Cape Town - The Eastern Province Rugby Union is working tirelessly behind the scenes to address the issue of non-payment of players.
The union on Thursday confirmed that neither of the Kings’ staff nor players have yet been paid their October salaries.
“The Eastern Province Rugby Union has noted that there have
been a number of issues raised in the media over the past few days, and
acknowledge and apologise for our lack of proper communication on these issues," the union said via a press statement released late on Thursday.
The non-payment of players is due to cash flow problems, the union admitted.
“These cash flow problems can be attributed to significant delays in the release of funds from a sponsorship deal that was originally announced by EP Rugby President, Cheeky Watson.
“As stated previously, Mr Watson is currently in Australia to meet with sponsors to try and expedite the release of these funds.
“The executive is extremely aware of the challenges that late payment creates, as we all have bills to pay and debit orders that come off our accounts at a certain time each month.
"We are also keeping SA Rugby informed of the situation as it unfolds and are engaging with them and our other stakeholders.”
After the Kings’ failure to compensate their players, the South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA) informed the players of their rights to leave the union.
The Kings confirmed that, to date, only two players have given notice of their intent to leave the union.
“We are aware that SARPA have advised players that EP Rugby is in breach of contract, due to the non-payment of salaries by the 10th of November, and have advised that players can therefore terminate their contracts.
“They have also advised those who do not have alternative employment offers that they are not obligated to return to training on Monday next week.
“We have noted with concern that a lot of speculation has taken place over players that are leaving, with a number of names bandied about.
“EP Rugby can confirm that Tim Whitehead and Lizo Gqoboka are the only two players, to date, that have given notice of their intent to leave the Kings.”