Thu 22 Nov 2018 | 11:04

EXCLUSIVE: Jooste v Marais - head-to-head

EXCLUSIVE: Jooste v Marais - head-to-head
Thu 22 Nov 2018 | 11:04
EXCLUSIVE: Jooste v Marais - head-to-head
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The forthcoming Western Province Rugby Football Union Presidential elections could be the most critical in the union’s 135-year history.

On Monday, November 26, Peter Jooste and Zelt Marais will go head-to-head in an election to replace Thelo Wakefield as WPRFU President.

It has been a fiercely contested contest for control of a franchise that is the grip of a massive cash crunch – with the professional arm on the brink of a second bankruptcy.

@rugby365com’ Jan de Koning has extensively reported on the campaigning and has now put a series of questions to the two candidates.

We publish the answers of both candidates – to the exact same questions – in their own words.

You judge for yourself.

Zelt Marais

Question: Explain your financial turnaround strategy for WP/Stormers rugby
Answer: The company is a separate legal entity, and hence this is a matter for the Board, chaired by Dr Van Der Merwe. This matter will extensively be dealt at the next Board Meeting.

Q: What sustainable cost-cutting measures do you feel is required?
A: This primarily relates to the Company and the Board must put the appropriate measures in place.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing the WPRFU/Stormers?
A: WPRFU attends to Amateur Rugby which includes Clubs, Schools and Referees whereas the Stormers resides in the Company overseen by a Board of Directors chaired by Dr Van Der Merwe. The priority for WPRFU is to repay its Debt that was incurred when it bailed out the Company that houses the professional players.

Q: What is your short-term and long-term vision for WPRFU – both on and off the field?
A: To stabilise WP Rugby as a whole; To ensure that all governance structures are put in place; To build on its good peoples transformation achievement, so that we can move from good to great; To implement fiscal discipline that might or might not have to include austerity measures; To sweat the assets of WPRFU for benefit of all its Clubs; To create Regional Club and School Competition structures that will enable much more local talent to be identified and retained; To ensure that SARU reinstate the Amateur (DISA and Emerging Teams) Provincial Competitions that will be an ongoing nursery for the Supersport and Currie Cup Teams, with aim of developing at least 25 to 30 percent of the players in the said structures for the Stormers team; To ensure WP Rugby becomes the greatest rugby franchise in the world as it has all the resources and ingredients to achieve this.

Q: There is a perception that the clubs are running WPRFU. In your view, what is the accurate state of affairs?
A: The Clubs are the owners of WPRFU. WPRFU is governed by its Constitution, to which some changes might have to be made without prejudicing the owners (clubs). The Clubs elect an Executive Committee every three years and they are accountable to the said clubs.

Q: In one sentence, give us your election manifesto
A: To ensure that WP Rugby remains sustainable in perpetuity and becomes the leading, if not the greatest franchise in world rugby.

Peter Jooste

Q: Explain your financial turnaround strategy for WP/Stormers rugby
A: We need to stem the downturn/drop in traditional revenue streams (which is not unique to WP or even SA franchises, it is a worldwide rugby phenomenon) and develop/drive new income/revenue streams – as we are currently doing via our new supporter membership programme, stadium tours and sweating of our inventory/facilities assets. Reduce the number of professional players in line with the new SARU contract model (reduced from 120 to 80 players. Draft out excess players to other franchises at a cost. Rightsize the organisation to meet operational requirements and our new strategy. Implement an aggressive marketing strategy – review our inventory available and commercialise them appropriately. Convert our assets to new revenue streams – properties.

Q: What sustainable cost-cutting measures do you feel is required?
A: Reduction in the number of professional players. Rightsizing the organisation. Implementing austerity measure across the organisation.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing the WPRFU/Stormers?
A: Players movement – with lucrative overseas offers. We can’t compete with the Yen/Dollars/Euro. Decreasing Spectators attendance due to other activities within the region at the same time and lack of fan engagement tools. Access to government schools sport (SRSA) and education department standoff (most government schools do not have any form of sport). The product – Super Rugby and Currie Cup – need amending/overhauling, so as to ensure a return of the spectators.

Q: What is your short-term and long-term vision for WPRFU – both on and off the field?
A: Common shared Vision (Union and Company). To be the strongest rugby franchise in South Africa – short term. To be the strongest leading rugby franchise both on and off the field in world rugby – long term.

Q: There is a perception that the clubs are running WPRFU. In your view, what is the accurate state of affairs?
A: Clubs are an important stakeholder in Western Province rugby, as per our constitution. The general meeting of the Union is the highest decision making authority in the organisation. A similar relationship as a shareholder of a company. The business of professional rugby is managed and controlled by the board of directors and executive officers.

Q: In one sentence, give us your election manifesto
A: The strongest rugby franchise, underpinned by good governance, with the financial strength to maintain and increase investment in the game to drive elite performance and club/school participation.

By Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

WPRFU elctions candidates

PV: 1604


Exclusive: Jooste V Marais - Head-to-head - South Africa | Rugby365