I have been quietly watching the unfolding of the Kings inclusion into Super Rugby and the final lit dynamite stick being added to the destruction of the already demising once giant Golden Lions Rugby Union, I now think it is time to add my opinion, it will probably ruffle some feathers, but this is my view on things.
I feel bad for the Lions and all their supporters. The way things happened, however diplomatic it was, was nothing short of disappointing. It was nonetheless an election, the word election implies that one has a choice in the matter, I don’t believe that 11 unions could be forced or bullied into making a choice to back the Kings and changing their we all stand together view point. What happened behind closed doors will probably never be known…
The Lions supporters on here have however quoted a ‘interview’ with Kevin de Klerk where he funnily enough, only singles out one franchise that voted against them, the Free State Cheetahs, why is this funny? Well back in 2005 when the Super 12 was changed to the Super 14, guess which franchise voted against the Cheetahs forming their own union instead of the then EP Spears, because they didn’t want to be allied with only smaller unions like the Leopards and Pumas under the Cats franchise?
Here is a hint, the same franchise that told the Cheetahs and Griquas that once they form Cats back in 1998, home games would be split evenly amongst the Bloemfontein and Johannesburg Stadiums with one Bloemfontein game going to Kimberley each year, this lasted for exactly one year, well almost, the Kimberley game went to Johannesburg, after that the ratio was as 68% Ellispark and only 32% going the way of Bloemfontein.
I find it ironic that the Lions are making a huge case of Political propaganda against their union, let us not forget how a R37 Billion+ debt was repaid in only 9 years by a ‘connected’ Dr Louis Luyt, who convinced the then Volkskas Bank and the Johannesburg City Council that he could turn it around since coming on board in September 1984, you are naïve if you think he did this without pulling in favours.
There are a lot of speculations running around, one is that maybe the other Unions saw what a politically connected franchise can do for rugby against a struggling union that find themselves in turmoil again now due to a massive amount of debt and arbitration cases against them.
You can go around blaming everyone for your own demise, but 11 people can’t backstab or suddendly blindside you without you seeing it comming or giving them reason to do so.
Things is SA Rugby are not as cast in stone as we all thought. This whole thing has left a sour taste in my mouth, even after the Cheetahs ripped the Bulls a new one Friday night, well, that gave me 32 reasons to smile.