The Silver Lake deal is expected to win unanimous support from the provincial unions next week and yet be no closer to completion.
New Zealand Rugby chair Brent Impey will tell the world at the Annual General Meeting on April 29, that the national body has a conditional deal to sell what will now most likely be a 12.5 per cent stake in future commercial revenue to Silver Lake for about $400m.
This provincial endorsement will leave the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association as the last pocket of resistance to this landscape-changing deal going unconditional.
To reach a resolution, there first has to be a successful conclusion to the current collective bargaining negotiations in which the two parties are locked.
Mediation talks have been slow and painstaking, not because the two parties are butting heads necessarily, but because they are trying to negotiate a collective agreement that will be workable and sustainable regardless of whether Silver Lake or any other investor is introduced.
There is an enormous level of complexity trying to work out how a new deal involving a third party would impact the players' image rights, reporting lines and commercial obligations, while there continues to be disagreement on how much money should be available to the players if the Silver Lake deal goes ahead.
This narrative that has taken hold in recent weeks that the players are blocking the Silver Lake deal isn't quite true. They can't approve or disapprove until they know how it will impact their collective agreement.
It's likely to be weeks yet, at least, before both parties agree they have a new, workable collective agreement to start next year and only then will the whole business of what to do about Silver Lake be tackled.
And that's when the drama is likely to step up because NZR have not been able to convince the players that the end of the world is nigh if they don't take Silver Lake's cash.
The national body hasn't been able to persuade the NZRPA that there aren't better alternatives to striking a deal with Silver Lake or that the Anglo-American fund management group are the right cultural fit for the All Blacks.
NZR and NZRPA agree the game needs an injection of capital, but they are fundamentally opposed about who should be doing that and how.
The NZRPA continue to believe that Silver Lake's capital comes at an unacceptably high cost and that the national body doesn't need as much as they are asking for.
The players are more comfortable with a domestic fund-raising initiative – potentially some kind of Initial Public Offering.
NZR, however, are adamant that Silver Lake's money comes with unrivalled expertise and capability that will enable the All Blacks to better monetise the enormous reach of the brand.
The provincial unions, whose balance sheets perennially sit on the brink of collapse, were easily won over by Silver Lake's pitch, but the players won't be hurried or pressured into agreeing to something that pops up more red flags the more they dig into it and hence there is now an impasse.
NZR don't want to be held hostage by the players but don't appear to have any specific course of action in mind in how they can break the deadlock.
Their best tool may be to hope that the weight of public opinion will swing behind them on the strength of their argument that Silver Lake's money is the only way the grassroots game can be saved.
But the players, specifically NZRPA chief executive Rob Nichol, are unlikely to be bullied into submission by the court of public opinion.
They see this as a point of no return for the game in this country – a decision that may appear to be a panacea to rugby's financial ills but in fact proves to be the cause of so much more sickness down the track.
Private equity deals, by nature and in practice, have a great story to open but they don't always have a happy ending.
It's the point of exit where all the trouble usually sits and the players, unlike the provinces, have been prepared to see past those first golden years when the cash will be flowing and ask what life might look like then.
What they can see is that if the Silver Lake deal is approved, NZR will be giving away 12.5 per cent of their revenue for eternity.
It's a royalty they will pay in perpetuity – straddling endless generations with an obligation to hand over millions of dollars each year to the owner of that stake.
Silver Lake will only be the first owner of NZR's revenue stream and while they bring capability to the table and will be invested in driving income higher, there's no guarantee the next owner will feel the same way or have the same skills.
And there will be a next owner as there is no comprehensible or logical scenario in which NZR will have accumulated enough spare capital to buy out Silver Lake.
In 10 years, maybe 12, there could be a passive owner of this country's most cherished and iconic sporting brand, collecting millions of dollars each year without being quite sure exactly if they could point to New Zealand on a map.
These are the realities of what NZR could be facing if the Silver Lake deal goes unconditional. The national body insist that they have a watertight contract that gives them power to veto who can buy the stake, but it is not always possible to gauge whether an investor is going to be the right cultural fit with a shared set of values.
NZR has this conviction it will be able to control its future, but its not shared by the NZRPA who fear that Silver Lake and the laws of commerce will dictate the All Blacks' future.
Private equity is the financial world's Wild West – poorly regulated, secretive, almost impenetrable to scrutiny and as a general rule, the North Star by which most firms in this sector are guided, is the need to maximise returns for investors.
There is also an argument that NZR are hoisting themselves by their own petard on the issue of control – claiming they themselves lack the capability to deliver the sort of returns Silver Lake are promising yet arguing they will have the ability to manage their investment partner.
It would be nonsensical for NZR to bring in Silver Lake because of their renowned capability to maximise revenue and then block or hinder their decision-making.
So far it has been a war of inches between NZR and NZRPA when both parties want to be travelling miles.
Somehow, the next few weeks, or months has to produce a resolution as whether it's Silver Lake's or someone else's, the game here needs money.