Cheetahs to get Super Rugby payout if axed?

    2017-03-20 09:20

    Cape Town - The Cheetahs will reportedly be offered a two-year payment from SANZAAR if they are axed from Super Rugby.

    Recent media reports have indicated that the southern hemisphere competition could be reduced from 18 to 15 teams from next year.

    South Africa could reportedly lose two teams, with the Cheetahs and Southern Kings - South Africa’s worst performing franchises - possibly axed from the tournament.

    According to the Sunday Times, the Cheetahs would receive a two-year 'sweetening', as they are still a Super Rugby entity under the current agreement.

    Super Rugby franchises receive upwards of R28m every year, with some, who accept wider responsibilities from SA Rugby getting R33-million.

    A local rugby boss said earlier this week that the Kings and Cheetahs' elimination from the tournament was a done deal, but SA Rugby president Mark Alexander told the weekly newspaper that 'no decision has been taken'.

    The Cheetahs’ managing director, Harold Verster, recently claimed that only two teams - one each from South Africa and Australia - would be eliminated in what would become a 16-team competition.

    However last week, 1 NEWS in New Zealand reported that Verster was wrong.

    The report, which was headlined as an exclusive on their website, stated: “Following a SANZAAR meeting in London last week, the Free State Cheetahs CEO Harold Verster declared his side was safe, and that the competition would be reduced to 16 teams. But the 1 NEWS source confirmed three teams would be cut.”

    SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos commented on the situation following a SANZAAR meeting in London:

    "Following two days of robust discussion there are a number of tournament considerations that now require further discussion and consultation. This includes final consultation within the national unions and discussion with key stakeholders that would allow the adoption of changes proposed by the strategic plan,” Marinos said via a press statement.

    "SANZAAR will make a formal statement on the future of the organisation, Super Rugby and the tournament format in the coming days once these further meetings have been concluded," added Marinos.

    SANZAAR has reportedly put a May deadline to finalise which teams will be cut from the competition and to finalise the format for 2018.

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