Negotiations between Auckland Rugby League (ARL) and the NZ Warriors have broken down in a bid by the local administrators to assume ownership of the NRL club.
Warriors owner Eric Watson has considered a variety of offers for his majority share over the past six months and ARL was looming as the latest, most likely to seal the deal.
But negotiations have abruptly collapsed, NZME reports.
"I can confirm the contract is at an end," ARL chairman Cameron McGregor told the media outlet. "Quite simply, we couldn't agree on terms with the Warriors.
"Both parties signed a confidentiality agreement, so we can't say more than that at the moment."
ARL has a pool of funding available through the Carlaw Park Heritage Trust.
The Warriors were founded as the Auckland Warriors in 1995, under ARL management, and a return to local ownership was expected to strengthen pathways from junior ranks to the professional level.
But McGregor confirmed this was not currently an option.
"We're very, very disappointed," he told NZME. "We spent a lot of time and money in our efforts, and yes, we are very disappointed at this outcome.
"It wasn't what we were hoping for.
"We've indicated to the Warriors that we're open to negotiate with them at any stage."