New twist in Mitchell v Lions saga

Thu, 01 Nov 2012 14:17
Large john mitchell face 630 Large ruben moggee mic2 630 Large john mitchell lions1 630 Large mitchell   ackermann 630 Large johan ackermann h s 630

The GLRU are locked in renewed discussion with lawyers, after the unpleasant John Mitchell saga took an intriguing new twist this week.

The Golden Lions Rugby Union are locked in renewed discussion with lawyers, after the unpleasant John Mitchell saga took an intriguing new twist this week.

The GLRU had hoped to wrap up the protracted dispute involving former the All Black coach, Mitchell, before the end of the month.

However, the Lions were caught unawares by the news that Mitchell had been appointed on the 'strategy management board' of English Premiership club Sale Sharks.

Brian Kennedy, the owner of Sale Sharks, on Wednesday issued a formal statement revealing Mitchell's appointment - despite the fact that the Kiwi is still claiming a salary from the GLRU and is on their books as 'head coach'.

The GLRU are not allowed to stop Mitchell's monthly payments or start advertising the position of head coach until such time as the arbitration hearing involving the suspended New Zealander is completed.

Three Kiwis - Mitchell, 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.

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.

While GLRU Chief Executive Ruben Moggee expects the unsavoury saga to come to and end early next week, Mitchell's appointment to the Sale Sharks board did cause a few complications in the ongoing arbitration case.

"There seemed to be various versions of whether he was appointed, was just a consulted or was there in his personal capacity," Moggee told this website.

"We are not to sure," he said, adding: "We are obviously discussing it with his lawyers - there isn't much else we can comment on, until the disciplinary process is finalised."

Moggee added that they had hoped for the entire sage to be completed by Friday, but it is likely to drag on for a few more days - till early next week.

Only then can the Lions start advertising the position, which is expected to go to Ackermann.

"Hopefully early next week it should be resolved from our side and then we can move on," Moggee told this website.

It is no secret that Mitchell has been in England for weeks, acting in an advisory capacity at Sale.

Yet, the GLRU were powerless to move on.

"That is true," Moggee said of Mitchell's involvement at the Premiership club, adding: "But we have to go through the right channels and follow the right steps.

"It is difficult when you sit in a process like this and you are talking to lawyers, but that is unfortunately how these things go."

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Griquas 4 3 0 0 20
Western Province 3 3 0 0 14
Eagles 4 3 0 1 14
Border 4 3 0 1 14
Golden Lions 4 2 0 2 11
Boland 4 2 0 2 11
Griffons 3 2 0 1 10
Pumas 4 2 0 2 10
Free State Cheetahs 3 1 0 2 8
Sharks 3 1 0 2 7
Falcons 4 1 0 3 7
Leopards 3 1 0 2 6
EP Kings 4 1 0 3 5
Blue Bulls 3 1 0 2 4
Namibia 4 0 0 4 0