Lions stand firm in franchise fight

Fri, 18 May 2012 12:45
Large ruben moggee mic 630
The Lions may be fighting a survival battle on several fronts, but they remain firm in their resolve to retain their Super Rugby status.

The Lions may be fighting a survival battle on several fronts, but they remain firm in their resolve to retain their Super Rugby status.

While talks continue between the South African Rugby Union and the five current franchises over Super Rugby participation beyond 2012, the Lions are also involved in a dispute with their franchise partners - the Pumas and Leopards.

Media reports on Friday suggested that SARU could implement a decision that was made at their last  Executive Council  meeting in January, which proposed that the Lions will be "automatically relegated" from Super Rugby unless they resolve the long-standing dispute with their franchise partners.

According to the reports the impasse between the Lions and their partners (Pumas and Leopards) needed to be resolved by the end of February and until the matter is resolved:
a) Broadcast revenue payments are to be withheld from the Lions
b) Payments of R750,000 each be made to the Pumas and Leopards
c) Automatic relegation from Super Rugby at the end of 2012 Super Rugby competition for the Lions.

The Golden Lions Rugby Union's acting Chief Executive, Ruben Moggee confirmed that the matter has not been resolved, but declined to elaborate.

The dispute revolves around claims by the two minor unions, Pumas and Leopards, that they are owed a substantial amount of money by the GLRU - who in turn are disputing the amount.

The matter has been refereed for arbitration, according to Moggee.

"I feel this [the media] is not the platform for us to debate the issue," the GLRU boss told this website.

"We already have enough trouble and pressure in our attempt to retain our Super Rugby status, so we will discuss this on the proper platform," he said about the arbitration process.

The latest reports follow a day after SARU revealed that they have not yet been able to resolve the issue surrounding the Southern Kings' entry into Super Rugby in 2013.

It was announced on Thursday that a further meeting between the five franchises and SARU, to discuss participation in the Super Rugby competition, will take place on Monday.

Representatives of the Bulls, Cheetahs, Lions, Sharks and Stormers, as well as the Kings, SARU presidency and management met in Johannesburg on Thursday in the latest in a series of meetings on the subject.

"Everyone was agreed that we must secure a solution that does not damage any of the existing franchises," SARU CEO Jurie Roux said in a statement.

"It is a complex issue with no easy answers and we are determined to leave no stone unturned in finding that answer."

He confirmed that a number of options were discussed, but there is currently "no preferred alternative" to recommend to the General Council.

By Jan de Koning

Sharks vs Stormers
sast: 17h15 | local: 17h15

  • 3 | 0
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 21 April 2018
Leinster v Scarlets 14h30 Dublin
Zebre v Ospreys 16h45 Parma
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 17h05 Kingspan Stadium
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Sun, 22 April 2018
Brumbies v Jaguares 06h05 Canberra
Racing Metro v Munster 14h15 Paris
Fri, 27 April 2018
Gloucester v Bath 22h00 Kingsholm
Dragons v Scarlets 22h00 Rodney Parade
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Connacht v Leinster 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Ulster 22h00 Thomond Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 22h00 Sixways
Wasps v Northampton Saints 22h00 Ricoh Arena
London Irish v Saracens 22h00 Madejski Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Welford Road
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 22h00 Sandy Park
Kings v Cheetahs 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Treviso v Zebre 22h00 Stadio Monigo
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 6 4 0 2 20
Brumbies 7 3 0 4 14
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Blues 7 2 0 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 7 3 0 4 14
Sharks 8 2 1 5 14
Stormers 8 3 0 5 13
Jaguares 6 2 0 4 8