League great Ricky Stuart says the Warriors have been "ruined" by the influence of a player agent.
The Canberra Raiders coach, a former Kangaroo, has implied that controversial Sydney agent Isaac Moses, who runs Cove Agency, is at the heart of the Warriors troubles.
Stuart's tirade against player managers has been fueled by the impending loss of his clever England forward John Bateman to another club. Bateman hired Moses as his new agent late last season.
The Telegraph reported Stuart as saying he didn't want the Raiders to "be ruined like the Broncos or Warriors" after they released Bateman from the final year of his contract in 2021.
"The NRL needs to help clubs with how we have to deal with certain managers over the way they agitate clubs and manipulate communications and negotiations to suit them and them only," Stuart said.
"It's not always in the best interest of the player.
"The last thing we will be is a club like the Broncos or Warriors where they have been ruined by agitation and manipulation of roster.
"Until the league jumps in and starts helping the club with the rot that happens with manipulation of rosters, we have our hands tied behind our back."
The Warriors and Broncos clash on Saturday night, with both clubs near the foot of the table and in disarray.
Moses, who had his NRL accreditation cancelled this month, represents some of league's biggest names including the Melbourne Storm legend Cameron Smith.
He also has a powerful influence at the Warriors where his clients include sacked coach Steve Kearney, new coach Todd Payten, veteran forward Adam Blair, playmakers Blake Green and Kodi Nikorima, and outside back Gerard Beale.
Moses also manages many Brisbane Broncos including Sean O'Sullivan, whose father Peter is the Warriors recruitment manager.
Broncos players reportedly targeted unsuccessfully by the Warriors - Tevita Pangai Jnr, Matt Lodge and Jake Turpin - are also managed by Moses.
The Warriors have missed out on a stack of players they have reportedly targeted. This raises the idea that they are ripe for being used as a bargaining chip in negotiations, their alleged interest and big offers helping improve the deal for players who had no intention of shifting to Auckland.
The Canberra Raiders nominated Tuesday as the deadline for their negotiations with Bateman, who informed the club he would be leaving a Raiders team which lost last year's grand final to the Roosters.
During the controversy, Bateman even used Twitter to abuse a journalist for claiming he was asking for a release.
Stuart said the Raiders had become "sick of waiting" in their negotiations. Bateman, on $600,000 a year, is likely to return to Wigan who are offering him a more lucrative deal.
Stuart was angered by the manner Moses negotiated with the Raiders, saying he had been disrespectful to chief executive Don Furner.
"It won't affect my relationship with John – it's a professional business," said dual international Stuart, who guided the Roosters to a title in 2002.
"How it's done has disappointed me. It's not only this instance.
"There are managers who need to have a higher degree of integrity and respect for clubs in their negotiations and communications."
Moses was investigated by the NRL after a complaint made by Tim Mannah, the former Eels player. The NRL said Moses breached rules by "procuring and assisting" Mannah to give false evidence to the integrity unit. The agent's lawyers are attempting to appeal the decision, and are considering Supreme Court action.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported last week that the Warriors were "keen to dilute his (Moses') hold over the club…it was one of many factors that were considered in the sacking of Stephen Kearney".