Cape Town - The Eastern Province Kings could face a player exodus after the union again failed to pay the players’ salaries.
According to Rugby365, the 10-day deadline for paying the players' October salaries expired at midnight on Tuesday without any action from management.
Nyaniso Sam, a spokesperson for the South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA), confirmed that no salaries were paid to players by the midnight cut-off on Tuesday.
This means that from a legal perspective, the players can cancel existing contracts with the Eastern Province Rugby Union and take up matters elsewhere.
According to SARPA, players who do not have offers from others franchises also have the option of staying away from training until their salaries are paid in full.
Earlier this week, the EP Rugby Union also faced an allegation that ratepayers' money was being channelled to pay the running costs of the union and players' salaries.
EPRU executive member Vernon Stuurman refuted the claims via a media statement.
He said: “The Eastern Province Rugby Union has noted media reports on allegations made by the Ratepayers Association and AfriForum Port Elizabeth of money being paid to Access Management to fund the EP Kings.
“As the finance referred to is said to have come from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, EP Rugby regards itself as a major stakeholder playing a particular part in the space of participatory governance.
“As a responsible anchor tenant of Access Management, we take pride in our business relationship with them which is built on sound business ethics. Anyone who wishes to imply differently should do so on their own.”
The men from Port Elizabeth had a torrid Currie Cup season, winning only two matches to finish second from bottom on the overall log.
They will also compete as the sixth South African team in an expanded Super Rugby season from next season.