The gloves are off in the fight to buy the Warriors with the head of a US-Tongan bid on Wednesday accusing rival Auckland Rugby League chairman Cameron McGregor of racism.
Hawaiian politician and businessman Richard Fale also claims McGregor is at the heart of attempts to derail his consortium's bid – believed to be as much as $24 million.
The two groups are locked in bitter competition to buy the Warriors from Eric Watson, but Fale says criticism of his consortium by club supporters in an online fan forum is being driven by ARL loyalists furthering a racist agenda led by McGregor.
McGregor vehemently denied Fale's claims when contacted by the Herald.
Fale claims McGregor told him he was against Pacific Islanders owning the Warriors and that he would look to direct Auckland's best young junior players to rival Australian clubs if the Tongan-US bid is successful.
"McGregor has said there's no way he's ever going to let Pacific Islanders take control of the Warriors," Fale told the Herald from the US.
"That's what he told me and that goes along with what he said that, if we are the team owners, he's going to push all of the kids to go to Australian teams.
"And this blowback, it's like 'these Pacific Islanders, they're fine if they're going to sacrifice their body on the field for the team, but there's no way we're going to ever let them step into our shoes'."
Fale's consortium and the ARL fell out last month after they initially explored the potential to form a joint bid to buy the Warriors. He then accused the ARL of stealing his group's ideas, before later attempting to smooth things over, but the unified bid never eventuated.
McGregor was reluctant to respond to Fale's latest claims but revealed he had previously faced similar accusations from the outspoken 36-year-old, which led to talks between the two groups falling apart.
"Does it need a response? It's crazy and it shows how crazy he is," McGregor said.
"I stopped being part of those [initial talks] when he accused me of different things that obviously weren't true. After that, we obviously came to the conclusion that it was going to be very hard to work with him.
"The ARL is about 80 per cent Polynesian and Maori, and if we don't know something about running Auckland Rugby League, with that many Polynesian and Maori people in our clubs, then it's just crazy what he's saying."
Earlier this week, Fale and his business partner George 'Mac' Robertson upset some of the club's die-hard supporters with comments posted on a popular fan website.
In one of the posts, Robertson asked members whether the Warriors' strong performances through the early rounds of the NRL had been inspired by the prospect of Polynesian ownership under Fale's group.
The Warriors have won five of their first six games of the season and sit third on the NRL ladder.
"Honest question. How much of the terrific Warriors play for the first 5 rounds, followed by the loss in front of Watson as his interest revives, indicate a general excitement by the players that a Polynesian group is seeking to become the owners of the club? Tonga and Samoa are very small islands. And if the Fale group is spurned - and apparently standard communications for a sale are being withheld by Watson - will the prospects of another year with Watson sink morale and play return permanently to what we saw Round 6? So is Watson eating his own seed corn if he doesn't sell the Warriors to the Fale group?"
Fans reacted angrily to the post, with some questioning the wisdom and timing of it - given that negotiations are at a delicate stage.
When contacted by the Herald, Fale defended Robertson's post and said critics were underestimating how excited the Warriors' Pacific Island players were over the prospect of Polynesian ownership.
Mystery still surrounds the full make-up of Fale's syndicate, which involves a pair of former NFL players and Super Bowl-winning brothers, Ma'ake and Chris Kemoeatu.
"It blows my mind that that prospect [inspiring the Warriors] seems absolutely ludicrous to people," Fale said.
"These guys [the ARL] are stirring up stuff and this is part of what we're up against.
"This is all driven by ARL guys. I guarantee you 100 per cent they [fans commenting on Robertson's post] are ARL supporters that are going to be damned if they're ever going to let Pacific Island supporters into ownership shoes over the Warriors."
Warriors players have publicly denied they have been distracted by the ongoing sale saga, but Fale believes privately they are excited at what his consortium could bring to the club.
He admitted to being frustrated by what he calls a lack of communication from Watson's representatives, as they wait for their sale and purchase agreement to be approved.
"We're sitting here waiting for them to either sign the purchase agreement that we sent them or give us whatever changes they want, but they haven't sent those," Fale said.
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