Brian McDermott wants second Super League chance after Toronto 'got it wrong'

BRIAN McDermott is praying Toronto’s new ownership can keep them in Super League as Carlo LiVolsi closes in on a buyout.

The Canadian millionaire is behind a proposal to keep the Wolfpack in the top flight for 2021 after they withdrew from the 2020 competition.

Boss McDermott is among those waiting to find out if he has a job next year as the governing body and the Rugby Football League assess the plans to take the club off David Argyle's hands.

All owed wages to the former Leeds chief, his staff and players – which are now four months behind – will be paid, along with bills outstanding to other companies.

Apart from Kallum Watkins, all players under contract for next season, including Sonny Bill Williams and Ricky Leutele, can be with the Wolfpack next year – Stevie Ward, Ryan Hall and Ben Flower, who have agreed moves for 2021, will also still be taken on.

However, LiVolsi’s ambitions rest – for the time being – on them being in Super League, with SunSport understanding the governing body will give its feedback, whether it is happy or requires more information or proof, in the middle of the week.

All that leaves McDermott nervously hoping for a 'brave and compassionate decision' as he said: “We’ve learned some harsh lessons but now we must look to the future. We have a potential new owner who possesses the complete package of ownership that every club desires.

“He has the wealth to back up the club through its tough years of development. He has the business acumen to come up with a business plan to make the club self-sustaining within a planned number of seasons.

“But I’m nervous about our reapplication into Super League. I know we have damaged bridges within the game.

“It does work – it has been working. I personally feel that rugby league and Super League is a more attractive sport that has a real chance to reach and impress wider audiences and potential investors.

“But we as a club need to recognise we haven’t been as good as we needed to be to enhance the Super League.

“Decisions will be made soon regarding our future. For the sake of a number of investors, I respectfully hope a brave and compassionate decision is made.”

Much of Toronto’s shortcomings came as they were paying over the odds for players – throw in dramas that saw overseas players’ UK visas expire, although they are thought to have received exemptions to stay, and a bitter taste remains in many mouths.

And McDermott admits they got it wrong, adding: “After a period of self-reflection and self-analysis, we were under prepared both administratively and on the field.

"We let slip certain aspects of our organisation that should have been tighter and better prepared.

“The management of our available cap spend wasn’t as shrewd and as effective as we needed it to be.

“Our relationship with governing bodies has been strained to say the least and this is something that we should take responsibility for.

“In short, I feel that we were under prepared for Super League and it showed as we got exposed both on and off the field during the early part of 2020.

“We spent too much time antagonising too many people within the game and not enough time preparing ourselves for a competition that takes no prisoners.

“We recognise we got our preparation wrong and made too many mistakes and were under prepared. It won’t happen again.”

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