11 Apr 2014

Glenn seeks investigation into Warriors

6:01 pm on 11 April 2014

The wrangle over the Warriors is intensifying with its co-owner Owen Glenn calling for the rugby league team to be investigated by an independent commissioner to investigate.

Sir Owen Glenn.

Sir Owen Glenn. Photo: RNZ

Sir Owen says the relationship between the co-owners has deteriorated to the point of confrontation, and the best thing would be for an external person or company to evaluate all aspects of the club. He says it should be done in confidence so people can talk freely.

Sir Owen is also accusing his co-owner Eric Watson of dictatorial behaviour and says his relationship with him has deteriorated to the point of confrontation.

The rivalry between the two multi-millionaires came to a head over the departure of coach Matt Elliot.

Sir Owen says Eric Watson wanted to get rid of him, did not give Mr Elliot a fair go and did not consult Sir Owen at all about the decision. He went on to say Mr Watson wants total control, is running a dictatorship, and has told people not to take any notice of what Sir Owen says.

Sir Owen says Mr Watson not only ignored him, but told other to do the same, arguing Sir Owen had no status with the trust that runs the team. He concedes he is not a beneficiary of the trust but still put $6 million into the club.

Sir Owen says he would like to be shot of that but Mr Watson told him his share was worth only $1 million. By contrast, he says Mr Watson told him he would have to pay $30 million to acquire his share.

Sir Owen says the public has the right to challenge the management of the club.

Warriors chairman Bill Wavish says the saga could cause damage to the Warriors brand if it's not resolved quickly.

Players unhappy

Senior Warriors players are understood to be thinking of leaving in the wake of the ongoing public stoush. Radio New Zealand has been told the players had a leading hand in Mr Elliott's axing, though they're unhappy with the way his dumping was handled.

While the players had respect for Mr Elliott as a person they struggled with his coaching style. However they support the appointment of previous assistant Andrew McFadden as the interim head coach, having much greater confidence in him.