WPRFU wants 'market related returns'
REACTION: Western Province officials are keeping their cards close to their chests, but admit they want a ‘market related’ return for their investment in players.
@rugby365com attempted to get details of the ‘terms’ and ‘offers on the table’ in the negotiations between American lawyer Marco V Masotti and the Western Province Rugby Football Union.
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 WPRFU.
Masotti was keen to reveal the ‘terms’ to @rugby365 in the interest of full transparency – given the contradictory media reports – hoping the full disclosure clears up a lot of the misconceptions.
However, WPRFU President Zelt Marais was less willing to participate in this exercise of transparency and suggested putting confidential terms in the public domain would be “unprofessional”.
“If Marco [V Masotti] or any of his representatives have done that, then WPRFU wants to remain professional and ethical in whatever it does,” Marais told @rugby365com.
Marais added that WPRFU has put its terms to MVM and is “eagerly awaiting” a response in writing.
Masotti, in response, said he has replied twice to the WPRFU emails.
Marais is adamant that the Cape Town-based union’s unyielding stance is simply because they want a better return for the investment they have already made.
“All that we can say is that WPRFU has invested heavily – more than any other union in the world and more than what MVM’s offer is – in its professional team in order to preserve its value, and mainly to assist SA to win the World Cup,” Marais said.
“WPRFU therefore now expects a sustainable market-related return on its investment.”
Masotti, in a previous interview with @rugby365com, said getting the deal over the line is vital for the players, the clubs and the community.
He described WPRFU’s situation as “The Titanic has hit an iceberg”.
“We urgently need to get them lifeboats,” he said, adding that they need to communicate their plans so that everyone can buy in.
He described the players as the key assets of the business.
Given the WPRFU stance, it appears the negotiations are not progressing as smoothly as they need to.
Marais was unwilling to confirm if there is an alternative ‘offer’ on the table, even though he previously suggested they were ‘negotiating’ with other potential investors.
The identity of those investors have not been revealed and it could not be independently verified if indeed such potential investors exist.
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