War of words rolls on between Glenn, Watson

DAVID LONG
Last updated 11:10 10/04/2014
Fairfax NZ

Warriors management have fronted the media's questions about the current situation in the Warriors franchise.

Owen Glenn
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UNCERTAINTY: Owen Glenn said this morning he was still considering his options regarding his future at the Warriors.

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The war of words between the Warriors owners shows no signs of abating with Sir Owen Glenn claiming comments made by Eric Watson and chairman Bill Wavish about his involvement at the club were untrue.

Glenn claims he and his representative on the board were excluded from discussions over the future of former coach Matt Elliott.

Wavish and Watson say Glenn asked not to be involved in decision making processes, but Glenn refutes this and says their comments are untrue, which could be seen as an attack on their characters.

The Warriors have since hit back by releasing an email from Glenn to Warriors CEO Wayne Scurrah, dated March 17 where Glenn writes that he doesn't want to be involved in a recruitment meeting

"Wayne I received an E-mail from you about a meeting to take place tomorrow on this subject," the email read.

"As Eric is well aware --and indeed some of the Board--that the shareholding held in the joint company GWNZ that Eric is 50% equity shareholder, that in turn owns the Warriors ,is not under my control.

"Therefore I have no part to play in any such discussion nor for that matter anything to do with the

NZ Warriors until this matter is resolved by the relevant court."

In Glenn's earlier statement he also said he tried to buy the club outright from Watson, but that he wanted too much for his 50 per cent share. Glenn offered to sell his half of the business to Watson for the same price and Watson wasn't interested.

Glenn also reiterated that neither he or his representative on board were involved in discussions over the axing of Elliott.

"I want to make it quite clear I was not consulted on the termination of Matt Elliott's appointment as Warriors' coach. I was advised once the decision was made and the matter was a fait accompli," Glenn said in a media statement released today.

Glenn said there was no way the current situation of him and Watson being joint owners of the club could continue.

"As co-owner of the Warriors, I find that position completely unacceptable," he said.

"My single representative on the Warriors' board, who was dealing with a close family bereavement at the time these matters came to a head, has told me they were under the impression that Matt had 'resigned'. I believe her account.

"Eric Watson has said that I had asked 'not to be fully involved' in the running of the Warriors and Bill Wavish claims that I 'had previously asked not to be consulted directly on decisions'. This is an untruth. To the contrary, I agreed with Eric Watson that as shareholders we needed to be directly involved in major decisions regarding the Warriors management, selection of players and the coach.

"Eric Watson subsequently reneged on this arrangement.

"Given the breakdown of our relationship, both business and personal, I suggested that I should acquire a 100% stake in the Warriors.

"I was pleased with the outcome, as it would have enabled me, along with appropriately appointed board members, to make the necessary changes that would create a new culture and environment for the Warriors to succeed and prosper.

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"Eric Watson's ask for his 50% stake, which I will not disclose, was grossly excessive.

"My only option, therefore, was to suggest that on the same value he should acquire my stake. Not surprisingly, after some discussion, negotiations ceased."

It was all smiles a couple of years ago when it was announced that Glenn and Watson would join forces to finally deliver success to the Warriors and Glenn spoke of making it one of the most successful and well run clubs in the world.

However, results since then have shown that the club are still far short of that.

"My intention when I first became involved in the Warriors was to set up a rugby league academy, provide facilities to enhance the game and provide a platform for the development of the game," Glenn said.

"I was prepared to support this initiative financially. The board, controlled by Eric Watson, didn't follow through with this, which was a huge disappointment to me.

"I am a huge supporter of the Warriors and I have nothing but affection and respect for the club's wonderful fan base. New Zealand needs the Warriors. So does the NRL. "I back them to put their current woes behind them and make us all proud Warriors' fans again.

"Finally, I want to repeat my charge that Matt Elliott has been treated less than honourably, and that continues to rankle with me because, as I said yesterday, he is a decent and honourable person. His graceful response to recent events has been a true measure of the man."

Wavish said at the bottom of the latest release he hoped the public battle between the two parties would end.

"As a board we are focused on supporting the club and we want to return our attention to that," Wavish said.

"In the interests of our club, our members and rugby league in New Zealand we would also hope Sir Owen refrains from further damaging everything so important to us all."

- Fairfax Media

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