Well, it’s only taken about 6 weeks, but the Lions have, according to an article in Rapport, finally issued a release certificate for Jaque Fourie.
It’s not really worth recapping the whole sad saga, but an independent arbitration committee found, way back in October, that the Lions didn’t have any valid hold on Fourie and the lack of a contract notwithstanding, the inept Lions administration saw fit to further delay the player’s transfer to Western Province by insisting on a written offer from Cape Town, which they admitted they wouldn’t counter anyway. Not a very bright bunch, this – if the contract isn’t valid, it isn’t valid; you can’t still cling to provisions in that contract, as it’s been proved worthless.
A second round of arbitration, involving SARU’s own legal folk, has now pointed this fact out to the Lions and they’ve been ordered to release Fourie forthwith. Further compounding the misery is an order to pay all of the player’s legal costs, apparently running into the hundreds of thousands of rands.
I wonder if Kevin de Klerk and his crew of hard hitters will really insist on going down exactly the same route with Louis Ludik and Willem Alberts, both of whom have exactly the same invalid “contracts” with the Lions as Fourie had. The Sharks have found their efforts to finally sign these players frustrated beyond all reason, all in the interests of “playing hardball” as a “matter of principle”. Apparently, the fact that Ludik and Alberts are quite openly training with the Sharks despite said release certificates being outstanding irks the Lions greatly. The irony, though, is that Cheetahs scrumhalf JP Joubert is doing exactly the same thing in training with the Lions whilst still bound by an (admittedly disputed) contract with the Bloemfontein union. Pot calling the kettle black, perhaps?
Stay tuned, Sharksworld readers. We’ll have a nice surprise for you just as soon as the Lions do finally release the pair. Let’s just hope that they don’t take too much longer (or spend too much more money) in coming to the obvious conclusion here.Tweet