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

Cheetahs vs Crusaders
sast: 17h15 | local: 17h15

  • |
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 April 2017
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Highlanders 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 06 May 2017
Bristol v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Ashton Gate
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh 22h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Dragons v Cardiff Blues 22h00 Rodney Parade
Zebre v Treviso 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ulster v Leinster 22h00 Kingspan Stadium
Scarlets v Ospreys 22h00 Parc y Scarlets
Munster v Connacht 22h00 Thomond Park
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Kingsholm
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Wasps v Saracens 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Rebels v Lions 05h00 Melbourne
Chiefs v Reds 07h35 New Plymouth
Waratahs v Blues 09h45 Allianz Park
Sharks v Force 13h05 Kings Park, Durban
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1