Mitchell saga wrapped up soon

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 07:20
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The GLRU hope to wrap up the unpleasant coaching saga involving former All Black coach John Mitchell before the end of the month.

The Golden Lions Rugby Union hope to wrap up the unpleasant coaching saga involving former All Black coach John Mitchell before the end of the month.

New Zealanders John Mitchell (head coach), Carlos Spencer (backs/attack coach) and Wayne Taylor (conditioning coach), who were roped in by the GLRU midway through 2010, were all shown the door earlier this year.

Mitchell has been involved in a protracted arbitration dispute with the GLRU since the fall-out, after complaints from senior players and the GLRU management.

Spencer and Taylor have both walked away, but not without Spencer firing a verbal broadside at the Lions - ostensibly because he was 'fired via Email'.

However, the Mitchell saga is the one that has attracted the most unsavoury headlines against the GLRU, who are determined to put it behind them and move on.

Former Springbok lock Johan Ackermann has been doing well in a caretaker role in place of Mitchell and  looks set to replace the New Zealander once the dust has settled.

GLRU Chief Executive Ruben Moggee, in an exclusive and broad-ranging interview with this website, confirmed that the formal process, in terms of the hearing, has been completed.

"The chairman [of the arbitration hearing] has indicated that the final written arguments by the parties should be completed by the end of the month - with an outcome," Moggee said.

"We are pushing for it to be wrapped up by the end of the month."

Moggee also revealed that Spencer was not fire via Email, as the celebrated All Black suggested.

"Our agreement with Carlos has been terminated and everything that needed to be settled between the parties have been settled," Moggee told this website.

"Kevin [de Klerk, GLRU President] and I met with Carlos before the decision was taken," Moggee told this website when he was asked about media reports that Spencer was informed via Email that his services are terminated.

Spencer, who is reportedly contemplating a sports promotional job, told the New Zealand media that the GLRU behaved in a 'cowardly' manner.

"It would have been nice for the CEO or President to tell me face-to-face. It was a cowardly way to do it," Spencer told Fairfax Media.

"It wasn't as plain as that [just sent him an Email]," Moggee told this website, adding: "If you send somebody a termination notice, you do it in writing, but it was preempted with a discussion and a meeting with Carlos.

"That has been settled and done and cleared.

"I understand he was upset, but he had specific performance clauses in his contract related to the performance of the team in Super Rugby ... we ended last, and it was one of the clauses that linked to performance."

By Jan de Koning

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