The South African Rugby Union (Saru) distributed the first instalment of advance loans to its cash-strapped provincial unions this week in a bid to alleviate their financial pressure.
Simnikiwe Xabanisa writes in the Sunday Times that the money, which the Presidents’ Council decided to grant at their meeting last week, has been given to 10 of the 14 provinces. Four of the bigger unions — the Sharks, Western Province, the Lions and Blue Bulls — have declined the assistance.
The amounts given out this week are only 40% of the agreed R2.1m, with the remainder scheduled to be doled out if the board approves the council’s decision at their September 15 meeting.
Speaking from the IRB conference in Ireland on Friday, Saru president Oregan Hoskins explained that the money, which was originally supposed to come from Supersport’s R30-million advance for the broadcasting rights of the Currie Cup beginning in 2011, was being sourced from company reserves.
“We’d agreed to distribute the R30-million and divide it into 14, but on condition that each province signs a consent form allowing Supersport full access to their grounds post 2010,” he said. “But the four provinces (which have declined the loan) wanted to find out what full access meant .
“ We decided to overcome their not signing by advancing a loan at this stage, with the board to approve the rest at their meeting.”
The confusing thing about the deal is that Jonathan Stones and Mpumelelo Tshume, the outgoing MD and board chairman respectively, are opposed to the idea of dipping into the company reserves to aid the smaller provinces.
Hoskins’ final message : “If the board don’t approve, then the money can’t be given out.”
But then he added that the council could technically overrule the board’s decision because the provinces were “borrowing their own money”.Tweet