Cape Town - A lawyer familiar with the liquidation order against the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) says the union will have to build itself up from the ground.
This comes after the EPRU was liquidated in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday.
The cash-strapped union was placed under provisional liquidation on March 10 after failing to resolve its ongoing financial problems, which has seen the union unable to pay players’ salaries.
Joint liquidation proceedings on behalf of 36 players were first heard in the PE High Court, with EP Rugby (Pty) Ltd being given until May 10 to settle the outstanding debts or face the prospect of the order becoming final.
A rescue business plan was believed to be on the card, which saw court proceedings postponed until August 4.
But a suitable sponsor could not be found and the union was officially liquidated on Thursday.
Danie Gouws, a Port Elizabeth-based lawyer who has followed the happenings with close interest, has explained the next steps after liquidation.
“The liquidator will now look at the assets and debts of EP. At this stage, the assets are probably R50 000. The liquidator will check if anyone owes EP money and try to obtain it," he told Netwerk24.
According to Gouws, “everyone (EP's creditors) could get 5c per Rand in return - if they’re lucky”.
He said the liquidation process could take between three and 12 months.
“The liquidator will surely also have to look how he can keep rugby (at professional level) going,” said Gouws.
“Regarding EP, they’ll have to start from scratch. But it could be that another body is formed that will look after professional rugby.”
Gouws said that while it’s a sad day in the history of EP Rugby, it must be remembered that amateur rugby will not cease to exist.
Schools-, club- and amateur-provincial rugby would still be played.
“But if there’s not a senior provincial EP team, then it would be understandable if young players want to continue their careers elsewhere,” he said.