Warriors chief executive Cameron George is adamant his club will survive the economic pressures of the coronavirus pandemic as the team gears up for a potential return to action in July.
The Warriors, like the other 15 clubs in the NRL, are reeling from a huge drop in revenue due to the suspension of the competition amid the pandemic – with the revenue earned from matches being a significant source of revenue for clubs.
However, a reported $40 million rescue fund announced by the NRL on Monday to help clubs as well as the Australian Rugby League Commission's surprising confidence that the competition could resume in July 1 has sparked a wave of optimism within the sport, including from the Warriors.
Speaking to Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking, George was confident that his club will survive the crisis.
"We will [survive]. We will absolutely," he said. "We're determined to. We've just got to obviously reset the business like many other operations at the moment are doing. And the assistance the NRL have put on the table yesterday on face value will certainly help the club. But we've got to remodel the business for sure."
On Monday, ARLC chairman Peter V'landys told Fox Sports he was confident of resuming the competition in just three months, a shocking prospect considering where both Australia and New Zealand are at the moment in terms of dealing with the virus.
Despite the daunting odds, V'landys was bullish about the July 1 date, saying all options are on the table to meet the deadline.
While George still remains in the dark about many things – from border restrictions to the length of the lockdown here in New Zealand – he also shared V'landys' optimism.
"The indication yesterday from Peter V'landys was that the numbers and the trends in Australia are starting to work in the right direction," George said.
"He's very confident and very bullish that we're going to get off the ground in 1 July. I share that with him. We all want to be playing in July. We all want to be back to as much normality as we can by July."
However, that doesn't take away from what will be a difficult period for the club, one which could see job losses and significant pay cuts for players and staff.
"I think there are a number of different models that we're going to work through confidentially over the next few days," George said. "The most important thing for me is to try and protect our staff and families as best we can. We'll work through that but at this point in time, everyone is having some time away due to lockdown and we'll work through that over the next month.
"We will have to be very careful on what we spend because obviously our revenue is generated by events and naturally we can't have any events at present. By the time the competition gets going again, we would've had seven to eight home games so obviously we haven't had any of those.
"The other consideration for us is what will happen with the borders. Even if the lockdown gets lifted, will the border restrictions remain in place for further time which will prevent us from travelling back and forth? So we've got to weigh up a lot of things but we'll get through it.
"We'll get through it for our fans. Our players are determined to go through this adversity which is crucial for us."
If – against all odds – the NRL and the Warriors can get back to action in July, George said the shortened season could even benefit the Kiwi club on the field.
"I know our boys in lockdown will be doing a bit of work individually. And they'll be ready to go. If the comp gets off the ground in a 15-round competition, in a shortened version of the finals series, you never know. We might be better off in a shortened comp and just go hard early and see where we land."