Eric Watson is likely to sell the Warriors within the next week with Auckland businessman Paul Davys set to take control of the NRL club.

Davys confirmed to the Herald he is close to signing off on the move.

"We are in a negotiating process at the moment," said Davys. "Eric recognises that the Warriors need someone to drive that club and he knows his current situation, living overseas, he can't do that.

"I have a huge passion for rugby league and see the ownership of the Warriors as both a privilege and a duty of care to the game in New Zealand. The Warriors is not just a business, it's the heart and soul of rugby league in this country and when the Warriors have done well in the past the rugby league community has a spring in their step.


"So I made an approach to Eric to buy the Warriors.

"We are trying to iron out some finer details and I am hopeful those details will be ironed out in the near future.

"There hasn't been an agreement reached but we are not far away from seeing eye to eye.
It has been a week of Eric and I discussing things and I am hopeful we could announce something within a week."

Warriors GM Jim Doyle and owner Eric Watson talk to player Shaun Johnson during training at Mt Smart Stadium. Photo / Dean Purcell
Warriors GM Jim Doyle and owner Eric Watson talk to player Shaun Johnson during training at Mt Smart Stadium. Photo / Dean Purcell

It is understood Davys will work in the business and drive it.

Kiwi millionaire Watson has owned the club for the past 17 years but is currently fighting fellow Kiwi rich-lister Owen Glenn in UK court over ownership of assets in a project the pair were involved in.

Whispers of managing director Jim Doyle, who bought a 10 percent share in the club last year, buying a bigger share have done the rounds the past couple of weeks but it is understood he hasn't been part of the negotiating process and his ownership is one of the points yet to be ironed out.

Respected player agent Peter Brown has been linked to the purchase because he is a part owner in one of Davys' businesses but he won't be involved in the club moving forward.

Watson bought the struggling franchise in 2000 from a consortium that included the Tainui tribe and former Kiwis coach Graham Lowe.


He oversaw a rebranding of the club and the club's maiden grand final appearance in 2002.

A second grand final appearance followed in 2011. Fellow Kiwi businessman Glenn bought a 50 percent share of the club from Watson in late 2011 but the club has failed to make the finals in every year since.

Glenn relinquished his share after a falling-out with Watson in 2015 - Doyle then purchased his 10 percent share of the club last year.

Watson is currently involved in a bitter dispute with Glenn and is facing having to pay out the Kiwi businessman an amount of more than $200m.

The Warriors face the Canberra Raiders at Mt Smart Stadium at 4pm today and are out of playoff running.