Lions officials fuming over in-house 'leaks'
UPDATE: The in-house turmoil at the Lions’ Ellis Park home base took a few intriguing twists this week.
Lions Rugby Company Chief Executive Officer Rudolf Straeuli and board Chairman Altmann Allers both took exception to a @rugby365com report that raised questions about administrative issues and player unhappiness at the franchise.
Eugene Henning, CEO of the players’ organisation MyPlayers, also lamented the fact that a confidential report was leaked to the media.
An already emotionalistic week became even more riveting and irascible on Thursday when the team announcement and media briefing – ahead of their United Rugby Championship Round Six catch-up match against Glasgow Warriors – were postponed.
The team announcement and media scrum were scheduled for 12.30 (local time), but were subsequently delayed twice, before being postponed till Friday.
No official explanation was given, but family bereavement is believed to be at the heart of the delays.
Henning, speaking to @rugby365com before Thursday’s developments, lamented the fact that a survey – done back in November – has been leaked and linked to current issues at Ellis Park.
“We attempt to put processes in place, together with the employers, that can improve the working environment and players’ personal circumstances,” the MyPlayers CEO said.
“It is a shame if insufficient information about such processes is leaked and it is quoted out of context and incorrectly.
“We will have to ensure that this does not happen in the future and will work with the employers to ensure this,” Henning said.
He added that he cannot and would not respond to subsequent allegations that are not related to the November survey.
Allers told @rugby365com that Wednesday’s critical investigative piece was “light on facts and heavy on sensationalist gossip”.
* To read the article, CLICK HERE!
“You have unnecessarily ‘slandered’ and done an injustice to some good people who have given a lot to the Lions,” an indignant Allers said.
The Chairman made a valiant attempt to get @rugby365com to reveal its source.
He concluded by saying that out of a squad of 50, there are 27 players every weekend who would feel aggrieved at not being selected.
Straeuli was most enraged over the question in the article of his son, Ruhan Straeuli, being contracted to the Lions.
“I was not involved in the contracting of my son,” an infuriated Straeuli senior told @rugby365com.
As he said in an earlier interview (read that report HERE), he was not going to sweep any internal issues under the carpet.
While he would not elaborate, Straeuli was aware of problems that occurred during the team’s month-long tour of Europe – which include reports of “undernourished meals” and match jerseys going missing.