WPRFU: Marais stands firm in financial spat
REACTION: Western Province Rugby Football Union President Zelt Marais is adamant he is acting in the best interest of the union and franchise.
The WPRFU boss was reacting to media claims that he is at the heart of an internal power struggle that could scupper a potential investment of over ZAR100-million.
It was reported that the union (WPRFU), under Marais’ watch, is deliberately using delaying tactics to further exacerbate the precarious financial position of the professional arm, WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd.
This, according to media reports with sources inside the Newlands boardroom, is a way for Marais to get rid of CEO Paul Zacks.
It is claimed the delays could see banking giant Investec withdraw an offer to invest in the development of the Newlands stadium and other ‘sponsorship’ deals for all the WP and Stormers teams.
However, Marais said the delay in accepting offers on the table is nothing more than them doing their due diligence and is not part of an internal power struggle.
“All that I can say at the moment is that WPRFU is in confidential discussions with various parties, including Investec, in order to maximize the liquid wealth of the assets that are owned by WPRFU, and ultimately the clubs,” Marais told @rugby365com in response to the reports.
“The Executive Committee of WPRFU does not have the mandate to conclude any property transaction unless it has been duly authorized by the ultimate shareholders, namely the clubs affiliated to WPRFU.
“WPRFU is an NGO and a duty of ‘extra care’ is required by the Executive Committee at all times when proposing any property deal to the clubs for approval.”
He also denied, as was reported, that a request by WPRFU to become a member of the South African Rugby Employers’ Organisation is another ploy to sideline Zacks.
The professional arm, WP Rugby, is already a member of SAREO and the latest application raised some eyebrows.
“WPRFU has applied for temporary membership of SAREO until such time as the solvency of its wholly owned professional arm has been restored as is required by the Companies Act,” Marais told @rugby365com.
By Jan de Koning