UPDATE: New player in the Newlands saga?
SPOTLIGHT: Jan de Koning reveals yet another new twist in the interminable and Byzantine Newlands Stadium saga.
There may be a new player in the Western Province Rugby Football Union’s attempt to get the most value out of their prized asset.
While vigorous ‘negotiations’ between the main protagonists are continuing behind the scenes, it has emerged that a ‘person of means’ may hold the key to rescuing the WPRFU and help save their cause.
Petra Wiese, a German national with permanent South African residency, is said to have entered the picture in recent weeks.
She was a benefactor at the heart of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association’s four-year battle to stop an 18-storey development in the historic suburb of Cape Town.
It reminds of the idiom: ‘While two dogs are fighting for a bone, a third runs away with it.’
It may well explain why the WPRFU was willing to play hardball in their discourses with banking giant Investec.
Those discussions appears to be ‘dealocked’.
It is believed negotiations with a possible new partner are at an advanced stage and that if it comes to fruition will allow the union to settle its debts with both Investec and Remgro.
As @rugby365com reported, the last few weeks have been a busy time for the legal eagles within the rugby fraternity.
(Continue below … )
To recap, the resignation of Kevin Kiewitz as a member of the WPRFU executive committee and ostensibly also as a shareholder director of the Western Province Professional Rugby company earlier this month, caused the notorious ‘grapevine’ to burst into action.
It is believed Kiewitz was not happy with the sudden about-turn of the WPRFU executive – lead by President Zelt Marais.
Given that they had already received an ‘advance’ as part of their partnership with the bank, attempting to introduce a ‘material new term’ – long after commercial terms had been agreed and heads of agreement had been signed – was being frowned upon.
Further complicating matters in these murky waters are reports that there are ‘demands’ for WPRFU to repay a loan to Remgro – which started out at ZAR40-million, but with interest has ballooned to well over ZAR50-million.
This (the full amount) is allegedly due by month’s end.
As the saying goes, watch this space.
There may be a few more twists and turns that would make it hard to follow the plot.