Scurrah rejects Glenn's Warriors inquiry idea

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:03 12/04/2014

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Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah has rejected co-owner Owen Glenn's demand for an independent inquiry into the running of the NRL club.

Glenn, who is in the middle of a bitter feud with the Warriors' other owner, Eric Watson, says there needs to be someone brought in to work out what's going wrong.

"There needs to be an independent inquiry by an independent company, under confidence rules," Glenn said. "They might get a lot of information out that's been buried as to what's wrong with the Warriors. The fans have a right to know that."

However, Scurrah says the club is already closely monitored.

"Certainly, we are heavily scrutinised all the time with the strong governance of our chairman Bill Wavish, the board and Eric's involvement and expectations," Scurrah said.

"We are audited every year and we are also benchmarked against all other NRL clubs. I can guarantee that we are a well-governed and well-managed organisation."

Glenn's claim for an inquiry is the latest episode in a saga that is damaging the credibility of the Warriors and, in Australia, they are becoming a laughing stock.

Former Australian star turned pundit Matthew Johns believes the Warriors' problems can be traced back to the decision to let former coach Ivan Cleary go at the end of the 2011 season.

"What Cleary achieved at the New Zealand Warriors was remarkable," Johns wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

"By the time Cleary left the Warriors at the end of 2011, he'd built a club which not only made the grand final but had so much depth that they won the under-20s competition and were grand finalists in the NSW Cup.

"When he'd taken over in 2006 many questioned whether the Warriors had a future in the NRL.

"The suits running the Warriors, however, showed how little they understood and appreciated the job Cleary had done and how little they know about rugby league by appointing Brian McClennan as his successor. A man with zero NRL experience.

"It took six years for Cleary to build that club into a powerhouse and only six months for McClennan to knock it all down."

The Warriors released an email on Thursday that Glenn sent to Scurrah on March 13, where he said he didn't want to be involved in a meeting about player recruitment. Chairman Wavish suggested that this was proof that Glenn had withdrawn his interest in the club.

But Glenn said that the only reason he wrote the email was because he had already been sidelined by Watson.

"I think that's been taken out of context slightly," Glenn said.

"What I was saying was that when the initial investment was made, the money was sourced from the trust that I set up for my family, dating back many years.

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"Watson had told his support team on the board and management that I had no direct influence on the trust because I was not a beneficiary and I had no status at board meetings to make decisions.

"Technically, he was right. So what I was doing was that Scurrah had expressed an opinion about something and I was answering him and reiterating that Watson was correct that I didn't have any status, other than goodwill.

"I was the one who made the decisions, the trustees wouldn't know one end of a rugby league ball from the other.

"The way it's been interpreted is that I was withdrawing any interest from the Warriors. That's far from the truth.

"The fact is I was being ignored and not even being informed when board meetings were held." Fairfax NZ

- Canterbury

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