Not getting any easier for GLRU.

November 5, 2012 in Uncategorized is reporting that:

Suspended Golden Lions coach John Mitchell has come out fighting to be reinstated as head coach of the Lions again, after he apparently was cleared of misconduct by an independent inquiry.

Mitchell’s management company, the Fordham Company, released a statement claiming Mitchell had been found not guilty of “various charges of misconduct levelled against him by the GLRU, with a further six charges having been withdrawn by the Johannesburg-based club.”

“Even though John has been cleared of these particular allegations, the GLRU, through its lawyers, is not prepared to release details to John or his lawyers,” Mitchell’s management, The Fordham Company, said on Monday.

“That’s pretty amazing considering the damage that this action taken by the GLRU has done to John’s reputation and brand. Furthermore, the GLRU’s lawyers have advised John’s lawyers that they are not prepared to release the findings and recommendations pertaining to the remaining nine charges brought against John unless John agrees to sign a confidentiality undertaking. One would have to question why this information is being withheld”

GLRU has not had the best of years. Not that it is all their fault. But they have lost Super Rugby status for 2013. Lost arbitration cases against their affiliate unions and now have lost their misconduct case against their own head coach John Mitchell.

Mitchell was vehemently praised at the end of 2011 for bringing the CC back to Jburg for the first time in ages. He turned around a disastrous few coaching tenors to make the Lions into the tittle contending team that they now are/were?

He and the Lions did not have a good SR2012 campaign. His team was hit by a plethora of injuries and if we are honest they were just a bit inexperienced to deal with all those injuries.

At the end of the S15 Mitchell was accused firstly of abusing players (allegedly) and bringing the GLRU into disrepute due to remarks in the media. He was suspended.

Now with Mitchell being found not guilty it really makes things a lot more difficult for the Lions. They have had Johan Ackerman as interim coach and he has done well with all the controversy surrounding the Lions. He was rumored  to be a shoe in for the job. The GLRU has also advertised the post as head coach for Lions.

John himself said that he would like to continue as head coach at the Lions. But one wonders how this would work with communication and working relationship between himself and the GLRU administrators not at any great footing. And how would the players who brought charges against him feel if they are still there.

The only other viable option seems to be for the GLRU is to buy out the remainder of his contract.( Although one never know what lawyers can conjure up if they want a contract terminated. ) That said I am not sure whether the Lions can afford to pay out Mitchell with them not having the most sound financial status on top of losing SR status.

It will be interesting to see what happens. But even the most staunch Lions supporter would have to agree that it looks like the GLRU has not done themselves any favors by suspending Mitchell without any real cause. Because now the troubled rugby union is even further humiliated in the media by Mitchel’s reps.

Will the admin of the GLRU be made to eat humble pie by re-instating Mitchell or will they find a way to save face?

I am not sure but one feels for the Lions rugby supporters who have not had any real positive news in a long time and who would have liked for this issue to be done and dusted by now so that the Lions can concentrate on their most important job: beating their opponents in pro/releg match in 2013.


Update: It looks like Mitchell was indeed busy looking for work in EU. And his lawyers says this is not against his contract relegation’s. And that he might still opt to go to EU. So maybe this “I want my job back” is a bluff from Mitchell to show the Lions he would not mind getting his job back and force the Lions into a golden hand shake. Either way it will cost the Lions plenty.

11 responses to Not getting any easier for GLRU.

  1. This doesn’t look good for the GLRU and for the umpteenth time one must question the quality of their legal team as they surely wouldn’t have followed the route they did without legal advice.

    Unfortunately another issue being played out in the media while the real details are unknown.

    • Well it is difficult to know with out all the details.
      It could have been that the Lions wanted Mitchell out and asked the legal team to make it happen.

      It is just funny how they all hailed him after 2011 and in 2012 (with all the injuries) he gets axed without real reason?

      The fact that the Lions do not want the details in the media is hurting them more because now the media and John’s reps can make up any details they like.

  2. There are some real idiots running the Lions franchise. Even if they do reinstate Mitchell as head coach, he would want to bring back Spencer and the rest of his coaching staff who were treated terribly and got sacked before Mitchell had even gone through his hearing.
    I would love to see Mitchell back with the Lions, but it’s hard to see how that would happen with all the bad blood around now.

    • Agree reinstating Mitchell will be near impossible with the bad blood.
      Not sure why Mitchell would want to go back. Maybe this is just a bluff from Mitchell to see if he can get more money out of the Lions to leave. Remember he now has the upper hand in negotiations.

  3. Just bring Mitchell to Bloem, maybe he can scare of Naka, because at this time, the only person who can get rid of Naka, is Naka.

    • And in your opinion, given the injuries the Cheetahs had in the CC, Mitchell would have done better?

      Given the limited resources at his disposal, Naka does very well. If you compare the almost limitless budgets the Sharks, Bulls, and Stormers have to contract players, and the amount of bok players at their disposal, the Cheetahs have done very well.

      But I guess most people have a hire and fire approach to any given problem, without considering the reasons or implications.

      A classic example is Deans, at the Crusaders he had a plethora of AB’s to select from, and he was hailed as the greatest coach, now with less talent, he is weekly under fire. Capiche?

      • Peter the Dutchman is actually a huge Cheetah supporter he just does not like Naka.
        And from a neutral perspective Naka does seem to make strange decisions from time to time.
        If I were a Cheetahs supporter I would try to get Brenden Venter involved he did pretty well at Sarries.

      • Peter, ok, so that is this year’s “excuse”. I judge coaches on resumes and not excuses, and Naka’s doesn’t speak volumes, and thus the volumes that enter the Stadium have also depleted.

        On the Financial front you brought up, do you think we are spending our funds responsibly?

        Naka lived well in the shadow of Rassie and Helgard Muller for long enough now, I agree with the Gen, Brenden Venter or Nick Mallet would bring structure and dicipline back to the FS ranks.

  4. Eish… Its just one disaster after another for the GLRU. And rumours are that the promotion/relegation next year isn’t a gauruntee. None of their other games are finalized yet, all their top players are leaving on loan (and are they really gonna come back?) and others leaving permanently. There’s not really any light at the end of a long, dark tunnel for the GLRU and their supporters.

    • I am not sure about next season promo/releg match but they will prob vote on that next season again.

      It is deff hard times for the Lions and all this off field drama is hurting them even more.

  5. I believe the Lions admin is out of its depth, Kevin and his guys should step aside, with all these disasters, one after the other. One cannot blame outside influences like SARU this and previous administration that. This is was an internal matter, an appointment made on their watch, legal representation they chose on a case they believe they had etc etc. If this doesn’t show the true weakness of the union bosses, i dont know what will

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