Vodafone Warriors owner Eric Watson has welcomed Sir Owen Glenn's ownership proposal announced today.  Image | www.photosport.co.nz

Vodafone Warriors owner Eric Watson said he is 'delighted' with the proposal announced today by Sir Owen Glenn about his shareholding in the club.

Sir Owen said he proposed to transfer his half share of the rugby league franchise to a charitable trust   

"I'm delighted," said Watson.

"This proposal looks to be a positive development and I'm looking forward to seeing further detail."

His response followed a statement released by Sir Owen earlier today:

To resolve disputes damaging the image and performance of the Vodafone Warriors, multi-millionaire philanthropist and businessman Sir Owen Glenn is proposing transferring his half share of the rugby league franchise to a charitable trust for the benefit of the rugby league community and in particular the development of rugby league at a 'grass roots' level. 

Sir Owen said:β€œIt was always my intention to enhance opportunities for kids, who may not have otherwise been able, to participate in league for their own growth and development and hopefully the growth of the game.”

Rather than continue his current legal action to recover the $6 million he invested in securing a half-share in the Warriors, Sir Owen is opting to transfer his shareholding to a newly-formed charitable trust.

"As a result of my involvement with the club I am now convinced this iconic New Zealand brand should belong to the NZ public and Vodafone Warriors club members,” says Sir Owen. 

Sir Owen has asked his representative Bill Birnie to work alongside Jim Doyle, managing director of the Warriors, to bring this to fruition. Under the proposal being considered the trust would be administered by trustees acting on behalf of the members, league community and other stakeholders. The trustees to be appointed to the Trust would be prominent within business and sporting sectors and it is hoped members will see they have a voice in the direction of the club through this initiative.

Sir Owen noted that the low level of membership at the Warriors when compared to supporters at the game and on TV has always been an area for improvement and he hopes that through this initiative supporters will be motivated to become members of the club. Sir Owen said:β€œA strong club starts with a strong and loyal membership.

"As a long-time supporter of the Warriors I have huge affection and respect for the club's wonderful fan base and I am backing them to bring about an end to the recent disharmony and put the team back on the path to further successes."