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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 01 July 2016
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Blue Bulls v Boland 17h00 Loftus Versfeld
Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Blues 07h35 Wellington
Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Sharks v Leopards 15h00 Durban
Lions v Sharks 15h10 Johannesburg
Kings v Highlanders 17h15 Port Elizabeth
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
Thu, 07 July 2016
Griquas v Pumas 17h00 Kimberley
Fri, 08 July 2016
Blues v Brumbies 07h35 Auckland
Reds v Chiefs 09h40 Brisbane
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 9 0 4 39
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 13 10 0 3 46
Crusaders 13 10 0 3 45
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
Sunwolves 12 1 1 10 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9