WPRFU: Nothing 'clandestine' about Masotti meetings
UPDATE: American lawyer Marco V Masotti admitted he is ‘ramping up’ his campaign to get information through to interested parties.
However, he dismissed the suggestions and undertones of reports that his meetings with Western Province clubs have been “clandestine”.
Masotti, a Durban-born, New York-based lawyer, through his consortium MVM Holdings, is in negotiations with WPRFU for a controlling share in WP Professional Rugby (Pty) Ltd, the business arm of the WP Rugby Football Union.
It was confirmed this week that Masotti had online meetings with a number of parties.
“I have been trying to speak to as many people as possible – former coaches, players, business people, club members,” Masotti told @rugby365com.
“I want as many people to know about the proposal, so there are full transparency and information.”
Discarded former WPPR Independent Director André van der Veen confirmed that he “facilitated contact” between the American investors and WP clubs.
He believes there is a lack of information forthcoming from the office of WPRFU President Zelt Marais and clubs don’t get the full picture.
“It was important that they [clubs] speak to Masotti and get the information from him,” Van der Veen said.
“I am not involved in the negotiations anymore,” added Van der Veen, a well-heeled and respected businessman, who was tasked by Marais to find an investor and brought Masotti to the table.
The fall-out of the numerous boardroom battles started in June, when Kevin Kiewitz walked away from the union in protest over their handling of negotiations with Investec.
Then in August two independent directors of the board, Johan van der Merwe and Van der Veen, were told their services were no longer required. Their terms of office came to an end and, at the board AGM, it was decided not to extend their terms.
Van der Merwe was replaced as Chairman of the board of WPPR (Pty) Ltd by political firebrand Ebrahim Rasool.
Early in September Raymond van Niekerk handed in his resignation, ostensibly because he has had enough of the boardroom politics. He indicated that the unwillingness of WPRFU too offer Van der Merwe and Van der Veen new terms was key to the decision.
Despite all the disorder and numerous pitfalls, Masotti is steaming ahead to counter the massive campaign of misinformation being waged.
“I don’t think there is anything clandestine about it,” he said of the suggestions that he is being underhanded.
“I would like to talk to as many people as possible so everyone can evaluate the proposition without all of the noise and misinformation,” Masotti told @rugby365com.
“If any of the clubs want to speak, I am happy to do so.
“They will hopefully be the beneficiary of this deal.”
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