Clubs now 'question' SARU administrator's salary
REACTION: The South African Rugby Union-appointed administrator, Rian Oberholzer, would not have expected the Western Province Rugby Union saga to be an easy fix.
However, his attempts to resolve the already protracted and baroque plots and sub-plots appear to have further stirred an already rabid hornets’ nest.
The latest act in the ongoing saga unfolded after the WPRFU and SARU announced last Thursday that the Newlands stadium was to be placed on the market in a sealed bidding process.
That has resulted in a strongly worded email from within the clubs’ ranks, questioning the ‘salary’ paid to Oberholzer.
The email, which @rugby365com has a copy of, asks how SARU can afford to pay a company, Galetti Corporate Real Estate, when WPRFU is ‘factually insolvent’ – as stated by Oberholzer in a letter to the clubs.
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The email, directed at Oberholzer, points out that Flyt Property Investment/Dreamworld currently has bonds registered on all the WPRFU properties.
Anybody wishing to take control of Newlands – or any other of the WPRFU properties – will first have to pay off a loan worth more than ZAR145-million.
This includes the original loan amount to WPRFU, interest on the loan, a raising fee, damages and costs.
The other big player in the mêlée, Staytus, also believe they have a valid and signed document that gives him exclusive rights to develop the properties.
Staytus has already made an offer to Flyt/Dreamworld to repay the loan and have the properties returned to them. That offer is said to be ZAR200-million.
The latest email from the club ranks refers to ‘previous correspondence’ with Oberholzer and suggest they can “foresee another costly court case, as predicted by our last council meeting”.
The clubs suggest that if SARU goes ahead with the bid process announced last week, it will result in “more costs to the union and further delays to get our properties back, while we continue to pay extremely high monthly interest on our outstanding debt to Flyt”.
“Galetti, which you appointed, will not do the job for free,” the email says.
“As the administrator, you are tasked to resolve our financial situation, not cost us money – as Galetti will now also have to be paid, with very little money left for the union when you leave one day.”
They then question Oberholzer’s salary.
“Added to this is your undisclosed salary for being the administrator and I really do not think it is fair that WP is sucked dry in this manner.
“I plead that you reconsider your actions by withdrawing the RFP [request for proposal announced last Thursday] and rather save WP millions, then convene the general council and get them to vote on the Staytus transaction so that WP can return to normality.”
The email also has a dig at suspended WPRFU President Zelt Marais, whom they suggested obstructed the process when the clubs wanted to vote on the matter.
“One of the last acts of the council, prior to your appointment, considered the Staytus transaction that was duly approved by most members of the ‘legitimate executive committee’ of the union and recommended to the general council for approval.
“After various presentations and submissions by Staytus, the general council was never afforded an opportunity to vote on the transaction by [the actions of] Zelt Marais.”
Also worth reading
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Police investigating ‘fraud’ in Newlands saga
WPRFU: The rise and fall of a ‘war room’
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WPRFU & Stade: McKeever was only a ‘facilitator’
WPRFU & Stade: Another McKeever misfire
SARU CEO ordered to pay back ZAR37-million