Kings' salary saga 'unacceptable'
REACTION: Eastern Province Rugby Union President Andre Rademan described the Southern Kings salary saga as “unacceptable”.
Rademan was reacting to the late payment of Southern Kings players and staff salaries.
The players and staff were eventually paid late on Tuesday – 10 days after their salaries were due on April 25.
In a statement, Rademan dismissed media reports that the EPRU was responsible for the delay.
The Kings’ equity partner, the ‘Greatest Rugby Company in the Whole Wide World‘, blamed the EPRU for the delay.
At the heart of the dispute was a ZAR6-million bailout from the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality to the Kings franchise.
In a weekend report an unnamed source told City Press newspaper that the EPRU had “intercepted” the payment by going to the municipality and claiming it was owed money by the majority shareholder and did not want it released before getting its share.
Despite denying that they owed the EPRU money, the majority shareholders said they had agreed to settle with them at a ‘later date’ so the funds could be released to pay the salaries.
“The Eastern Province Rugby Union would like to place on record that the union is very concerned about the current state of affairs taking place at the Southern Kings,” Rademan said in a statement.
“The failure to meet their salary obligation is not only unacceptable, but also regrettable in these times that we are facing.”
He added that the EPRU has requested an “urgent” stakeholders meeting – to be held within seven days – to address these important and crucial matters.
“Furthermore, the Union has in no circumstances tried to block or encourage the non-payment to the Southern Kings from the municipality – as it has been reported in the media.”
Weekend media reports – also quoting an unnamed official – said the relationship between the EPRU, the Kings and the equity partners has been a rocky one.
It has reportedly been characterised by disagreements over “simple things” like which coaching staff to appoint.
The EPRU is also set to institute an investigation into a recent spate of seemingly over-inflated invoices.