I would start this with, “Is it just me?”, but I know it is not just me.
Have the Cheetahs gone on vacation and forgotten to return?
The Sharks are just returning from a much publicized training session in Phokeng. The Stormers, Lions & Sharks are about to tackle each other in the Neo-africa warm up series. The Lions have just announced a new R20-Million sponsor. The Bulls are riding the soccer wave with announcements about playing matches at Soccer stadiums.
And the Cheetahs?……………… Well that is just it, there is a deafening silence and even their fans are starting to get restless if the comments from fans on the Vodacom Cheetahs page on the popular social networking site Facebook are anything to go by. That is correct it is STILL called the Vodacom Cheetahs page. Vodacomcheetahs was still their official URL until Friday. The logos at various places on their website still display the Vodacom Cheetahs logos. The whole place just smacks of poor amateurism, and I mean poor as in pathetic not as in financially
Calvin on Facebook says: “It is sad, even heartbreaking to read the newsgroups, websites and news reports how all the other Super teams train, team build… see their jerseys. They have trials… news conferences and their supporters are getting into the spirit. It is as if the Cheetahs don’t exist… no sponsor… no news reports… nothing for the supporters to get excited over.” He continues to express his dismay that “everyone is just talk and nobody has the guts to stand up against the Free State management”
Nico another Facebook Cheetah fan is dismayed that yet another Friday has come and gone without any news from the Cheetahs. Louis wants to know “why the other unions can all get sponsors and the Cheetahs not?” Rachelle suspects “the Cheetahs will be taking a gap year” Francois is short and to the point “We are waiting Cheetahs management”
Why IS the Cheetah union finding it so hard to find a sponsor? It is not as if they are the South African team with the worst performance ever in the Super Rugby series, the worst team ever has just landed yet another big sponsorship, this one for R20-million.
Are the Cheetahs trying to secure a long term sponsor? Common business sense would lead me to believe that to be the case. That may just be the problem.
The EP Kings are on course to join the Super rugby franchise in the very near future. And that will in all likelihood be at the expense of one of the existing teams with little chance of another expansion before the Kings join. Could this be a case of nobody being prepared to enter into a long term deal with the Cheetahs on the off chance that they may be sponsoring a Vodacom Cup team in the near future?
It could also be a case of the business world asking the same questions some of us have been asking. What did the Cheetahs do with all the money they earned from their three successive Currie Cup titles coupled with the two runner up positions. The gate takings in that golden era from 2004 to 2009 must have been pretty substantial.
How could any management team achieve such success and have virtually nothing to show for it. If they cannot manage their own money, how are they going to manage someone elses? No half competent business owner/manager would willingly part with money that he knows will be squandered with no return to show for the investment.
The time has come for Harold Verster and his Vetkoek Paleis marketing team to fall on their swords.Tweet