The Auckland Rugby League (ARL) has issued confirmation that they intend to acquire a majority stake in the ownership of the New Zealand Warriors.
Judging by the teams’ results in the Telstra 2017 NRL Premiership competition, the price should not be too dear.
The acquisition talk began when current owner Eric Watson expressed interest in selling the club.
According to reports in the NZ Herald, the ARL thinks they are a good fit to take over the Warriors. Whether they can complete a deal, firstly, and whether they can improve the Warriors’ fortunes, secondly, is the variable that still exists.
ARL Chairman Cameron McGregor told the newspaper, “We have had discussions with the owners of the Warriors and they have been encouraging so far. We have a long-standing commitment to development, and to the grassroots of the game, and we believe that this would be a good step forward. We think it would be a major boost for the sport in this country.”
We are uncertain about the necessity of boosting rugby in New Zealand, as the game already dominates the consciousness of some four and a half million of the country’s citizens, but we are more than willing to defer to McGregor.
If the acquisition were to go through, it would be the second go round for ARL ownership. They were the original owners when the Warriors inaugurated NRL play in 1995. ARL would seek a corporate partner, that is, someone to pay the bills.
ARL will begin to perform due diligence if some sort of agreement is inked.
The Aussie radar is up, however, as the teams based there would have suspicions that the Kiwis would simply insert the All Blacks into the Warriors lineup, suspicions that would be concerned were the Warriors, who have seldom been better than middling, suddenly rose up to claim honours beyond runners-up, a minor premiership and three Holden Cups.