By Joe Porter of RNZ
New Zealand Rugby boss Mark Robinson concedes delays getting the Silver Lake deal ratified are frustrating and he believes the setbacks could cost the organisation.
The deal was scheduled to be voted on at Thursday's annual general meeting, but the vote was postponed after the Provincial Unions asked for more information and a bigger slice of future revenue.
Robinson is confident the proposal will get over the line, but he admits the process has been challenging.
"It's taken a little bit longer than we've hoped and that comes with some frustration. But, when you step back and look at how monumental this process and decision is, you have to respect the fact that everyone has to be totally comfortable with it before we move it forward."
Robinson said he's hopeful the Silver Lake deal will be ratified by late May or early June.
He said there has been regular and constant dialogue between the organisation and the 26 Provincial Unions.
He said that dialogue has been positive, but he is concerned the delays to ratifying the deal are holding NZR back.
He believes the longer the deal remains up in the air, the more New Zealand Rugby loses out.
"We need, we believe, as a business and a wider sport, that we need to get on with the opportunity sitting in front of us. They (Silver Lake) continue to be patient, but as we look into the Northern Hemisphere around rugby and more especially the way that sport and sports businesses are transforming, we are losing momentum and opportunity, the longer this takes."
Robinson said he respects the Provincial Unions desire to make sure the deal is right and he insists Silver Lake aren't put off by the delays.
He stopped short of declaring the PU's demands to accept the Silver Lake deal as unreasonable, but he said they must see the "bigger picture" to ensure the future of the game.
Robinson said he understands some of the PU's concerns, but he believes the deal is in their best interests.
"This has got to work for everyone. We certainly respect the fact that they want to have a conversation about areas where they think it (Silver Lake proposal) could be different. We are keen to work on that, but ultimately show how it's got to interconnect and work for the whole system around rugby."