According to reports, the Blue Bulls Company have requested a postponement to the Labour Court hearing where star lock Bakkies Botha’s grievances against his employers will be heard.
Botha has had no option but to agree to the delay, seemingly in the interests if giving the Union adequate time to prepare their case, in response to his 144-page document outlining why his 5-year contract with the Bulls should be torn up. Botha is keen to weasel out of the lucrative long-term deal, as well as the shorter contract he has signed with SA Rugby, in the interests of earning even more money playing for Toulon in the French second division.
It appears that the moustached brains trust at Loftus might have outmaneuvered him, though. If previous cases of this nature are anything to go by – in particular the incident where Victor Matfield, along with teammates Christo Bezuidenhout and Richard Bands, took SARU to court back in 2004 – Botha could well be in for a long wait before any decision is made at all. Even if his initial application should succeed, the Bulls would presumably have the option of appealing the ruling, tying the player up in further red (or possibly blue) tape for the duration of that process.
In short, Botha may well end up winning a Pyhrric victory, if he wins at all. Should the courts find in his favour, he may well find that he is released from his contract round about the same time that the contract would naturally have ended anyway, leaving his career essentially over. Any such ruling may possibly bode well for other players facing a similar predicament in the future, but it is unlikely to give Botha the sort of benefit he is expecting.
I guess the real lesson here is this: be careful whose advice you take and try not to be too greedy.Tweet