Toronto Wolfpack appoint Bob Hunter as new chairman
Former owner David Argyle quit in June over racist comments he made to Swinton forward Jose Kenga
By PA Media
Last Updated: 14/08/19 6:34pm
Toronto Wolfpack have turned to one of Canada's most experienced sports administrators to plug the gap created by the resignation of Australian David Argyle.
The Canadian club, who are closing in on a place in Super League, have appointed seasoned innovator Bob Hunter as the club's new chairman and interim chief executive as successor to Argyle, who quit both roles in June after becoming embroiled in a racism row.
Hunter has helped shape the infrastructure of some of Canada's most prominent sports and entertainment venues and was looking to get involved with the Wolfpack when the offer came from Argyle.
"The more we chatted the more I got excited about the team, the product and the fan base in Toronto," Hunter said.
"Then David asked if I would be interested in taking the chairman's role and I thought, 'This is an exciting time'.
"I feel very fortunate to be joining as the club is gearing towards their final push in our quest for promotion into the Super League.
"I am here to help Wolfpack strive to continue to make a strong impact in the community while growing the sport of rugby in Canada.
"I watch a lot of sports but I love the physicality of it. They are just superior athletes, it's an exciting game to watch."
“I feel very fortunate to be joining the Toronto Wolfpack at such an exciting time ... I am here to support the Wolfpack on and off the field and to help them strive to continue to make a strong impact in the community while growing the sport of Rugby in Canada.”— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) August 14, 2019
– Bob Hunter
Toronto have won all but one of their 24 league matches so far under coach Brian McDermott and are guaranteed to be at home in the play-offs as they seek to go one further than last season, when they lost to London Broncos in the Million Pound Game.
"Promotion is very important from a credibility stand-point," Hunter said.
"It's been a tremendous season so far, but the golden ring is hanging there and I know how focused Brian and his coaching staff and players are on getting there."
Over the course of his career, Hunter oversaw the construction of venues like BMO Field, home of Major League Soccer side Toronto FC and Canadian Football League outfit the Toronto Argonauts, the 60,000-seat BC Place Stadium in Vancouver and Toronto's SkyDome Stadium.
In 2014, he was appointed chief project development officer for all Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd venues and, following his retirement in January, formed his own consultancy.
Argyle said: "With Bob's experience and reputation in the Toronto sports market, I am confident that he is the right person to help build and increase our organisation's foothold in the Canadian sports landscape."
Argyle, an Australian mining magnate, bankrolled the Wolfpack from the start three years ago and, despite taking a back seat, remains committed to the club, according to his successor.
"I'm getting more and more excited about it every day, but I'm certainly looking to him for guidance and direction on a number of issues and, because of his level of investment, it's critically important that he does stay involved," Hunter said.
"He's got other enterprises and businesses that he works on but certainly the team is the one that he is most passionate about. He's still going to be around and will very clearly be a mentor to me."