WPRFU: SARU boss not frazzled by club walk-out
South African Rugby Football Union President Mark Alexander is standing his ground – he will not hand the Western Province Rugby Football Union back to the clubs until it is a stable and sustainable entity.
Alexander, in an exclusive one-on-one interview with @rugby365com, confirmed that some clubs walk out of an ‘information sharing meeting’ hosted by SARU.
At this past Tuesday’s meeting, where Alexander addressed about 60-odd of the 90-plus WPRFU clubs, a small faction walked out of the meeting after some acrimonious exchanges with the SARU boss.
The number of clubs who walked out differs from source to source, with some saying as few as eight and others as many as 11.
The aggrieved clubs include Caledonian Roses, Mannenberg Rangers and Blue Stars.
The names of Hands and Hearts (unconfirmed), Langa (both Super League B) and Morning Star (Super League C) were also mentioned among those who walked out.
However, according to several sources at the meeting, none of the Super League A clubs partook in the walkout.
One of the clubs who walked out said they were concerned that the WPRFU constitution is being ‘trampled on’ – based on statements made by Alexander at the meeting.
“If our constitution is dead, then I don’t need to be in a meeting with backstabbers,” a club representative told @rugby365com – expressing his loathing for the clubs that remained in the meeting.
Alexander said they are quite ‘far down the road’ with resolving the issues surrounding the WPRFU, which was placed under administration in October 2021.
* (Article continues below – watch Mark Alexander’s interview with @king365ed)
Some clubs have aired concerns about the ‘slow pace’ and ‘processes’ of the administration, while some feel that the administration process must be tested in court.
The majority seems to accept the reasoning for SARU invoking Clause 29 of its constitution.
They are also happy with SARU’s handling of the sale of the Newlands Stadium and its precinct properties.
It is clear that at least four factions have emerged in the 90-odd clubs, with ‘rugby politics’ playing a major role.
However, the SARU boss is not alarmed by the discordant clubs.
Alexander said the clubs who walked out are the same clubs who also asked for a special general meeting – a request turned down by SARU.
“They have no power to call a special general meeting,” Alexander told @king365ed.
“It is the same group with all the little ‘stories’ coming up,” he added.
He said the clubs that stayed on were “very happy” with the progress made by the SARU-appointed administrator.
Alexander added that they are in an “advanced stage” of renegotiating the deal for the use of the Cape Town Stadium – which was not very beneficial to WPRFU.
He reiterated that former Springbok captain Wynand Claassen’s heritage application has put a hold on the sale of the Newlands stadium.
“We also advised them [the clubs] how far we are with the equity of the professional arm,” he said of the company – Western Province Professional Rugby (Pty) Ltd.
He said they will go back to the clubs for a mandate on all important the decisions – like the sale of Newlands and the equity deals.
“One must look at WPRFU and the position they find themselves in,” Alexander said, adding: “There were some bad and unethical decisions.
“It is not a blame game. We want to fix it and turn it around.
“We are not in the business of running unions.
“We want to give it back to the clubs as soon as possible end ensure the union is sustainable.”
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