WP straight-bats claims of financial woes

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 11:10
Large paul zacks wp rugby 800

REACTION: The Western Province Rugby Football Union has dismissed 'materially inaccurate' reports that they are engaged in court action with a commercial rights company.

Recent reports have suggested that not only will WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd - the commercial arm of WPRFU - show a projected loss of ZAR11.2-million for the year, but they face claims of ZAR72-million from Aerios, a company whose stated commercial focus is to sell sponsorship rights in sport.

According to the report - first published late last week and having gained significant legs over the weekend - the alleged dispute between WP Rugby and the commercial company centres on two key areas.

The first issue was reportedly related to the Cape Town leg of the Sevens World Series and the second to WP and the Stormers' headline sponsor DHL.

Paul Zacks, Group CEO of WPRFU and WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd, dismissed the report as containing "a number of material inaccuracies".

"We will deal with this in due course," Zacks told rugby365, when contacted about the ongoing reports of financial woes at the union and the Super Rugby franchise.

"No legal proceedings have been issued for any amount allegedly owing to Aerios," he added.

"We are engaging with Aerios and currently working hard to resolve areas of dispute with them, as we would with any commercial partner.

"We will provide further clarity in due course."

Although Zacks would not elaborate, it has become obvious that the initial report does contain certain obvious inaccuracies.

The Cape Town leg of the Sevens World Series is World Rugby event, hosted and managed by the South African Rugby Union.

WP Rugby and the WPRFU are not involved the Sevens World Series in any way and nor do they have any agreement with the Cape Town Stadium or the City of Cape Town, owners of the stadium in Greenpoint.

The DHL claim in the article also has some credibility issues, as it was renewed in 2013 - a year before the agreement was due for re-negotiation - before Aerios came onto the scene.

The terms of the sponsorship include naming rights to the home stadium of Western Province Rugby, Newlands, WP's provincial teams and the Stormers.

This deal was done through the Treble Group, which lists on its official website WP, the Stormers and DHL as being among their "exclusive commercial partners".

"The Treble Group's commercial partnership with Western Province Rugby includes managing Club Newlands and strategic planning in terms of Broadcasting/Media Rights Sales, Sponsorship Sales Strategy and Marketing," the group states on their website.

"Treble is also responsible for the Stadium Commercialisation, which includes:  Sponsors/Suppliers, Ticketing, Food & Beverage, Hospitality and Promotions."

It is unclear when Aerios became the holders of the commercial rights of the union.

There is no clarity on the accuracy of claims in the initial report that four board members - Nathan Erasmus, Johan van der Merwe, Viola Manuel and Suliman Mahomed - resigned late last month as independent directors from the board of WP Rugby.

It is unclear how this relates to the financial disputes, as Zacks straight-batted any attempts to obtain more details on the issues surrounding WP Rugby's financial status.

Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 11h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
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