The NRL's decision forcing the Warriors to drop their longtime main sponsor is being described as a PR disaster.
And league icon Phil Gould also suggested rival clubs will back the Warriors in any scrap with the NRL.
The NRL is enacting a telco exclusivity clause in favour of Telstra, whose name backs the NRL premiership. It means Vodafone will have to quit as the Warriors sponsors, ending a 22-year-relationship.
Vodafone sponsor the Warriors for more than $1m per season and Gould says the NRL's new position is a "bold call".
The decision comes at a time when the Warriors are already battling the odds, having to camp in Australia because of Covid-19.
The influential Gould, the Warriors new consultant, told Channel Nine: "No one is happy.
"I think there's been something that has changed in the deal between Telstra and the NRL and I think this is something that was inserted in the contract a couple of years ago and I think Telstra started to demand from the NRL, so the NRL had to concede to that.
"I don't know the exact nature of the contracts and the obligations. What I do know is all clubs are looking for sponsors, we're all looking for extra money and one of the big things was obviously telcos, gambling houses and car dealers, but the NRL has its policy that if they have their own personal sponsor, you cannot have a sponsor that conflicts with them.
"The Vodafone Warriors were always given exemption because they had it long before Telstra came around.
"The Warriors had always been given a pass…I find this as potentially a PR disaster and I'm very interested to see how it goes."
Meanwhile Sydney Morning Herald Columnist Andrew Webster said the situation was "madness" especially considering sacrifices the Warriors have made during the virus crisis.
Vodafone were offered a severely diluted position by the NRL but the company is only interested in sports sponsorship with full naming rights. Vodafone is also going to end its relationship with the All Blacks for this reason, a source told NZME.
Acting NRL CEO Andrew Abdo described the situation as unfortunate while the Vodafone insider says the company is "gutted" by the move.
Warriors CEO Cameron George has declined to comment so far but the club is apparently looking at fighting the decision.