The New Zealand Warriors have conceded that starting a rugby league team was a “poor business decision” and that the game “probably isn’t their thing.”
The confession follows last night’s meek 30-14 resignation to the Dragons at FMG Stadium in Waikato, a loss that extended the club’s streak of wasted potential to 22 years.
Playing with a virtual international team in their own conditions against an injury-depleted opposition, the Warriors lived up to expectations and caved spectacularly.
Most notably it was their star-studded spine who gifted the hardy gathering of confused rugby union fans in Waikato a night they’ll never forget, turning on a performance more anonymous than the opposing quartet of playmakers they lined up against.
In the end it was a six tries to three demolition that tidily complemented the spluttering narrative of their underwhelming season and hence their existence.
However, this bewildering implosion was unlike those before it, as it ultimately revealed the organisation does have a pulse.
The failure triggered the club into action, with a root-and-branch review conducted to determine the viability of being a professional disappointment.
Following the recommendations of the review, the Warriors will now restructure their business model and cease trading in rugby league altogether.
Many business experts have pointed out the high degree of financial risk this poses for the club, with a 260 per cent reduction in revenue forecast from no longer flogging off 25 switch jerseys per season.
But the club believes winding up rugby league operations will open up an exciting opportunity to concentrate exclusively on exploring “the best fit for their brand”, which will probably result in them becoming a specialist Nines outfit.
While acknowledging any day involving the word ‘brand’ to be one of deep sadness, the Warriors paid tribute to their decorated history of disappointment in the “conventional but highly complex 65-minute version of the game”.
The club highlighted the successful campaigns of 2002 and 2011 and made special mention of the organisation’s greatest spike in popularity when then-owner Eric Watson reportedly beat up Russell Crowe in the toilets.
The Warriors will now see out the season with an “orderly wind-down” of football operations, meaning a negligible change in product quality.
The club plans to re-launch in 2019 under a new business model concentrating largely on assets consolidation.
This will be mainly based on a shrewd strategy of abstaining from routinely sacking one coach every year.