2 May 2018

Warriors NRL club sold

6:01 pm on 2 May 2018

The Warriors have gone full circle after being bought by an arm of their original owners, the Auckland Rugby League.

Businessman Eric Watson has ended 17 years of ownership by selling the National Rugby Legue club to the Carlaw Heritage Trust and a financial backer, Autex Industries Limited.

The sale price is believed to be around $18 million.

Blake Green of the Warriors

The Warriors have new owners. Photo: © Copyright Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz Photosport Ltd 2018

Watson said the decision to sell the club "was not an easy one and although I will always be a passionate supporter of the club, I believe the time is right to hand the club over to a new owner.

"It is particularly pleasing to see the club formally become part of rugby league's local governing body and administrator. The new owner is certainly passionate about the game and, with the addition of the club, it is now genuinely placed to support and grow rugby league from its grassroots through to what is the pinnacle of the sport's international club competition," he said.

Eric Watson

Eric Watson Photo: Photosport

The ARL has been the governing body and administrator of rugby league across the Auckland region since 1909.

It was owner of the Warriors for their first three seasons, having joined what was then the Winfield Cup in 1995.

The new setup will bring with it a change of board members with chair Jim Doyle and all fellow directors other than chief executive Cameron George stepping down and the new owner appointing new directors.

The new shareholding split will see the Carlaw Park Heritage Trust own 67 percent of the club and Autex Industries 33 percent.