Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Cape Town - Reports of the Golden Lions’
imminent financial collapse are greatly exaggerated, according to the Highveld
rugby franchise itself.
The Lions responded on Thursday to rumours
on the rugby grapevine a day earlier that bankruptcy loomed for the defending
Absa Currie Cup champions at the end of the year.
Former Sport24 publisher/editor Tank
Lanning wrote on his website www.frontrowgrunt.co.za
that he had received a text from an unnamed source saying: “All Lions players
told only money for salaries until end December. All looking for jobs.”
But the Lions responded via their official
Twitter account @LionsRugbyUnion: “We are not bankrupt. We are not going down.
The players are being paid. We are playing in the 2012 SR (Super Rugby) comp.
All malicious rumours.”
In an earlier tweet, the Lions said: “There
is no official comment and nor will there be to malicious rumours.”
Funding issues have raged in the vicinity
of Ellis Park since the souring in the middle of the 2011 season of a
R16 million investment into the union from billionaire Robert Gumede and
partner Ivor Ichikowitz; they pulled out and claimed Lions bosses were “stuck
in the past” and effectively operated the franchise like amateurs.