The ANC’s newspaper, the New Age reports that Super 14 franchise money is also now adding a heap to Lions troubles.
I recall a movie about a trucker starring Kurt Russel in my youth. It was called Big Trouble in little China. Anyway so Kurt Russel runs into a very pretty Chinese girl whom he helps escape some ruffians. But things are not what they seem and he lands up getting deeper and deeper into a weird supernatural war that had not planned for in his life. Eventually the whole lot ends happily though.
The point though is that the Lions a again the subject of a financial troubles rumour mill.
And it seems that the more people dig or listen the more trouble is boiling out from a huge pot. The newest one comes courtesy of a the New Age, the ANC’s newspaper who reported this story last week whilst everyone else in the rugby world was trying to guess who Heyneke Meyer’s assistants would be. This shows you how out of touch New Age is with rugby but that there.
Seems that when the Lions and Cheetahs split, the Lions franchise held onto two feeder unions as franchise partners, namely the Pumas (which the Lions own in any case) and the Leopards. And for the last couple of years the franchise has not even held a directors meeting of franchise owners. And worse… the Lions have not paid over their share of the franchise broadcasting fees earned from SARU to either the Leopards or Pumas…
The two smaller unions have understandably been somewhat demanding of their share given the small resource base they have and on the day the rest of the rugby world found out that Heyneke Meyer would be Bok coach the two smaller unions also laid their cards in front of the SARU presidency.
The result is that part of the decisions taken on that Friday the worst kept secret was announced was that SARU had to step in and avoid the conflict between the Lions and Pumas and Leopards from escalating to a court room battle.
Kevin De Klerk has earlier said that he regarded this as “old inherited problems”…
Nevertheless New Age could not reach him for comment and when we at RW asked the union for comment they did not respond either.
The question now is whether there really is big trouble at the Lions or not… it seems every time Kevin De Klerk puts out a fire a new one pops up… but why on this occasion have the Lions not moved with their slick public speed to placate a worried fan base and shareholders and other stakeholders.
As a Lions supporter I would dearly love to see this sorry mess behind us and a future bright and roaring arise.