The Warriors ownership saga has taken another turn, as Cameron McGregor has been removed from the Carlaw Heritage Trust.
The Auckland Rugby League board exercised a special clause to push McGregor out, and voted on it earlier this week.
McGregor, who set up the CHT in 2005 and has been Chairman ever since, was informed by an email from the ARL's solicitors on Friday afternoon.
The move effectively sidelines McGregor from the discussion around the future of the Warriors ownership.
McGregor, who was also Warriors chairman until he stepped down last December, had been the most prominent voice advocating that the CHT should retain an interest in the NRL club, rather than sell their 67 per cent share to minority shareholders Autex Industries.
McGregor had also encouraged the ARL and the Auckland clubs to consider buying out the Autex stake (33 per cent).
But he will no longer have a formal say in the discussion.
"They have removed me as a trustee under the terms of the trust," McGregor told the Herald.
"It's very disappointing because I set the whole thing up and we did it that way to try and protect the money on behalf of the clubs. [But] they have removed me to get me out of the way. They want to sell the shares and I don't want to."
McGregor will seek legal advice but doesn't think the decision can be overturned. He said he had been trying to amend the trust deed, to avoid what he describes as its misuse for political ends.
"It was one of the points I was about to change because I didn't believe it was in the interests of the game that the ARL have those powers and they are now using them politically…it's just wrong."
However McGregor believes there is still another chapter to play out.
"This is far from over. It will still be up to the clubs. If they say they don't want to sell the Warriors, we want to buy Autex out, the ARL will look pretty silly."
Although McGregor says his main aim was to ensure proper and informed debate about the pro and cons of the sale.
"The ARL has never discussed it with the CHT," said McGregor. "They just decided to go ahead. How do you make the decision without all the information? All I've ever wanted is a decent discussion. If the game turned around and said 'no we don't think it is the best interests of the game' then I would be happy. I would go home thinking I had done my job."
McGregor now fears for the future of the CHT, which has achieved capital gains of $10 million over the last four years. The CHT, which was set up with the sale of Carlaw Park and the adjoining land, has provided $1 million in grants to club over the last three years and funds the ARL to the tune of $1.5 million annually.
"We have done a fantastic job of getting a great investment and I'm proud of what we have set up," said McGregor. "But it's about a long term legacy for the game. If you mix those funds up with political atmosphere of the ARL money is not going to last too long."
ARL Chairman Shane Price was unable to be contacted by the Herald.