Toronto Wolfpack withdraw from Super League season
Super League issue strong response saying they are "very disappointed" with Toronto's decision
Last Updated: 20/07/20 9:22pm
Toronto Wolfpack have withdrawn from the remainder of the 2020 Super League season, citing the "overwhelming financial challenges" of the coronavirus crisis.
The club confirmed their withdrawal in a statement on Monday, in which they stated their intention to field a team in the 2021 season.
Toronto had lost their opening six matches of the campaign before it was curtailed, and had been due to resume against Hull KR on August 2.
The club statement said: "Toronto Wolfpack can confirm that the club has informed both Super League Europe (SLE) and the Rugby Football League (RFL) that the team will not be restarting the campaign as scheduled on August 2."
"The Wolfpack will not participate in the conclusion of the 2020 Betfred Super League season, or in the remainder of the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup.
"This decision has not been taken lightly, and in consideration of a range of factors specific to the club as the only transatlantic team in the league.
"The Covid pandemic has presented unexpected and overwhelming financial challenges to the Wolfpack organisation.
"The club fully intend to field a team in the 2021 season, and will be working with SLE and the RFL to understand the process moving into the next season."
Super League swiftly responded with a statement of its own, bemoaning how close to the restart the decision had been made.
"Betfred Super League and the RFL are very disappointed to learn that Toronto Wolfpack will not be able to fulfil their obligations to Super League 2020," the statement said.
"Super League Europe and The RFL have been in regular dialogue with the Wolfpack over the past weeks and months regarding the club's ability to take part in the competition and firm assurances had been received as recently as last Thursday, 16 July.
"The club's decision is especially disappointing given the imminent restart of the season.
"A discussion around the longer term consequences and the future of the Wolfpack in Super League will commence shortly."
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.
The Canadian team was established in 2017, beginning in English rugby league's third tier, before winning two promotions in three years.