Bob Hunter Speaks to Sportsnet 590 The Fan
18/03/2020 by Aiden McNicholas
Toronto Wolfpack CEO Bob Hunter spoke with Sportsnet podcast Writers Bloc yesterday, addressing the concerns raised by the suspension of the Super League season in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Listen to the interview on the Sportsnet website by clicking here.
With no end in sight to the issues facing the sporting world and the globe as a whole, Hunter wants Wolfpack fans to know they are at the forefront of the Club’s thinking during the unprecedented situation.
“The remedy from our standpoint as a fairly new team in a fairly new environment… is to not lose the fan base that we have. Season tickets holders… are all critical to long-term success so that when we finally get out of this thing, they are going to be there standing behind us. They are all a part of the family.”
Hunter made it clear that fans can expect to hear from the Wolfpack regularly during the Super League shutdown as the Club looks to keep their supporters involved.
“This is the first time anyone has ever had to go through this. (We will) communicate more than we ever have before to keep fans engaged. Get the players doing a lot of social media to have them talking to our fans.”
Super League’s newest Club were sent into lockdown recently when players began exhibiting possible symptoms of the virus that is currently making it’s way through communities worldwide. Hunter reassured Writers Bloc listeners that the Club is hopeful those symptoms are not a sign of anything too sinister while also detailing steps taken to reduce the risk of infection.
“We had four players that voluntarily went into quarantine. They have some mild symptoms but there’s been no severity to those symptoms so we are hoping those are cases of something else.
Other than that, we’ve now basically broken up the training per the recommendation from the UK Government that they’re really not allowed to train together and we can’t gather large groups. The guys just want to stay fit. We’ve got a three week hiatus and who knows whether that three weeks will turn into 10 weeks or 12 weeks.”
Possible amendments to the Super League season have been publicly debated in recent days and Hunter gave some insight into the kinds of discussions currently going on behind closed doors. One of the most important considerations for the Wolfpack is the Club’s opening home stand set to take place across three weeks in late April and early May.
“April 18 is our first home game in Toronto. We have all heard about the travel bans and the shutting down of countries so the top priority is working with the League to understand that if this is not… on the downslope, what we can do to either cancel those games or play those games in the UK.
There’s so many ifs and so many balls up in the air, we’ve got about five different contingency plans and a lot of it stems from what is happening in the world and the relaxation of the current closing of borders.”
At this stage the Super League season has been postponed until at least April 3, affecting the Wolfpack’s fixtures against Wakefield Trinity and Huddersfield Giants. A trip to France for a clash with Catalans is then scheduled for April 11 but with international travel already off the table, that fixture is also extremely unlikely to go ahead.
For updates on the rapidly developing situation, fans are advised to stay tuned to Toronto Wolfpack social media channels as well as superleague.co.uk.