Toronto Wolfpack's unfortunate week has gone from bad to worse, with stunning new allegations being levelled at the rugby league club.
Toronto this week made the shock decision to withdraw from the remainder of the Super League season, casting doubts over the future of the club and star signing Sonny Bill Williams.
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Rugby League's only North American team made headlines around the world late last year when they signed the All Blacks legend on a deal worth a reported $10 million.
On Monday Toronto said the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to them to pull the pin on the season.
"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," a Wolfpack statement read.
Now the wife of another one of the club's star signings has taken aim at the Wolfpack after accusing them of failing to pay players on time.
Sophie Watkins - whose husband Kallum used to play for the Gold Coast Titans in the NRL and the Leeds Rhinos - has given the club both barrels in an explosive rant on Instagram.
“Past giving a f--k,” Sophie Watkins wrote on her Instagram story.
“Welcome to the rugby league s--t show.
“I can reveal that the Wolfpack’s 22-man squad have had their wages paid consistently late for several months, putting severe mental strain on their players.
“The club, who were promoted into Super League for the first time at the end of 2019, is currently facing a lawsuit in Canada over alleged unpaid bills and has previously faced legal action over moneys owed and claims from other creditors.
“They don’t give a s--t. There’s a lot of people owed money. It’s just a disaster. I don’t think people understand the mental stress it puts on people. Some of the players with kids, mortgages, bills - I’m worried. It’s crazy.
Toronto accused of dishonesty over signing
“We got told the money will be a week late. And then the week comes and no money, and then the week comes and no money, and then the next week and the next week. What gets us is we get told on the night the money’s coming and then it just doesn’t come.”
Englishman Watkins left the Titans in April this year in order to be closer to his sick father.
He then signed with Toronto but is set to leave the club without playing a game because of the COVID-19 shutdown and the Wolfpack's decision to leave the Super League.
Watkins' wife has accused the club of being dishonest in their negotiations to bring her husband to the club in the first place.
“Imagine being brought into a club that could never pay you on time anyway but [were] so desperate to sign you, [they] would enter into a bidding war to outbid other clubs (that would [have] been stable and allowed us to feed our children),” she wrote.
“We were brought into this club when they knew full well what was going on. It’s f***king SLY.
Toronto have responded to the payment criticism by releasing a statement to insist that player and staff payroll will be "guaranteed by majority owner David Argyle".
Toronto Wolfpack withdraw from 2020 season. pic.twitter.com/SXhBJLQ4kY— Toronto Wolfpack (@TOwolfpack) July 20, 2020