Brian McDermott says he is ashamed to be part of a sport that has turned its back on Toronto.
The Wolfpack coach claims the decision not to allow the Canadian club back into Super League is farcical.
But he believes they are being used as cannon fodder in a battle between the RFL and Super League.
McDermott fumed: “At some levels I am ashamed to be part of Super League. It is embarrassing.
“We have two governing bodies who do not speak to each other. This is about them being at war with each other – it is like we have got another civil war coming.
“What on earth is happening with the game? It is walking into oblivion. To shut down a club that has been growing the game is crazy.”
Toronto pulled out of Super League in July, just days before the restart after lockdown, claiming financial problems caused by Covid.
The club are trying to force owner David Argyle, who has walked away, to pay players and staff the seven months wages he owes them.
Those debts would have been paid by prospective new owner Carlo LiVolsi if Super League had allowed the club back in next year.
But that hope was crushed when the Super League board voted 8-4 against them, with only Leeds, Catalans, St Helens and the RFL backing them.
It has left McDermott angry and stunned that the sport can afford to ditch a club that was drawing 9,000-strong home crowds and expanding the game in north America.
He said: “I think it has been done a bit clandestinely. I think it is the wrong call and if it isn’t the wrong call then what next?
“The harsh truth that we cannot get away from is where is the game going to grow now? Staying with what we have got is surely not the answer.”
Super League chief executive Robert Elstone, who was against Toronto, commissioned an independent report into the club’s viability which warned that it wouldn’t bring enough money to the game.
The sport has now invited Championship clubs to apply to take Toronto’s place in Super League from next year.
McDermott, who says he is in debt and looking for work, added: “I am not being dramatic but I am stung that a minority of people have driven this when a lot of people want us in.”
Toronto have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for their 50 players and staff
The RFL said legal action could be taken against Argyle if he does not pay players and staff the money they are owed.
A statement read: “The RFL have been in dialogue with both the club and David Argyle, setting out the outstanding sums that are due and reserving the right to take legal action, in the event that such sums are not paid.
“There has been an acknowledgement from Mr Argyle that the sums are due and therefore it is hoped that such legal action will not be necessary.”
The RFL declined to comment on McDermott’s allegation that the game is heading for a civil war.
Super League declined to comment.
Toronto's rollercoaster ride
- 2017 – Newly-formed Wolfpack join League One.
- 2018-19 – Two seasons in Championship.
- Nov 2019 – Sign Sonny Bill Williams on £5million two-year contract after winning promotion to Super League.
- Feb 2, 2020 – Lose opening SL game 28-10 to Castleford. Lose all six SL games and Challenge Cup tie with Huddersfield before lockdown.
- July 16 – Give “firm assurance” that they will restart Super League on August 2 after lockdown.
- July 20 – Withdraw from Super League claiming “overwhelming financial challenges”.
- July 23 – Records for the season expunged
- Nov 2 – refused entry back into Super League on 8-4 vote against