The New Zealand Warriors have found a willing buyer for the NRL club in the Auckland-based Autex Industries.
Autex has made a deal to buy the majority interest that had been in the hands of the Carlaw Heritage Trust.
There are still a few details to be completed, with the expectation being that the final announcement will be made in four or five days.
Warriors club chairman Rob Croot will be retained, as will mark Robinson, whose role will be that of the senior director of the club’s board of directors.
Cameron George will stay in his post as chairman and Stephen Kearney will remain as coach.
The near-term future of the Warriors, after much drama, is secure and the task for the club remains as it has been for some time – making the Warriors competitive as an NRL club from a country where rugby is the national pastime.
The Warriors have changed hands for the second time in a little over a year. Former owner Eric Watson wanted out and sold his interest to Carlaw. His sale included Carlaw and Autex, but the recent transaction will see the departure of the former majority partner and Autex.
Had we had a spare $16 million laying around, we would have jumped at the chance, but we were short by more than $15,999,990, so we will just have to hold onto our $10 for the next opportunity to come along, Gold Coast, perhaps.
The alliance between Carlaw and Autex started off well enough, but the honchos disagreed on the direction of the team, although the direction seems clearly down to most observers.
There was a lot of Game of Thrones style maneuvering taking place in the upper ranks and that sort of thing seldom translates to good results.
The Warriors have been unprintable this year, with red ink to the tune of $1 million going into the ledger.
It seems surprising that an entire NRL club can be bought for about the same figure needed to acquire a journeyman quarterback for the NFL, but a strong leader is what will be required if the Warriors are to regain NRL relevance, as the decision-by-committee model seldom results in effectiveness.