31 Jan 2015

Battle for Warriors ownership over?

1:16 pm on 31 January 2015

A bitter ownership battle over the Warriors National Rugby League club appears to be coming to an end.

Sir Owen Glenn, who's been in a year-long running battle with club co-owner Eric Watson has announced he intends transferring his half share to a charitable trust which will benefit the rugby league community.

Sir Owen Glenn

Sir Owen Glenn Photo: Photosport

The pair fell out when Matt Elliott was sacked as the club's coach last year against Glenn's wishes.

Sir Owen had been interested in selling his half share in the club to Watson but they were not able to agree on a price.

Sir Owen claims his share is worth $6 million.

In an interview with Radio New Zealand, he says he hopes the charitable trust will benefit the rugby league community - and it's not about just ending the ongoing argument with Watson.

"It's not really to resolve the dispute, I just think it's the right thing to do for the sport and the fans. You know, the Warriors are a wonderful club and the code is very strong in New Zealand," says Sir Owen.

"There is this anomaly that we have less per capita members (at the Warriors) but on the othe hand we have more supporters turning up for games, than any other club - or certainly way up there."

"So I think what'll happen here, I hope, is that everybody that's a genuine rugby league supporter will say, 'hey, we got a right to own this club - a little part of it. Let's join up'. And then our membership will go up and the club will prosper and hopefully profits will flow and go into the development of youth to join rugby league."

He says he's especially hopeful the move to a charitable trust will help grow the code in secondary schools.

Sir Owen says he's spoken to the Warriors CEO Jim Doyle, who's in favour of the idea, while he says his fellow co-owner, Eric Watson, thinks it's a wonderful idea.

Watson couldn't be contacted by Radio New Zealand.

In happier times - Warriors owners Sir Owen Glenn (right) and Eric Watson.

In happier times - Warriors' owners Sir Owen Glenn (right) and Eric Watson Photo: Photosport

Sir Owen's asked his representative Bill Birnie to work alongside Warriors chief executive Jim Doyle to bring the plan to fruition.

Under the proposal the trust would be administered by trustees acting on behalf of the members, league community and other stakeholders.

The trustees to be appointed to the Trust would be prominent within business and sporting sectors and it is hoped members will see they have a voice in the direction of the Club through this initiative.