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HEATED DEBATE: Rugby leaders divided over surprise SA Rugby profit

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Dec 12, 2021

According to Sunday newspaper Rapport, matters became heated during a meeting on Friday, with SA Rugby reporting a R21-million profit for the year, but this came at a time when the Bulls, Sharks, Lions and Stormers suffered a combined loss of approximately R200-million due to the Covid-19 pandemic

The smaller unions, apparently led by Griffons president Rudy September, wanted the money to be divided solely between the non-franchises (Boland, EP, SWD, Falcons, Griffons, Border and Leopards) and the domestic franchises (Cheetahs, Griquas and Pumas).

Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee and Bulls president Willem Strauss reportedly believed that would be unfair, with the former apparently threatening to leave before requesting a break to consult with Sharks shareholders.

SA Rugby’s proposal was that the international franchises should each receive an additional R3,064-million for TV rights for the year while the domestic franchises would receive an additional R1,672-million and the non-franchises R458,000.

However, the rugby bosses remained divided on this suggestion, before SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux eventually decided that the division would take place according to SA Rugby’s formula: 47% of the R21-million will be paid to the international franchises, 19% to the domestic franchises, 12% to the non-franchises and 2% to the Limpopo Blue Bulls.

SA Rugby boss in the spotlight

Meanwhile, also according to Rapport, Roux’s suitability to continue as SA Rugby CEO is only set to come to the forefront when the main board meets in mid-January.

At the end of last year, SA Rugby’s chief executive was instructed to repay R37 million to the University of Stellenbosch by advocate Alasdair Sholto-Douglas SC.

Despite an appeal, this past week it was confirmed that Roux was responsible for misappropriating funds during his time at the university, and would now need to make the repayment in full.

According to Rapport, the South African Rugby Union are only likely to receive full feedback from the executive council’s legal advisers in the new year. The main board will apparently meet around 17 January, and the executive committee at the end of next month.

Rapport understands that Roux is unlikely to resign, and so it remains to be seen how the matter is dealt with once SA Rugby’s offices reopen next year.

READ | ‘ANGRY’ WP PRESIDENT SLAMS SA RUGBY

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