Province President apologises for 'misunderstanding'
SPOTLIGHT: Western Province Rugby Union President Zelt Marais has backtracked and apologised for statements in an earlier media release.
Marais admitted that his media release on August 2 may have caused a misunderstanding over the role of the independent directors of the WP Professional Rugby company.
“The business of the WPPR [the professional arm] is not solely managed and controlled by the independent directors,” Marais said.
“The WPPR is controlled by a board of 11 directors; comprising four independent directors; five directors that also sit on the executive committee of the union [WPRU]; and two directors nominated by the sponsors.
“I confirm no decisions were taken by the board of WPPR in the last 12 months that were not vigorously debated and then unanimously agreed to by the board.
“In addition, while the WPPR is recruiting a new CEO, an interim committee tasked with making day to day decisions is in place, consisting of both the President of the Union and independent directors who serve without any personal remuneration for their services.”
He also admitted there were issues around the ‘approval of budgets’ for the company.
“The WPPR budgets were prepared by the WP Rugby management team, and then reviewed and unanimously recommended to the Union (as shareholder) for approval, as is required by the Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) of the WPPR,” Marais said.
“The full board of the WPPR (including all the directors who also serve on the executive committee of the Union), agreed with the budgets.
“They also agreed the revised budgets that incorporated revised assumptions due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“However, the MOI of the WPPR, requires the budget to be approved by the union as shareholder, and this has not taken place.”
Marais also moved to clarify issues around loans advanced to the professional arm by the union and the cash crunch as a result of declining gate takings, declining sponsorships and no growth in broadcast income.
He also confirmed that while no formally binding agreement has been signed with a possible American investor, he believed the ‘confidentiality terms’ of the draft agreement should be complied with by all parties.
“I tender my unreserved apology to all involved if I, in any way, in good faith, but mistakenly, have provided any information that they deemed to be to their detriment,” he said of his statement earlier this month.
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To recap, the August 2 statement