General AUTEX Ownership - The New Chapter

How do you feel about our new owners?

  • Excellent

    Votes: 24 17.3%
  • Good

    Votes: 50 36.0%
  • On the fence

    Votes: 52 37.4%
  • Bad

    Votes: 9 6.5%
  • Tar and feather them!

    Votes: 4 2.9%

  • Total voters
    139

WA supporter

1st Grade Fringe
Contributor
Mar 18, 2017
503
Perth
Owners of sports teams should be high wealth individuals or monied families. Not businesses using company finances which could be better deployed pursuing internal investment opportunities inside Autex or the business concerned.
People Bill Gates are welcome to own as many sports teams as he likes out of his personal wealth, but it would be improper from a corporate strategy and fundamentals of business perspective for Microsoft to own a sports franchise.

I didn't follow the first part of your post about a lawyer becoming a prime minister. Individuals can do what they will, companies less so. Companies to be successful must follow certain key theories or they will fail. Private companies have more leeway but are still bound to maximise shareholder wealth.
The point I’m trying to make to you is that there is no hard and fast rule that says that a business or company must/has to operate in a particular way. Other than the fact you are in business to make money? At the end of the day isn’t your money their spending is it?! With regards to the lawyer/farmer becoming PM is in response to saying a company has no business running a sports franchise. The principle is the same. You maybe a great business person but it doesn’t make you a great leader. Or vice versa. Being a private company to the best of my knowledge doesn’t have shareholders,only public companies do that. Again I maybe wrong there?! But.....
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: tajhay

snake77

Warriors 1st Grader
Jul 12, 2013
10,193
Auckland
Remember from 2001-2018 were still owned by a company. It was under Cullen Investments instead of Eric Watson.

Rich people have their reasons on how they structure ownership of their assets.

The main concern is how much capital they have access to and how much are they willing to part with.
 

wrighty

Guest
The point I’m trying to make to you is that there is no hard and fast rule that says that a business or company must/has to operate in a particular way. Other than the fact you are in business to make money? At the end of the day isn’t your money their spending is it?! With regards to the lawyer/farmer becoming PM is in response to saying a company has no business running a sports franchise. The principle is the same. You maybe a great business person but it doesn’t make you a great leader. Or vice versa. Being a private company to the best of my knowledge doesn’t have shareholders,only public companies do that. Again I maybe wrong there?! But.....
Private companies very much have shareholders but usually there may only be 5 or ten of them as opposed to a public company having millions.
I own a private company and I own 100% of the shares. I am the shareholder and Director.
Yes there are no hard and fast rules. There are still loose rules and best in class practices that mean this example is odd and not recommended and does not make business sense. And I predict it won't serve them well and they will dispense with the warriors within three years.
There are guidelines against this. No rules like you say. But you break the guidelines to your own demise.

I mean no quarrel with you. But I don't know why you keep bring up a lawyer becoming a PM as an odd thing. Nearly 80% of politicians are ex lawyers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: brightman

bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
20,878
All I know about them is they don't take shit from anybody as I'm now hearing real reason behind falling out between Autex and ARL goes back to Pt Chev winning Fox Shield last year and players deliberately smashing shield up in post match celebration
That is disgusting, absolutely disgusting. I have trouble believing it. If that is the standard of human trash playing in the Fox these days the game has real problems. Also, let me guess these clubs want CPHT money to pay these players?
I believe B Smith has been tasked with developing the plan and the coach should be working towards his plan.
That seems to be the case to me, and hopefully SK is taking some tactics lessons from Smith.
I believe Watson’s plan was to be entertainers
I disagree. Watson's plan was a full blown ego trip with a plan to screw as much out of the club along the way. These guys have a genuine plan to build and succeed.
The Penn family own the Manly Sea Eagles (to the best of my knowledge). Someone also mentioned R Crowe! No damage there? If fact both of their teams have won GF in the last past 8 years.
Excellent point, but it has cost them both millions. I think the Penns would get out if they could, possibly Crowe as well.
I know this maybe a little OT but I'm watching 1984 2nd test Kiwis V GB from Christchurch and you wouldn't believe but there's an advertising hoarding with AUTEX on it. Seems there involvement in League goes back a long way
The late Robinson senior was instrumental in getting a lot of Auckland players into the professional game in England back in the 70s.
Autex should make a statement early on ... sack someone, bring in someone ... shake it up !
Standard business tactics. My bet is it will be SK.
 

wrighty

Guest
Remember from 2001-2018 were still owned by a company. It was under Cullen Investments instead of Eric Watson.

Rich people have their reasons on how they structure ownership of their assets.

The main concern is how much capital they have access to and how much are they willing to part with.

Cullen investments by the sniff test, and i have never heard about it before, sounds like a company structured for acquisitions of various sorts and optimised for tax write offs during times of profit and times of loss.
Autex is not a shell company or a specialist holding company for investments. I would be very interested to know how many shareholders there are for Autex, and how they feel about retained earnings being dedicated for this purpose. If Robinson is the only shsreholder and business owner then this becomes cleaner and possibly justifiable for the reasons you list e..g the claiming of warriors losses to offset his coporate taxes may help him more than owning directly but the key thing to remember is that this is a company and not a sole proprietorship.

If Robinson is dead keen on league then he is better investing his personal fortune in it, he shouldn't be invigling a company into it just because he is the CEO. In a worst case perspective this is a misappropriation of company funds.
 

bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
20,878
It was under Cullen Investments instead of Eric Watson.
Trainspotter question. Name one enterprise that Cullen owned, that is still alive and making a profit?
If Robinson is dead keen on league then he is better investing his personal fortune in it,
It is a private family company, the family really own the club.
 

WA supporter

1st Grade Fringe
Contributor
Mar 18, 2017
503
Perth
As I have too have no axe to grind with you either. The only reason I mention the lawyer is to show that people with obvious intelligence don’t necessarily make great leaders. The politicians is a glaring example of how to screw things up in three easy steps. Well done to you with your business enterprises and I say that with honesty. I admit that I enjoy the lively debate with all and sundry here. And human nature being what it is,if You two people in a room you’re not always going to agree with each other.👌🏽
 

Navigator

Christchurch Born n bred white bait fed.
Contributor
May 19, 2012
2,404
Brisbane Queensland Australia
Excellent point, but it has cost them both millions. I think the Penns would get out if they could, possibly Crowe as well
The Penn's had the chance a few months ago, but the other party but a line in the sand saying it has to be done by this date and the Penn's never got back in contact with the other party before the dead line.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bruce

Johnnyray

1st Grade Fringe
Oct 11, 2014
2,298
That is disgusting, absolutely disgusting. I have trouble believing it. If that is the standard of human trash playing in the Fox these days the game has real problems. Also, let me guess these clubs want CPHT money to pay these players?


Apologies if this appears off topic but here's an article from last year. According to those I spoke to close to club, ARL obviously wasn't too happy about what happened and looking for somebody to blame, some of them started to blame their business partners Autex over it. They weren't too impressed by it, especially when they were just as disgusted by players actions as everybody else. That's where alot of animosity on board began and only grew from there as number other things about deal started to come out. Again though this is all rumour at this point. Nobody really knows for sure ...
 
  • Like
Reactions: bruce and fizurg

wizards rage

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 18, 2016
5,414
Tauranga
I would be very interested to know how many shareholders there are for Autex, and how they feel about retained earnings being dedicated for this purpose. If Robinson is the only shsreholder and business owner then this becomes cleaner and possibly justifiable for the reasons you list e..g the claiming of warriors losses to offset his coporate taxes may help him more than owning directly but the key thing to remember is that this is a company and not a sole proprietorship.
From the companies office the main owners of Autex appear to be:

Jane ROBINSON
Marcel VAN VLIET
Mark ROBINSON
Rowan Stanley KINGSTONE
Andrew Macleod CUNNINGHAM
Joanna Louise GROCHOWICZ
NH TRUSTEES NO.3 LIMITED
William Randolph CUNNINGHAM
Joan ROBINSON
plus a number of very small shareholders

Complicated ownership with bundles of shares in joint ownership. But Mark Robinson is not the only owner and there are definitely a lot of people with their own views.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wrighty

wizards rage

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 18, 2016
5,414
Tauranga
Directors of Autex from companies office:

Robert Alan CROOT
Andrew Macleod CUNNINGHAM
Mark ROBINSON
Marcel BAN VLIET
 
  • Like
Reactions: bruce

CompletionRate

1st Grade Fringe
Sep 13, 2015
453
There had to be unanimous agreement by the company to take on the financial burden of owning an NRL club. I'd doubt it is an ego trip and more a matter of pride for longtime league sponsors Autex of managing the club the right way for once. Knowing the high value manufacturing and R&D Autex are into, Robinson's personal pockets are lined should the companies ownership struggle.

Regardless of how this all plays out, it's going to take a few years to see results for better or worse.
 

warriors55

1st Grade Fringe
Sep 12, 2017
1,667
It is a little different to have a company owning a sports team rather than sponsoring it. Could work though.

Reminds me of Japanese rugby where a large company owns each team and pays the wages.

edit: a difference is that some of the local Japanese players also work for the company. The imports earn a heck of a lot more than the local players.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bruce

Fearmuss

1st Grade Fringe
Mar 4, 2016
1,916
From the companies office the main owners of Autex appear to be:

Jane ROBINSON
Marcel VAN VLIET
Mark ROBINSON
Rowan Stanley KINGSTONE
Andrew Macleod CUNNINGHAM
Joanna Louise GROCHOWICZ
NH TRUSTEES NO.3 LIMITED
William Randolph CUNNINGHAM
Joan ROBINSON
plus a number of very small shareholders

Complicated ownership with bundles of shares in joint ownership. But Mark Robinson is not the only owner and there are definitely a lot of people with their own views.

Depends on the company structure and whether all those share packages have voting rights etc.
 

bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
20,878
The Penn's had the chance a few months ago, but the other party but a line in the sand saying it has to be done by this date and the Penn's never got back in contact with the other party before the dead line.
 

Horriors2013

1st Grade Fringe
May 24, 2013
2,121
He's not saying it's the 'beall'. But it's one of the controllables he wants to tick off. You always hear stories of players looking around facilities when considering contract options. Ours look ghetto (and I know Leichardt and Brooky are arguably worse, but those clubs also have long history on their side). If they at least bring those into presentable state, we eliminate one obstacle.

My issue is, will they look average or like facilities you'd be proud of? I don't think a patch up job is worth it.

The Warriors is a unique opportunity. You're either all-in, or all-out. If Mt. Smart is going to be our home, then make the necessary upgrades. If hesitant, we need to go build a Bankwest stadium on the waterfront. Make the place somewhere players want to go to.
My point I've been trying to make for years is that, if we can't create success with what we have now, it's going to take a mighty investment to change things around.

We don't have a factory churning out NRL players. We lose. Only the faithful attend. We're located in industrial Mt. Smart.

It's a one country, one club. We have tons of big island boys around. We should be a giant. We need to go back to Owen Glenn's vision. The only thing wrong is he didn't know how a club works in an NRL environment.

So how do you get there? Storm, Broncos, Roosters, Parramatta, those clubs are what we should aim for. Majorly good facilities, great stadium, it looks and smells like success.

If players come over and see state-of-the-art, they're more likely to think 'serious club, the owners take care of their players and fans'. Then that at least gives us a chance.

Currently, I'd invest in local talent and expat Kiwis, don't pay overs for anyone. Build the facilities up. Give locals performance-based contracts and reward consistency. Motivate the young talent. Fly their families to games and take care of them that way. Only import/recruit impact players. Focus on attacking power. Defence can be learned if the attitude matches.

Let youngsters know from the get-go, if they're good enough they're old enough. But good enough means having the guts to grind out effort on effort, consistently, week to week. Don't pay them big bucks. Look after their families with the little things.

Take a leaf out of Steve Hansen's book: you miss a training, or ask for time off, the club still loves you, but you just gave an opportunity to someone else to grab your spot, and if they perform, you now have to beat that guy to get your spot back.

That's the environment you want. No favourites. Just rewards for performance and commitment. You allow exceptions for funerals etc but you've already accepted that you still might lose your spot by someone who takes their chance.
 

bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
20,878
Don’t leave us hanging... copy and paste please
Rugby League: New Warriors owner Mark Robinson to clean up

Change is coming to the Warriors, and it could be coming fast. The NRL club is famously unpredictable but one thing seems certain for 2020 and beyond: Things will be different with Mark Robinson at the helm.

Robinson is chief executive of Autex Industries, who became sole owner of the NRL club last Tuesday, after buying out the 67 per cent stake held by the Carlaw Heritage Trust.

Alongside Autex managing director Rob Croot, Robinson heads a highly successful business, with annual turnover in excess of $100 million, but he's far from your archetypal corporate type.

He drives a Rolls Royce and at the recent Warriors annual awards he spent as much time on the dance floor as he did mixing with sponsors and club staff.

He's a league diehard and a long-time supporter of the Pt Chevalier Pirates.

But most of all, Robinson is a straight shooter, with strong principles and strong opinions.

Asked how the culture can be improved at the Mt Smart club, he doesn't hold back, offering several theories.

"We need to stop the superiority syndrome which is around there," said Robinson. "I see them, some of the senior players think they are better than everyone else. I've seen people when they are injured sitting in the coaches' box, instead of down on the sidelines with their mates. What are they doing in there? I wouldn't dream of going in there.

"Those things make big differences. The other players would notice that, too, some of those players wouldn't be allowed to do that. The rule should be no one goes in there, except for the captain, if he is injured."

As an outsider looking in, Robinson also feels there is too much of a hierarchy within the playing squad.

"They come across like they think they are equal but I don't see that," says Robinson. "I see some players who think they are better than others, and a team has to be equal. Maybe on the field, they are, but off the field, they might be bit more separated than they could be. All humans are equal. Some get paid more than others, but that is because they have more responsibilities and deserve it, but it doesn't mean you can look down on others."

"They will be told about the expectation and I believe they will embrace it. Some might be put off but hard bloody luck."

Robinson also has clear expectations on head coach Stephen Kearney, who has finished 14th, eighth and 13th during his three seasons in charge.

"Next year has to be his year," said Robinson. "If it's not, it's not and it's probably time to move on. He has been under the pump, he [inherited] a team when he first turned up, he has had three years to change those players around.

"He's got a couple of others coming in but it's hard to get them because the club is not attractive.

"[But] like anyone else in a business, he's on notice. He needs to make the top eight next year, otherwise we will have to have a sit-down."

Robinson also wants to, literally and metaphorically, tidy up the environment at Mt Smart. There will be new changing rooms, and he has gained a commitment from Regional Facilities Auckland to spruce up the ageing ground for the remainder of the lease.

"We will smarten the place up, clean up the offices, make it into a place where people want to come to work, and want to work hard."

It's partly image, mentioning the IT room next to the staff canteen that is "covered in dust and crap" and general dress standards, describing one member of staff turning up to work recently like "he had just come from doing his lawns".

"People are cruising around wearing what they want," says Robinson. "It's not good enough. Like any business I don't care what you wear on a Friday but from Monday to Thursday you are going to look professional and be professional."

Robinson also wants to sharpen the saw around general workplace practices, habits and standards.

"I don't want them to think I am going to come in with an iron fist but at the end of the day too many people have too much time on their hands ... and that's why the place is a bit sloppy I feel. They are not busy enough, a few people.

"I've done it before in Australia and in this business here. People will react pretty well I think."

Despite his no-nonsense approach, Robinson emphasises he is a people person. He's certainly a popular figure as he walks through Autex's sprawling factories in Avondale, and says the company goes the extra mile. There are all kind of staff benefits, generous overtime rates and employees tend to stick around. A hearty soup is provided every day for workers, while a newly-built commercial kitchen will provide heavily subsidised meals daily.

"Business is easy," says Robinson. "You've just got to get the people wanting to work for you and like you. Got to give them what they want, and then they give you what you want.

"We have got that right, and it's because of what we have done over the last 20 years. They are my mates in there, not my workers. They get paid really well, as much overtime as they want and all the things you should get for being away from your family for that long."

Robinson says he likes to empower people, and Autex's ongoing success comes from their team approach, though there is no doubt who is boss.

"Everyone has their responsibilities," says Robinson. "I'll go and discuss things with them, especially with Rob [Croot], and we agree or disagree, but at the end of the day if I want to do it we are doing it.

"[But] I don't interfere very often, only when I think I need to and when I feel something starts to irritate me. I have to do it."

Robinson will need to find the right balance between inspiring others with his vision and passion, but avoiding the flamboyant approach of some English football owners, who condemn their clubs to endless boom-bust cycles through overly emotive reactions and decisions.

"I'm going to be around a fair bit," says Robinson. "Cruising around, doing my thing, talking to people."

Croot, who has worked with Robinson for 18 years, is confident he will strike the right chord.

"You can't empower people and ask them to take risks and spread their wings if you don't know what they are about. That is something that Mark is incredibly intuitive about.

"But Mark is passionate about this. He's not a guy to sit on the sidelines and go 'do what you want and I hope you win boys'. He's here to be a part of it.

"You can bet your life he will be involved in the conversations but it's the same as here, he will be empowering people to make good decisions.

"He'll also sit back and allow people to make bad decisions and then say I saw this coming, you need to learn from this."

The main doors outside Autex reception are emblazoned with various company mottos, giving a snapshot of Robinson's and Croot's approach: "We will laugh, hard and often", "We are generous givers, not self-serving takers", "We imagine big and start small".

Autex is a rare beast, thriving in the manufacturing sector in New Zealand.

Founded in 1967, it continues to expand, with operations in Australia, the United Kingdom, United States and South East Asia and their acoustics and insulation clients include some of the biggest companies in the world.

Autex also has a long, historical link with league. In 1979, they were the first sponsor of the NZRL, associated with the Kiwis' revival in the early to mid-1980s. They've been long-time sponsors of the Warriors, and set up Autex House as a base for young players living away from home.

The corridor leading to the Autex boardroom is lined with sporting and league memorabilia — Kiwis and Warriors jerseys, a Liverpool top, various Pt Chevalier mementos and a montage of signed State of Origin photos, featuring Queensland legends.

It's hard not to escape the feeling the 54-year-old Robinson is living his dream, as the owner of New Zealand's only NRL club.

"I'm not going to sell it. I'm here for the long run, the 10-year ride," says Robinson.

"We are going to build something that we are going to always keep, and treasure and make the New Zealand public proud of their Warriors team, instead of disappointed every year. I want to win an NRL title while we are at Mt Smart Stadium. I've got eight years to do that [before the lease expires] but I'm hoping it is going to be a quicker than that."

 
Last edited by a moderator:

bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
20,878
Surely there are ways around this? SK can’t be on the same coin as Bellamy, Bennett or Robinson? Same would apply to Iro, Jones, Cayless etc.
New sole owners so time for a new change!
By reading the article if SK isn't top eight next season he is a goner. If so they must be looking at alternatives already.

As for the scruffy gear, I totally agree. Attitude is everything....and that isn't they way they do it at Melbourne.
 

Last Game

27 Aug

16 - 28
5.6 Total Avg Rating
0.0 Your Avg Rating

Highest Rated Player

Lowest Rated Player

Compiled from 5 ratings