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Rugby bosses argue over SARU's profits

NEWS: SA Rugby’s unexpected profit of ZAR21 million was reportedly the reason for a heated argument between South Africa’s rugby bosses on Friday.


Afrikaans publication Rapport revealed the dispute came after South Africa’s four international franchises – the Stormers, Lions, Sharks, and Bulls – suffered a combined loss of around ZAR200 million during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It all boiled over during a virtual meeting between SA Rugby bosses and the franchise bosses where a vote on the distribution of the funds was the main focus.

According to the Rapport, Griffons president Randall September suggested that the money should only be split amongst the non-franchise teams (Griffons, Boland, Eastern Province, SWD, Falcons, Border and Leopards) and the domestic franchises (Cheetahs, Griquas and the Pumas.)

However, Bulls president Willem Strauss and Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee were not happy with that proposal. Strauss suggested that the money be split only between the four international franchises.

SA Rugby’s proposal was that that the international franchises should each receive an additional ZAR3,064 million for tv rights, while the domestic would receive an additional ZAR1,672 million and the non-franchises ZAR458 000.

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According to the report, the Lions, Bulls, Sharks, Pumas, Griquas, Eastern Province and the Cheetahs voted in favour of SA Rugby’s proposal.

The Falcons, Griffons, SWD, Boland and the Leopards were against it.

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander then asked unions to vote on September’s proposal. Apparently, Coetzee threatened to leave the meeting if the vote went ahead.

The Rapport revealed that Coetzee consulted the Sharks’ shareholders during a break before reiterating the franchise’s dissatisfaction with September’s proposal.


September’s proposal was then officially rejected.

After a proposal from the Cheetahs also failed, SA Rugby Chief Executive Jurie Roux said the allocation of the profits would take place according to a formula previously approved.

That means that 47 percent of the ZAR21 million would be paid to the international franchises and 19 percent to the domestic franchises.

Twelve percent would go to non-franchises and two percent to the Limpopo Blue Bulls.

Source: Rapport.

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