the moment it's just someone with deep pockets willing to put their own money in to prop them up. But hey, it's their money.

Because the CRL isn't a real organization.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby Canadian_Rugger » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 03:25

Indeed it isn't a real organization. TWP have tried to work with them but they are so amateur it is pointless at this point.

I've got a subscription to League Express, it had a far more detailed breakdown of what had transpired. It is behind a pay wall though so I can't post it.

I'll summarize. The club had some liquidity problems due to the economic downturn just before XMas which made it difficult to raise new capital. In other words, the club was operating in the red. The owners of the team dipped in to their own pocket book to make up the difference and ensure the club was funded.

David Argyle alluded to it in the article but I get the sense the ownership group was gauging the long term sustainability of the franchise. He has openly said the team will not sustain itself off ticket sales and merchandise alone and a new model was needed.

They appear to have found it and the article said TWP Ownership have been in high level negotiations with three major Canadian corporations that are listed on TSX. They have agreed to give TWP an immediate cash injection of $10 million and a stake in the club while Argyle will retain a 50% ownership in the club. They will sell Wolfpack branded drinks and alcoholic beverages as well as fitness products and will split revenue with the club.

They also expect this is the first of what is expected to be multiple cash injections by these major corporations.

Another thing that was mentioned is that TWP is presently in negotiations with SKY to televise all their games next year. Expect TWP games to be on Sportsnet from here on out.

Finally, David Argyle has bought a 25% stake in London Skolars. Too date the owners group has spent $12.5 million over two seasons but they are very confident in the long term sustainability of the club.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby Canadian_Rugger » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 03:37

Btw, TWP paid a $1 million dollar fee to join the RFL. They just sold a 25% percent stake in the club for $10 million.

North American Sport is all about Value. 10 million x 4 = $40 million which is what the 100% of shares are valued at.

Argyle keeps his stake for a few more years until TWP have reached Super League, have a TV deal and then sells his remainder for a massive profit. Classic venture capitalism.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 04:34

Not exactly firm footings then for the sport as a whole in that country. Unless there is no genuine desire to grow the sport and it's purely a profit driven thing.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby Canadian_Rugger » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 04:41

thatrugbyguy wrote:Not exactly firm footings then for the sport as a whole in that country. Unless there is no genuine desire to grow the sport and it's purely a profit driven thing.


It is a 100% profit driven thing. The idea is to grow a brand that becomes popular. The sport can totally become popular from this though.

A prime example of this is MMA in Canada. MMA is very popular here and there are a lot of people who train and compete. It is 100% down to the UFC and fighters like Georges St Pierre that the sport has any sort of foothold here.

It's the classic what came first? The chicken or the egg? If RL does develop here as a significant participation sport in Canada, it will not look like the traditional "rugby club" model we see elsewhere. My guess is it looks more like minor hockey or minor football that is popular as a youth sport with almost no competitive participation at the adult level that isn't professional.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 04:52

Having any "liquidity" problems shows you're not on firm footing. He made the payments, but why was he late? If he's flush with cash, the organization should have money in it's account to fund their liabilities. Obviously he was running it on credit and they didn't have anything left. $10MM is probably not enough to fund their operations with the number of transatlantic flights they take and the previous funding of their opponents travel.
Last edited by TheStroBro on Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 15:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby Canadian_Rugger » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 05:04

TheStroBro wrote:Having any "liquidity" problems shows you're not on firm footing. He made the payments, but why was he late? If he's flush with cash, the organization should money in it's account to fund their liabilities. Obviously he was running it on credit and they didn't have anything left.


Because it isn't making money right now. It wasn't expected to be profitable for 5 years which was their original plan.

Argyle himself has lots of money but he and the others were probably deciding whether or not to continue to run the "corporation" or close up shop because the juice wasn't going to be worth the squeeze.

Argyle is a businessman, not a philanthropist, he isn't pissing his money away with no expectation on return of investment.

My guess, if they hadn't secured the additional funding, the investors would have pulled out and the club folded.

Owners of corporations are not "personally" liable for their debts which is why they wouldn't keep a large sum of cash sitting at TWP. If things go south, you declare bankruptcy and the only thing that can be seized are assets belonging to the corporation. In this case, a few bags of rugby balls and some jerseys. :lol:

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby thatrugbyguy » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 05:33

Canadian_Rugger wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:Not exactly firm footings then for the sport as a whole in that country. Unless there is no genuine desire to grow the sport and it's purely a profit driven thing.


It is a 100% profit driven thing. The idea is to grow a brand that becomes popular. The sport can totally become popular from this though.

A prime example of this is MMA in Canada. MMA is very popular here and there are a lot of people who train and compete. It is 100% down to the UFC and fighters like Georges St Pierre that the sport has any sort of foothold here.

It's the classic what came first? The chicken or the egg? If RL does develop here as a significant participation sport in Canada, it will not look like the traditional "rugby club" model we see elsewhere. My guess is it looks more like minor hockey or minor football that is popular as a youth sport with almost no competitive participation at the adult level that isn't professional.


Except the top down approach has never worked in Rugby League. Melbourne Storm are still being propped up 20 years later despite winning god knows how many premierships. The only reason they still exist is because there's value in having Australia's second biggest city involved in the national competition, they've had maybe a handful of local talent emerge and play for them in that time, but the sport is still a distant 4th behind the other football codes. They would have been put to the sword 15 years ago if it weren't for the sustained handouts, and if they were to go away tomorrow most people wouldn't care that much. As someone who's followed League for most of his life and seen how the sport has been run, forgive my skepticism if I think Toronto will somehow work long term when it's got even greater road blocks in place than what the Melbourne Storm had to dead with.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 08:39

They have agreed to give TWP an immediate cash injection of $10 million and a stake in the club while Argyle will retain a 50% ownership in the club. They will sell Wolfpack branded drinks and alcoholic beverages as well as fitness products and will split revenue with the club.

They also expect this is the first of what is expected to be multiple cash injections by these major corporations.


Do you genuinely believe that is 1) the whole truth, 2) really a sustainable idea?

I would think that "$10m" is made up of a cash equivalents of dubious value, such as "advertising spend" for this "Wolfpack branded sports drink"? I would also point out "Wolfpack" is already trade marked as a beer in the UK (surely one of the main target markets for such alcoholic beverages) and the owners are strongly associated with rugby already so launching any drink branded as Wolfpack in the UK would be a challenge. I would be fairly surprised if such a name was still available in the US too.

And let's take it that they are really going to do it as presented, do they think Wolfpack will be the new Red Bull? I have often thought Red Bull would be a decent sponsor for many rugby teams but how many challenger Energy drinks succeed and how many fail? In theory it could work, as I understand it Gatorade has some sort of similar relationship with Florida Universty but is a massive gamble.

I bear the Wolfpack no ill will and think they are a great case study for the Arrows to use but let's be frank, it's all looking a bit Pro Rugby at the moment.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 15:37

Canadian_Rugger wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:Having any "liquidity" problems shows you're not on firm footing. He made the payments, but why was he late? If he's flush with cash, the organization should money in it's account to fund their liabilities. Obviously he was running it on credit and they didn't have anything left.


Because it isn't making money right now. It wasn't expected to be profitable for 5 years which was their original plan.

Argyle himself has lots of money but he and the others were probably deciding whether or not to continue to run the "corporation" or close up shop because the juice wasn't going to be worth the squeeze.

Argyle is a businessman, not a philanthropist, he isn't pissing his money away with no expectation on return of investment.

My guess, if they hadn't secured the additional funding, the investors would have pulled out and the club folded.

Owners of corporations are not "personally" liable for their debts which is why they wouldn't keep a large sum of cash sitting at TWP. If things go south, you declare bankruptcy and the only thing that can be seized are assets belonging to the corporation. In this case, a few bags of rugby balls and some jerseys. :lol:


Sure, we had a guy here run a rugby league and he just stopped paying players. He hasn't declared bankruptcy. He's lost cases against players and other employees in court, but how they'll get their due it's unsure.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby Canadian_Rugger » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 16:02

TheStroBro wrote:
Canadian_Rugger wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:Having any "liquidity" problems shows you're not on firm footing. He made the payments, but why was he late? If he's flush with cash, the organization should money in it's account to fund their liabilities. Obviously he was running it on credit and they didn't have anything left.


Because it isn't making money right now. It wasn't expected to be profitable for 5 years which was their original plan.

Argyle himself has lots of money but he and the others were probably deciding whether or not to continue to run the "corporation" or close up shop because the juice wasn't going to be worth the squeeze.

Argyle is a businessman, not a philanthropist, he isn't pissing his money away with no expectation on return of investment.

My guess, if they hadn't secured the additional funding, the investors would have pulled out and the club folded.

Owners of corporations are not "personally" liable for their debts which is why they wouldn't keep a large sum of cash sitting at TWP. If things go south, you declare bankruptcy and the only thing that can be seized are assets belonging to the corporation. In this case, a few bags of rugby balls and some jerseys. :lol:


Sure, we had a guy here run a rugby league and he just stopped paying players. He hasn't declared bankruptcy. He's lost cases against players and other employees in court, but how they'll get their due it's unsure.


The reality is TWP missed one payment and the owners rectified it almost immediately. There was a court case against TWP's UK arm which has also been withdrawn. These things happen and the owners, unlike Doug Schoninger, took positive steps to rectify the problem and also own it in the media. Your comparisons to PRO Rugby isn't fair in the slightest and shows a large bit of bias.

They seem to be doing better than the Canadian Government and Phoenix which after 2+ years still can't get their pay problems worked out, or the US Government which isn't paying workers right now and is dysfunctional as ever.

Despite all the naysayers, TWP are here to stay and are doing very well at that.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby Was_a_Kat » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 16:59

Canadian_Rugger wrote:Btw, TWP paid a $1 million dollar fee to join the RFL. They just sold a 25% percent stake in the club for $10 million.

North American Sport is all about Value. 10 million x 4 = $40 million which is what the 100% of shares are valued at.

Argyle keeps his stake for a few more years until TWP have reached Super League, have a TV deal and then sells his remainder for a massive profit. Classic venture capitalism.


Did they get 25 or 50 per cent?

I dint think you can assess the franchise value initially at simply $1 million. The starting capital outside of that fee also had to be significant.

I would be sceptical about whether the $10 million is hard money, and all paid now.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby Tobar » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 19:08

4N wrote:Obviously some will have an “us vs them” attitude and that’s not going to change, but the two clubs seem to be working fine together. Both codes of rugby have enough of an uphill battle in North America without carrying on some old feud that’s largely rooted overseas.


The whole League vs Union “battle” just annoys me. I never had any issue with League up until certain League fans (one of whom is a lurker here so will likely see this) kept bashing Union and saying how terrible it is. In the US, League is almost completely nonexistent and primarily played by Aussies and Union players during the offseason.

I find League less fun to watch but personally never had any issue with sport and it’s ridiculous for people to bring over a fight that we were never involved in.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby iul » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 20:10

Tobar wrote:
4N wrote:Obviously some will have an “us vs them” attitude and that’s not going to change, but the two clubs seem to be working fine together. Both codes of rugby have enough of an uphill battle in North America without carrying on some old feud that’s largely rooted overseas.


The whole League vs Union “battle” just annoys me. I never had any issue with League up until certain League fans (one of whom is a lurker here so will likely see this) kept bashing Union and saying how terrible it is. In the US, League is almost completely nonexistent and primarily played by Aussies and Union players during the offseason.

I find League less fun to watch but personally never had any issue with sport and it’s ridiculous for people to bring over a fight that we were never involved in.

But we are involved in it. League is a similar sport with the same-ish name and whose single plan of expansion is taking players (and sometimes whole clubs) from rugby clubs and confusing rugby fans and sponsors into watching/sponsoring their sport on the basis that it's also rugby. Last autumn when NZ played England in Denver very many spectators thought they were going to watch the All Blacks. Think of it this way...if you start selling soft drinks under the name of "Tobar Cola" Coca Cola won't give a shit about you... start selling the same drink as "Coca Cola League" and they will recognize you as someone they must fight against with all the force they can muster.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby 4N » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 20:24

Last autumn when NZ played England in Denver very many spectators thought they were going to watch the All Blacks.


I doubt casual fans like that would have even understood the difference. Play in black, do a haka, pass around a white oval ball. I understand to an extent why the Aussies have their code wars, they are competing for top billing in the country. But I have no idea at all why a Romanian would even care. RL doesn’t exist in your country. It would be like an Argentine getting upset that bandy competes with ice hockey or Canadian football with American football or something - just makes no sense at all.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby iul » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 22:21

4N wrote:
Last autumn when NZ played England in Denver very many spectators thought they were going to watch the All Blacks.


I doubt casual fans like that would have even understood the difference. Play in black, do a haka, pass around a white oval ball.

That was may point too. League tricked many people into going to their event.
4N wrote:I understand to an extent why the Aussies have their code wars, they are competing for top billing in the country. But I have no idea at all why a Romanian would even care. RL doesn’t exist in your country. It would be like an Argentine getting upset that bandy competes with ice hockey or Canadian football with American football or something - just makes no sense at all.

It's perfectly rational and reasonable to not like your favorite sport's growth being slowed down by another sport taking advantage of their similar name to attract players, fans and sponsors.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby 4N » Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 23:09

No. They weren’t showing up hoping to see the All Blacks. From what I understand they sold to Denver Broncos (NFL) fans primarily and most of these people would only be vaguely aware of rugby. What I am saying is they wouldn’t have known the difference either way. The haka may be slightly better known due to American football teams also performing it.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Wed, 09 Jan 2019, 05:06

They wouldn't have known the difference, but they almost certainly would have come away thinking less of rugby than if the All Blacks had actually been there. There was definitely a lot of confusion about it being the All Blacks too. Just this morning I was wearing a rugby shirt and my barber was asking me if I went to see the All Blacks when they were here in Denver last summer. It wasn't too bad of a match, though, and it was probably net neutral for rugby union in the area.

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Re: Canadian rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Wed, 09 Jan 2019, 14:53

Going further off topic, but my wife once got me "Rugby" World Cup tickets for my birthday.
She was furious when she found out it, she had just spent a lot of money including hotel and plane tickets on a sport I was not passionate about. Still had a great time in Cardiff for the Rugby League World Cup opening double-header in 2013, but we wouldn't have gone otherwise, but instead to a Rugby game elsewhere. So in our case it definitely took some money away from Rugby.

Personally I've got nothing against League, I also think it is a bit too dull to enjoy it more, but a game every now and then doesn't hurt.
I see no way how it can ever outgrow Rugby in any country worldwide again in the modern internet age, where everybody can see videos of any sport within seconds.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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