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Auto Poster Warriors ownership still up for grabs as Eric Watson seeks best deal

Discussion in 'News' started by Stuff News Articles, Mar 13, 2018 at 4:03 PM.

  1. Stuff News Articles

    Stuff News Articles Auto Poster

    Apr 23, 2013
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    Warriors ownership still up for grabs as Eric Watson seeks best deal


    Last updated 17:45, March 13 2018


    Eric Watson could be letting go of the Warriors with the good times just around the corner.

    The ownership of the Warriors is still from being a done deal despite suggestions that it is close to being brought by Richard Fale and his group.

    The Hawaiian businessman said on Trackside Radio on Tuesday that he had flown a mergers and acquisitions specialist over from New York to go through the club's books.

    He added that he has agreed a price for the NRL club with current owner Eric Watson if the figures stack up.

    However, Stuff understands that no final price has been agreed between the two parties and the current owners are still in negotiations with a Chinese group interested in buying the club and Auckland Rugby League

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    There is no exclusivity deal in place between Fale's consortium and Watson, as there previously was with Auckland Rugby League, before their initial deal fell over.

    That deal collapsed when the Waipareira Trust, who were to be a minor share holder with Auckland Rugby League, pulled out.

    Watson's team aren't looking to play the bidders off against each other, but it's believed all the potential buyers are aware of what each other is offering.

    The price for the Warriors is around $24 million. But there has been speculation recently that Watson could sell the club to the ARL at a marked down rate, as their reason for owning the club is entirely based around doing what's best for the game in Auckland and the country.

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    While Watson could be willing to do a deal with the ARL if their bid was a bit short, at the end of the day he's a businessman and is understandably looking for a return on his investment.

    Some of Fale's comments have seemed outlandish, like looking to sign Jason Taumalolo, despite him having another nine years to run on his contract with the Cowboys, or looking to build a new waterfront stadium in Auckland.

    Despite this, Fale and his consortium shouldn't be mocked. They admit they don't know a lot about rugby league, but they do have serious money behind them and a drive to make this work.

    But given the Warriors' outstanding 32-20 win over the Rabbitohs in Perth last weekend, it could be speculated that Watson is getting out at the wrong time,

    While it's only one game, so only so much can be read into it, if the team continue playing like they did in that game, then this could be a great season.

    Given all the heartache and low points the Warriors have gone through during the years Watson has owned the club, it could be rash to sell up just as they're going to taste success.

    And it's understood that if Watson doesn't get what he's looking for from one of the current interested takeover groups, he's happy to keep hold of the club for at least another year.

    Fale said he'll know by the end of this week whether he'll go ahead with his bid, so there are interesting times ahead for the Warriors, on and off the field.

    - Stuff

    Next League story:

    Warriors unchanged as they look to go back-to-back against Titans

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