While there has been little actual news on the developing Beast Mtawarira saga over the festive season, we did pick up one interesting quote over the last couple of days.
Journalist Brenden Nel, writing on Twitter, intimates that the Lions are preparing to go to court to get Beast out of his contract – and that they will do so “as a matter of principle” to get back at the Sharks for the way in which Louis Ludik and Willem Alberts were “poached” by the Sharks last year, despite being under contract to the Lions. The judge in that case, of course, found in favour of the players and the Sharks, ridiculing the Lions’ supposed contracts and resulting in much egg-on-face for Union CEO Manie Reynecke amongst others.
The boot would appear to be on the other foot now, though, with billionaire backer Robert Gumede prepared to throw all his weight behind the Lions’ attempts to secure the Beast. While various rumours are doing the rounds regarding the supposed loopholes or irregularities in Beast’s new Sharks contracts, the reality is, nobody really knows exactly how binding said contract is. That will now need to be decided in a court of law. The bad news, from a Sharks perspective, is that it would seem that Beast is convinced that he wants to join the Lions, rather than play for the Sharks.
Given the precedent set recently by Lionel Mapoe and others, it is pretty futile trying to force a guy to play for a team when his heart is elsewhere. If Beast truly does want to turn his back on the Sharks, then he should be allowed to leave. Rather give the jersey to somebody who is prepared to bleed for it. That’s not to say that the Sharks shouldn’t contest the contract in court, of course. The existence of a binding contract provides the legal grounds to refuse a transfer certificate – this is known as the “Harold Verster gambit” and it can be used quite successfully to extricate exorbitant transfer fees. Should the contract not be binding, then someone’s head must surely be on the chopping block.
More on this as it develops.Tweet