Promise that could earn SBW $1m-a-game

Sonny Bill Williams is set to pocket $1million for every game he played with Super League side Toronto Wolfpack.

Williams, 35, agreed to a two-year $10million deal with the Canadian side late last year after spending the last few years in rugby union.

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Round 19

But following their promotion to the Super League the COVID-19 shutdown plunged the future of the club into jeopardy.

Toronto withdrew from the Super League for 2020 amid concerns over their ability to generate the income to survive due to the lack of games in their home country.

Players, including ex-Manly and Parramatta prop Darcie Lussick, were victims of the uncertainty, took to social media to reveal they had not been paid by owner David Argyle in a number of months.

“Three months with no pay for the players, staff and families of the Toronto Wolfpack,” Lussick tweeted.

“Technically stranded in UK. No visa so I can’t work, no help getting home to Australia as promised. About to be evicted from my house.

“A lot of people have it a lot worse then me but this situation has gone too far now.

“The RFL when are you going to step in and help the welfare of players who are contracted to your competition?”


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Now the Wolfpack are set for a change of ownership and that new group has agreed to pay the outstanding liabilities – including players wages – if they are re-admitted to the competition for 2021.

That would mean Williams, who played just five games for the club, would be paid his $5million.

Toronto chairman Bob Hunter said: “A primary commitment from the prospective new ownership group has been from day one to ensure that all player payroll liabilities are met in full and we are very grateful that the Wolf Grooming group have stepped up on this issue when those liabilities are legally the responsibility of the current owner David Argyle.

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“We would like to thank GMB representatives for their positive approach during these negotiations, in what has been a very challenging period for the club and in particular our players.

“We just hope now that we are able to finish the job and our application for a return to Super League is successful so that the players and their families can receive these much-needed funds.”

Williams, who signed with the Sydney Roosters for the remainder of the 2020 season, is contracted to the Wolfpack until the end of 2021 and is expected to return if they are granted approval to return to the competition.

Rival Super League clubs are expected to vote on whether to allow the Wolfpack to return to the competition later this month.

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