WPRFU: And the hits keep coming
BREAKING NEWS: Just hours after the announcement that Flyt is going to claim damages, the Western Province Rugby Football Union has been told that their American partners are walking away.
Marco V Masotti, the South African-born-and-bred American lawyer, confirmed that MVM Holdings ceased negotiations with the WPRFU.
This bombshell came less than three weeks after the two groups had a face-to-face meeting in Cape Town.
WPRFU was represented by the union President, Zelt Marais, Ebrahim Rasool, Chairman of the board of WPPR (the commercial arm of WPRFU) and Danny Jones, General Manager, WP Amateur Rugby.
Masotti and Michael Yorkman, Roc Nation President, were the men in the MVM Holdings corner.
“Given the recent media speculation, we thought it was important to the players, coaches, management, sponsors and supporters of Western Province rugby to share that MVM Holdings has decided to cease negotiations with WPRFU and to pursue other opportunities in professional rugby,” Masotti said in a statement on Thursday.
The WPRFU officials and members of the MVM Consortium had two meetings – one on Friday, November 13, and another the following Monday.
It appears the parties have subsequently not spoken, despite the sugarcoated statement that the meeting was ‘positive’.
“We had a very productive meeting of the minds and cleared up all the misunderstandings we had before,” Marais said after the November 13 face-to-face meet up.
However, Thursday’s developments suggested that Masotti felt it was time for his consortium to focus on other opportunities.
“We are enormously grateful for the time and resources made available to us by WPRFU, while considering to invest in such an established professional franchise,” Masotti said in Thursday’s statement.
“We remain passionate about the development of the professional and amateur game in Western Cape.
“It has been an enormous privilege to get to know the many and diverse Stormers Faithful on our journey.
“We will continue to treasure the traditions and history of this incredible franchise.
“I will always be a fan of Western Province Rugby and hope for the continued success of our beloved rugby game in the Western Cape.”
The Sharks have been named as an alternative to the WPRFU option, but Masotti has so far remained tight-lipped.
There has been a growing stream of media reports that Masotti’s consortium, MVM Holdings, is beginning to court the Sharks for a partnership.
There were also unconfirmed reports (or rumours, if you want) suggested that World Cup-winning Springbok and WP captain Siyamthanda Kolisi – whose affairs are being managed by the Roc Nation group – could be lured to the Sharks.
There has been plenty of other rumours around WP players, in the wake of the financial dramas playing themselves out in Cape Town.
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“There are a lot of rumours and a lot of smoke at the moment,” Dobson said, when asked by @rugby365com about his players, adding: “[If there’s smoke] you must suspect there must be fire.
“No player has told me officially they are going.
“I know that Harlequins are after a couple of our forwards.
“There has been an article that [WP captain] Siya [Kolisi] may be in demand elsewhere in South Africa,” the coach said about the suggestion that Kolisi could be courted by the Sharks.
“There is a perpetual rumour about Damian Willemse going to the Bulls.
“There is a lot of smoke, but the window [for negotiation] with those players is not open for a couple of months yet.”
Also worth reading …
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‘Miscommunication’ blamed for statement
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Flyt stands firm in face of Rasool claims
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