'Siya Kolisi is going nowhere'
REACTION: The Western Province Rugby Football Union is willing to fight tooth and nail to retain their most prized asset.
In the light of a growing stream of media reports that Marco V Masotti’s American consortium, MVM Holdings, is beginning to court the Sharks for a partnership, WPRFU President Zelt Marais responded in mulish fashion.
Reports have suggested negotiations between the MVM group and WPRFU – over a controlling share of the union’s professional arm, Western Province Professional Rugby – have stalled.
The two parties – WPRFU (represented by union President, Marais, Ebrahim Rasool, Chairman of the board of WPPR, and Danny Jones, General Manager, WP Amateur Rugby) and MVM (represented by the South African-born-and-bred American lawyer Masotti and Michael Yorkman, Roc Nation President) – met twice in mid-November.
The sugar-coated, yet contentious, statement that followed suggested it was full steam ahead with talks.
However, in recent weeks several unofficial dispatches suggested there has been no contact between the two groups since.
In fact, more and more reports suggested MVM has started talks with Sharks officials.
The latest reports (or rumours, if you want) suggested that Kolisi – whose affairs are being managed by the Roc Nation group – could be lured to the Sharks.
There have been several reports/rumours that a number of the Stormers’ senior players are unwilling to negotiate contract extensions beyond next year’s British and Irish Lions tour, because of the uncertainty over the MVM deal.
Marais remained adamant that Kolisi will not depart from his Cape Town base.
“Siya Kolisi is going nowhere,” the WPRFU boss told @rugby365com, when asked about the latest developments.
“Western Province has invested heavily in Siya Kolisi – possibly more than any other player – over the years, since [his] Under-19 [days] and is committed to keeping Siya Kolisi at least until the 2027 World Cup.”
Marais was unwilling to elaborate or answer other questions around the MVM deal.
However, recent reports suggested MVM consortium may well take their offer to the Durban-based Sharks.
How far the talks with the Sharks have progressed is uncertain, but as the saying goes: ‘Where there is smoke, there is fire.’
The big sticking point between WPRFU and MVM is the Americans’ demand to have a controlling share (51 percent) of the company (WPPR).
There are also reports emerging that Marais had attempted to charge Masotti US$10,000 for a tour of the Cape Town Stadium.
Marais was unwilling to answer questions or deny, that this was the case.
@rugby365com‘s enquiries suggested Masotti may well have declined to pay WPRFU for the right, with the city of Cape Town the entity that controls the rights for such expeditions.
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