Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Rugby: Blues backer disappointed for Marshall

Blues investor Murray Bolton has no hard feelings towards Benji Marshall and his looming exit.

He would not comment on the circumstances because that was not appropriate but he was disappointed for Marshall, he said. He was a fine man who had given the code switch a shot but it hadn't worked out.

"I am a great believer in life that when you die you want to regret what you have done, not what you haven't done," Bolton said.

"I am disappointed for him that it didn't work but I have absolutely no hard feelings or regrets about it at all."

A private investment company run by Bolton has a 40 per cent stake in the Blues and Rugby Holdings (Auckland 65 per cent, North Harbour 29 per cent and Northland 6 per cent) hold the remaining 60 per cent. It is understood investors have agreed to put in $4 million to assist the Blues in the next seven years.

The group, chaired by Tony Carter with Bolton on the seven-man board, has a licence to manage the group, retain some gate, sponsorship and marketing income while meeting match, marketing, administration and extra costs.

When Bolton and his group was granted the licence last year he claimed it was the start of a lengthy business commitment.

He reiterated that vision yesterday. His Blues investment was always long-term, he said. The franchise had his full support and they still had a great deal to sort out and that would take time.

"I am not going to be influenced by short-term issues; we have them ... I am in for the long haul, was always in for the long haul.

"I was not going to measure this thing by six months ... I believe this is a 20-year play and I am still standing by that."

- NZ Herald

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