Toronto Wolfpack have set up a crowdfunding campaign after revealing that all the club’s employees have gone “several months” without being paid.
The Wolfpack had to withdraw from their inaugural Super League campaign in July because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Their bid to rejoin the league next season was rejected earlier this month.
That decision meant an agreement between the club and players’ union to guarantee their salaries was left looking uncertain.
Wolfpack victims of ‘civil war’
Wolfpack boss Brian McDermott said he thinks the club have been a victim of a “civil war” between the Rugby Football League and Super League.
Their bid to rejoin the game’s top flight was backed by the RFL but rejected by Super League and seven of its clubs.
“This isn’t about Toronto Wolfpack,” McDermott told PA. “It’s almost like we’ve got a civil war going on and Toronto Wolfpack is the stick that each governing body is trying to beat each other with.
“This really highlights how the dual governance is hurting the game. They don’t seem to be speaking to each other.”
From playing in Super League to delivering dog food
Wolfpack’s UK business manager Martin Vickers says the club received a one-off payment of £30,000, made jointly by the RFL and Super League, which was shared out among the players.
But he also revealed Toronto were excluded from a £25,000 dividend distributed to each of the other 11 clubs from pay cuts taken by executive chairman Robert Elstone and the rest of the Super League executives.
Former forward Jon Wilkin says one of his team-mates is now delivering dog food to earn a living.
Ex-Leeds Rhinos head coach McDermott, who took over at Toronto in November 2018 and signed a five-year deal last year, said that he needed to find work as he had “run out of money in August”.