August 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
After six months in a rugby void and after losing nearly 20 players the Lions Challenge has been met and the Lions are back in Super Rugby (See Lions Back in Super Rugby!) while the Kings return to the nether regions of rugby. All because of an ill-conceived and poorly executed “plan” devised by SARU and approved by South Africa’s rugby union administrators to bring the Kings into Super Rugby at the expense of the Lions.
Reports from the Lions indicate that not only did they lose a lot of players but their earning dropped approximately 30% from 2012. The Lions were fortunate in that sponsors like MTN and Redefine were prepared to give them 2013 to see if they could get back into Super Rugby but others, like Coca Cola, were not so lenient.
Beeld on Friday speculated that, should the Lions lose the play-offs, their losses could amount to up to R100 million per year as losses in sponsorships, stadium earnings, suite sales, supporters kit sales and others mount.
This is what stares the Kings in the face now. Maybe not R100 million per annum as they hadn’t been able to attract big sponsors yet but certainly a heavy loss of income, probably close to R40-R50 million, as well as the loss of key players needed to prepare for the knock-outs next year.
Through player losses the Lions are back where they were at the start of the 2011 Super Rugby season with a bunch of Super Rugby rookies and the next few month will tell whether they lose more players when their contracts expire this year. (See The challenge met, a new challenge begins)
The Kings are possibly worse off than they were last year. Before this year’s Super Rugby most of their players were under the radar of the stronger unions but that has changed and not only have players like Engelbrecht, van der Walt, Bulbring, Petersen and Marais become visible and targets, these players expectations have also increased and the Kings stand to lose a number of players over the next year.
Both franchises will find it near impossible to attract top level players as their positions have been reversed for the next year.
And while these two franchises carry the burden of SARU’s incompetence the SARU executive and South Africa’s rugby administrators continue in their clueless ways and had even awarded SARU’s CEO, Jurie Roux, a bonus of nearly R1 million earlier this year.
Surely it’s time for SARU to take responsibility for this mess and to clean house.