robdylan

Lions plunged back into crisis


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Lions, Original Content on 1 Jul 2011 at 10:01
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Allegations made in an Afrikaans daily newspaper late yesterday suggest that the Golden Lion Rugby Union is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and is unable to cover its debts or meet its salary commitments.

According to the report, Robert Gumede’s GUMA group pulled out of the negotiations that would see them buying a 49% stake in the Union as a result of these financial problems. It must be added, though, that the source of this information seems to be an intentionally leaked document coming from Gumede, making it possible (although probably not unlikely) that the facts have been misrepresented to some extent. Lions President Kevin de Klerk is quoted as saying that every allegation in the dossier is “arguable”, but does not go into the sort of detail that would give Lions fans any hope that things are better than they seem.

The allegations point at some quite fundamental financial mismanagement, including the contracting of around 90 players, many of whom no longer attend any practices, as well as the payment of an annual salary of more than R2 Million to Dick Muir, despite the Bok assistant coach no longer playing any role at the Union. It is also alleged that the Lions owe ABSA R30 Million rand, which needs to be repaid early next week and that they need to repay an additional R14 Million rand that the GUMA group has so far invested.

All in all, the signs are far from promising and I struggle to see how the Lions can continue to function as a professional franchise given this situation. Non-payment of salaries would surely invalidate all of their existing player and coaching contracts, leaving the few big names that they have secured (including John Mitchell and Butch James) free to seek other opportunities with immediate affect. Perhaps the time has come to take a firm stand here and let the EP Kings see if they are any better at running a professional rugby team than the Lions are, by letting them have the pick of the current Lions squad and promoting them to the Premier Division of the Currie Cup immediately?

Whatever the case, you need to feel for the Lions players, coaches and fans, who must be going through a huge amount of uncertainty at the moment. We hope for a speedy resolution and clarity for all stakeholders soon. If those responsible for causing this mess could now fall on their swords and let some new blood in to fix the mess, that would also be a very positive step.



43 Comments

  • I really hope the Lions can sort their matters out. My feeling is whatever they can do, the EP Kings can only do worse.

    On the otherhand, from a regional point of view, there is fortunately an existing Gauteng based team that already enjoys the support of the region’s majority, so if a team does have to make way for the Kings, the Lions would be the best option.

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.07.11 10:09:24 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    beetCurrie Cup player
     
  • If all this is true and that’s a big IF! Than this is a sad day in south african rugby,how can such a once powerful union like the lions fall to this?

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.07.11 10:12:24 by Poisy Reply
    Author
    PoisyTeam captain
     
  • Johannesburg is the richest city in SA so there is no reason why we shouldn’t have a team…don’t blame us for the stuffups by the idiots who control the game at the union.

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.07.11 10:13:01 by walter van Lions World Reply

    walter van Lions WorldCurrie Cup player
     
  • @walter van Lions World (Comment 3) : any team in mind?

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.07.11 10:15:55 by Poisy Reply
    Author
    PoisyTeam captain
     
  • Let me just say that the first guy who will attempt to jump ship will probably be no other than one Lionel Mapoe.

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.07.11 10:17:08 by Butchie34 Reply
    Author
    Currie Cup player
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 5) : I had the exact same thought :(

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.07.11 10:19:10 by Poisy Reply
    Author
    PoisyTeam captain
     
  • That 90 contracted players includes the junior players (under 19 and under 21), but it’s true that we have contracted players and then didn’t use them like Walter Venter, and many others.

    I’m hoping that this is finally the end of the bungling managers at the union. Hopefully not the end of the union itself…

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.07.11 10:21:13 by walter van Lions World Reply

    walter van Lions WorldCurrie Cup player
     
  • @walter van Lions World (Comment 7) : Yes Walter – whe I read the newspaper – I had this sad feeling – hope someone can pull then from the hole! It will be a sad day for SA and rugby if it happens.

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.07.11 10:29:14 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner IceAssistant coach
     
  • @walter van Lions World (Comment 7) : Wasn’t it like this last year as well, before the Guma group invested? The management will probably try and get another big investor, which will only paper over the cracks. SA Rugby cannot let the Lions sink and I don’t think they will.

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.07.11 10:32:04 by war1 Reply
    Author
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @Ice (Comment 8) : relegate them and let them get their house in order first.

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.07.11 10:32:56 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @war1 (Comment 9) : too much incompetence for too long. Lessons must be learned and an example must be made of these guys. No more SARU handouts.

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.07.11 10:33:39 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Good idea.

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.07.11 10:35:05 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner IceAssistant coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : They will probably just get another investor. Short-term solutions to a long-term problem.

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.07.11 10:35:53 by war1 Reply
    Author
    war1Super Rugby player
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 5) : That’s a low blow… lol..good one.

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.07.11 10:37:51 by GreatSharksays Reply

    Assistant coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : huh? Relegate us to where? Rather get rid of the incompetent management and replace them with competent people

  • Comment 15, posted at 01.07.11 10:38:39 by walter van Lions World Reply

    walter van Lions WorldCurrie Cup player
     
  • @walter van Lions World (Comment 15) : First Division.

    There are no consequences for these people, Walt… that’s why they feel no shame and they never learn.

    I GUARANTEE you Reynecke and De Klerk will not stand down over this…

  • Comment 16, posted at 01.07.11 10:46:31 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • If this is true why do you want to relegate them if they played to a draw against the CC champions they are as good team good enough to play CC if they manage to get rid of Muir and let half of those 90 players go thet don’t play anymore and get a new sponser there will be money again

  • Comment 17, posted at 01.07.11 10:52:04 by Mutley Reply
    Author
    MutleyTeam captain
     
  • They might not stand down but I’m hoping that they will be forced to stand down.

  • Comment 18, posted at 01.07.11 10:53:37 by walter van Lions World Reply

    walter van Lions WorldCurrie Cup player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : its clear for all to see where the problem lies… Reynecke and de Klerk.

    This is why i feel rugby should turn to a transfer market like the football does, and reward other teams for contracting for longer periods, but when those guys leave, pay them for their effort. i reckon the lions would have received a few bucks for selling players like fourie, alberts and ludick. even now they could turn to selling their better players to downpay their loan… :???:

  • Comment 19, posted at 01.07.11 10:53:39 by VanWilder Reply

    VanWilderCurrie Cup player
     
  • Rob,

    Could Butch be the new signing by any chance :twisted:

  • Comment 20, posted at 01.07.11 10:57:03 by dawj Reply

    Under 21 player
     
  • @dawj (Comment 20) : there is no new signing.

  • Comment 21, posted at 01.07.11 11:00:43 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • i see sarel pretorius signed for the waratahs… :shock: :evil:

  • Comment 22, posted at 01.07.11 11:00:57 by VanWilder Reply

    VanWilderCurrie Cup player
     
  • @VanWilder (Comment 22) : No real loss, he was going to be another Jano Vermaak

  • Comment 23, posted at 01.07.11 11:08:52 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
    Administrator
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
     
  • @VanWilder (Comment 19) : if you don’t have money to pay your players, how can you operate as a professional team?

    Simple question.

    How is firing Reynecke and de Klerk going to fill the R45m+ hole?

  • Comment 24, posted at 01.07.11 11:08:56 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • Sad for Lions fans, but perhaps it will add impetus to the Kings – no, they won’t beat the Lions tomorrow, but they are a union which has yet to feel the effect of SARU backing, while the Lions are where they are despite this.

  • Comment 25, posted at 01.07.11 11:15:05 by Big Fish Reply
    Author
    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 25) : add the likes of Cilliers, Maku, van Heerden, Strauss, Vermaak, Jantjes, Murray and Taute to the Kings and they could be a very competitive Currie Cup side.

  • Comment 26, posted at 01.07.11 11:25:17 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 26) :
    Or just send back some of the indigenous EP talent – there goes half the other unions’ player rosters! :lol:

  • Comment 27, posted at 01.07.11 11:28:51 by Big Fish Reply
    Author
    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 27) : nah – I don’t buy that argument. If you want to keep the talent, you must be able to pay what they’re worth and offer them the exposure they need.

    Same rules apply to Kings and Lions… or even Sharks for that matter

  • Comment 28, posted at 01.07.11 11:33:28 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 28) :
    Wasn’t a normative statement – I’m just pointing out the amount of talent the region produces.

  • Comment 29, posted at 01.07.11 11:36:10 by Big Fish Reply
    Author
    Big FishAssistant coach
     
  • @Big Fish (Comment 29) : true

  • Comment 30, posted at 01.07.11 11:40:37 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • Proud union like the bulls were relegated to the first division and look at where they are now.
    This wll be very sad if it were to happen-lions losing quality players and coaches due to financial problems and then ending up in first division next season( rumours of cc to be contested by only 6 teams next season-2012.so 2 teams would then have to go).

  • Comment 31, posted at 01.07.11 11:48:07 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : I sadly agree. This once great union has been run into the ground by pathetic management and I don’t see things changing unless drastic steps are taken

  • Comment 32, posted at 01.07.11 11:53:36 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    vanmartinAssistant coach
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 31) : Bulls relegated to first division? When?

  • Comment 33, posted at 01.07.11 11:57:15 by walter van Lions World Reply

    walter van Lions WorldCurrie Cup player
     
  • @walter van Lions World (Comment 33) : They won the First Division in 2002/3.

  • Comment 34, posted at 01.07.11 12:05:03 by Butchie34 Reply
    Author
    Currie Cup player
     
  • They won the cc in 1998,then rellegated to first div at end of 1999 season.played there then in 2000 season.still competed in super 12.

  • Comment 35, posted at 01.07.11 12:12:01 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 35) : Not true…they ended 5th in 1999 so not relegated that year

  • Comment 36, posted at 01.07.11 12:19:07 by walter van Lions World Reply

    walter van Lions WorldCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 34) : No guys, you are mistaken, in those years it wasn’t a top and first division, it was one division but the teams split into an X and Y section. The Bulls were certainly never relegated to the 1st division

  • Comment 37, posted at 01.07.11 12:21:48 by walter van Lions World Reply

    walter van Lions WorldCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 34) : They won the finals in 2002 and 2003 so certainly didn’t play in the 1st div.

  • Comment 38, posted at 01.07.11 12:24:36 by walter van Lions World Reply

    walter van Lions WorldCurrie Cup player
     
  • @walter van Lions World (Comment 38) : I’m wrong about the year but there was a plate competition as well with all the teams split into two pools. If you ended in the top half of your competition you played for the Currie Cup, if you ended in bottom half you played for the Plate.

    The Bulls were in the bottom of their pool and had to play for the plate. But they were up against top class opposition like the Griffons. Border and EP for the plate.

  • Comment 39, posted at 01.07.11 12:32:15 by Butchie34 Reply
    Author
    Currie Cup player
     
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 39) : okay, you were thinking about 2000, when they didn’t qualify for the top 8, but that doesn’t mean they were relegated, all 14 teams played in the 1st division as there was only 1 division

    http://www.lionsworld.co.za/cc2000.asp

  • Comment 40, posted at 01.07.11 12:35:43 by walter van Lions World Reply

    walter van Lions WorldCurrie Cup player
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : except of course to the EP Kings….

  • Comment 41, posted at 01.07.11 13:27:30 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a FanCurrie Cup player
     
  • Sad to see this but it could be positive for the Sharks.

    We still need a prop and scrummy as well as some decent centers right?
    Well the time to pounce is now.

  • Comment 42, posted at 03.07.11 10:21:54 by Original Pierre Reply
    Author
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • Fully deserved for getting into bed with tenderpreneurs.

  • Comment 43, posted at 03.07.11 10:43:28 by klempie Reply

    klempieTeam captain
     

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.