This from www.rugby365.com
The protracted contract saga between the Lions and Sharks, over the services of Willem Alberts and Louis Ludik has ended in another costly loss for the Golden Lions Rugby Union.
rugby365.com can reveal that the court on Friday ruled in favour of the Sharks and declared the contracts between the GLRU and the two players null and void.
The GLRU have already signed the release forms and Alberts will feature on the Sharks bench when they start their 2010 Super 14 campaign against the Chiefs in Durban on Saturday.
It leaves the Lions three-and-one in recent legal battles over the services of players – having lost World Cup-winning Springbok Jaque Fourie to the Stormers, Alberts and Ludik to the Sharks – with their only victory scrumhalf JP Joubert, who won his arbitration cases against the Cheetahs.
Friday’s court hearing hinged on three points:
1. Whether the matter was one of urgency…
2. Whether the court had the jurisdiction to hear the case…
3. The validity of the contracts between the Lions and the players…
On all three counts the GLRU lost.
The court determined that it was indeed a matter of urgency, as Alberts was already in the Sharks team for Saturday. Ludik is still sidelined with an injury.
It also determined that it was within the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case.
And it also ruled against the GLRU, who insisted that the ‘shortcomings’ in their contracts with the two players should be resolved in an arbitration hearing. The court determined that shortcomings in a contract can only go to arbitration when both parties are willing to accept that step. In this case the players were no longer interested in contracts with the Lions and arbitration was no longer an issue.
With the court having ruled against them, the GLRU officials signed the two players’ release forms at the court – with both Alberts and Ludik now officially Sharks.Tweet