The Warriors have been sold to new owners

Sport 02/05/2018

During a press conference businessman, Eric Watson has ended 17 years of owning the Vodafone Warriors.

The club has been sold to Carlaw Heritage Trust, and Autex Industries Limited.

The sale comes at an awesome time for the Warriors after had an unbelievable start to their NRL season. The new owners will be stoked to be buying a winning team. 

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

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

The announcement follows months of speculation, with Watson having previously spurned the advances of the ARL and gone close to accepting an offer from a United States consortium.

Media speculation suggested the confidential sale price was $18 million, which would represent a loss for Watson.

However, the English-based businessman said it was in the club's best interests to be an all-Kiwi entity.

"It is particularly pleasing to see the club formally become part of rugby league's local governing body and administrator," Watson said of CHT, an arm of the ARL.

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.

CHT will have a 67 per cent shareholding with the remainder held by Autex Industries.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George is the chairman of CHT and is the only person who will remain on the Warriors board.

The others will all step down, including executive chairman Jim Doyle, with the new owner to appoint new directors.