Sir Stephen Tindall, a member of the new Board of Team Zealand told Newstalk ZB on Saturday, that the team had the funds for another six months, without further Government support.
'We were facing closure a week ago,' said Tindall. 'But some of us have put out hand on our pockets, and we now have enough money to get us through to the end of the year. We are more confident every day that we are going to be able to challenge, and we will worry about Government funding later on.'
Responding to questions regarding Dalton's long-term role with the team, Tindall responded:'he (Dalton is a master at raising the money. The sponsors all know him very well; he has got private guys that help. I think that if Grant went, we're dead.'
'We just got to stay the course, stay resolute as a Board, and we'll get ourselves through this.'
The comments from Sir Stephen Tindall, who made his fortune from the establishment of an extensive retail chain, came on the back of the front page daily new paper story claiming that Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton had drawn a salary of $2million in the final year of the last America's Cup. The information was said to come from an unnamed source and confirmed by another, also anonymous source.
It was not disclosed how the remuneration package was constructed, but it most likely to have contained base salary, and a commission component based on Dalton's fundraising efforts for the team.
Even accepting that Dalton raised the whole of the $100million of the last Team NZ America's Cup campaign, the commission paid on that is less than a very modest 2.5% of funds raised.
Dalton's the role as Managing Director was quite different from a commercial sector CEO in that he was personally responsible for fundraising.
Oddly the public reaction to the claimed salary was rather muted, and did not trigger a tsunami of public outrage.
Tindall, a long time backer of the team described the current phase of the America's Cup as the 'Valley of Death', and something that occurs every Cup cycle for the team that relies heavily on commercial sponsorship.
'We're fighting for our lives to get through, but this always happens,' he told host Tony Veitch. 'Back in the year 2000, I got a phone call from a Trustee straight after we had re-won the America's Cup, and was told' we're completely out of money, and if we don't raise some money tonight we're going to lose Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth. We need $8million tonight.'
Tindall said he would put up $4million immediately if someone else put up the rest.
'We had a handshake agreement with those two, and ten days later they went to Alinghi'
Tindall added that it was the same for all commercial teams, who had to retain their talent immediately after the conclusion of an America's Cup, or another team would snaffle up the talent.
Tindall explained that the $8million was not solely to retain the two key crew but to get the team through the same period and issues that it currently is facing, until meaningful sponsor discussions could be held, and the team kept rolling.
Former Team New Zealand tactician Brad Butterworth confirmed today that he had offered to assist the team in whatever way he could. But Tindall's response to that was that Butterworth would only be involved if he were CEO, and the Board was not not inclined to accept his offer.
Tindall also revealed that Team New Zealand had conducted a full internal review of its performance in the 34th America's Cup and why the team was not able to win the trophy for the third time. He would not disclose details of the review, but added that he expected it to be released in a public version in the next couple of months.
To hear the full Tindall interview click here