Plum: the other side of the coin

Written by Iza Loubser (Ice)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 1 Jul 2013 at 08:37
Tagged with : ,

En route to Lanseria to drop a friend and co-Sharks Supporter, we had a discussion regarding the game, the players and of course the Plumgate saga. He told me that, like most of us, he believed it was the right decision to let Plum go, but the manner in which it was handled, leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth. Also a statement a lot of bloggers agree with.

This friend also mentioned that, although nice from the Sharks to release a media statement, and finding it to be a bit “weak”, he would have loved to have had a statement from Plum. According to Beeld and News24, Plum has finally broken the silence. Echoing the statements that were discussed.

It was reported that ” he also had a verbal agreement with outgoing Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl that he would remain at the helm for at least the next two years. Therefore, when Smit sacked him, Plumtree sought legal advice and threatened to sue the Sharks unless they pay him out for the two years.

After a meeting with Smit last week, the Sharks were forced to cough up for the next two years. Plumtree’s original contract was due to conclude at the end of this year.”

“The last while was a very emotional time for me and my family. (And) yes, the manner in which I finished here did hurt very much,” he told the Beeld website.

“This place (Kings Park) was such a big part of my life for 20 years. I was an inexperienced New Zealander when I arrived and it was just unbelievable to experience the passion for Natal rugby.

“I gave my all for this jersey as a player and also as coach – therefore I don’t even consider myself a Kiwi anymore, but a proud South African and Natalian.

“The Sharks will always be a part of me and I’m passionate about them. Here I had a lot of good and bad times. I will therefore not even consider coaching any other team in South Africa.

“Who knows, maybe I’ll come back here one day as coach of an overseas team,” said Plumtree, who confirmed that he will work as a rugby analyst on pay-channel SuperSport.

Whilst, in my personal capacity, I do understand that he felt hard done by the manner in which this played out, I also cannot believe that Plum did not see it coming. We have also heard John Smit’s side of the story, and I truly believe John when he said that this was not the way he planned to handle the situation. Having been friends and knowing each other for so long, I also would think that Plum would know this. However, external factors stuffed this one up, good and solid, and one wonders if a true friendship can be repaired, given time. I certainly hope so.

Good luck to Plum for the future. Good luck to John with the future.




  • Thanks for the article ice. Needed to hear that. One can only hope their friendship gets restored.

  • Comment 1, posted at 01.07.13 08:45:09 by Stiko85 Reply
  • nicely done, Ice. I bear Plum no ill-will and believe that the villians of the piece were Brian van Zyl – and the media who lapped up everything he had to say.

    Just one point, though…. your article mentions this 2-year payout. There is no evidence whatsoever that Plumtree received any such settlement and Beeld are quite honestly just making that up.

  • Comment 2, posted at 01.07.13 08:51:46 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : I agree Robbo – It was reported as such in News 24 – hence it being in “. How true the payout story is, I have no proof of at all! 😉

  • Comment 3, posted at 01.07.13 09:03:24 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : yebo. there was probably some form of settlement, but no way on earth the board just rolled over on a Tuesday night and paid someone millions of bucks because of some verbal agreement. His contract was up. Im not sure if the guys from Beeld are that stupid, or do they just think their readers are that stupid?

  • Comment 4, posted at 01.07.13 09:10:49 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    West Indies Cricket Board
  • Imagine the comotion of a world where indifferences could merely be settled by verbal agreements alone…

  • Comment 5, posted at 01.07.13 09:22:29 by CLASSIC SHARK Reply

  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 4) : A verbal agreement is just as valid as a written one in terms of law, afik. The problem normally with verbal agreements is that the one party normally changes the agreement as there is nothing to validate it against by the other party but his own word. Therefore everyone rather reverts to written agreements.

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.07.13 09:35:18 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • As a general rule, however, contracts (legally enforceable agreements) need not be in writing, and oral agreements are just as binding as written agreements.
    In some circumstances, our courts have held that a contract was entered into without any words being spoken at all, where the circumstances were such that it was clear that the parties had reached an agreement which they intended to be legally binding.
    An illustration of this is an auction, where a person, by mutely gesturing to the auctioneer, signifies that he is making a bid, that is to say, is making an offer to purchase the item on sale.

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.07.13 09:49:55 by The Hobbit Reply
    The Hobbit
  • @The Hobbit (Comment 7) : can the question not then be whether Brian van Zyl had any mandate to offer such an extension without the board’s approval? Would be a great result, for me, if Plum did get his payout – but from van Zyl’s personal coffers, rather than the Sharks’

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.07.13 09:55:49 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : in my view, Van Zyl lost the right to offer contracts, extension on contract or any significant financial decisions, the minute a new CEO was agreed upon. ALL decisions should have fallen on the board with agreement of incoming CEO.If the board were aware on the verbal then the Sharks are liable, if not then Van Zyl should use his pension and give it to Plum

  • Comment 9, posted at 01.07.13 10:00:10 by The Hobbit Reply
    The Hobbit
  • Everyone knows that Van Zyl and Plum are big mates. Van Zyl was just out to screw the Sharks for his and his friend’s sacking… and this is what he wants to be remembered I don’t believe we paid him out the full amount though, yes there was an agreement but Van Zyl isn’t the final decision maker and Plum knows that. Van Zyl is the cancer of the Sharks. We need to get rid of him with immediate effect.

  • Comment 10, posted at 01.07.13 10:02:19 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 10) : Van Zyl officially gone as of today

  • Comment 11, posted at 01.07.13 10:03:24 by The Hobbit Reply
    The Hobbit
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Precisely.

  • Comment 12, posted at 01.07.13 10:05:00 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Best of luck for the future Plum.

  • Comment 13, posted at 01.07.13 10:12:54 by JarsonX Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • Would personally be GOBSMACKED if a union as big and supposedly savvy as the Sharks rolled over and paid out a full 2 years to Plumtree on the basis of an alleged oral contract. Van Zyl was clearly acting ultra vires (beyond his power)and had no capacity to bind the Sharks to a legally binding contract. Otherwise any disgruntled employee on the way out could enter into onerous contracts purely to be malicious.

    Perhaps a small ‘sweetener’ was paid to Plumtree to avoid the embarrassment of the union being sued and the negative publicity and disruption this would have caused.

    But it is extremely unlikely that the union would have paid out the full sum claimed. If it emerges that the union did roll over Smit’s business and legal acumen will immediately be called into question…

  • Comment 14, posted at 01.07.13 23:05:59 by Feather Reply

    Gold's Member

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