Cape Town - The cash-strapped Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) has reportedly been saved and will be bailed out of its liquidation debt by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
According to IOL.co.za, a proposed bailout was approved by council on Tuesday, with an amount of R15m paid to the union over the next three years.
The report further states that the deal comes with an agreement with SA Rugby that the city will receive three Tests over a four-year period.
In 2017, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will play host to the Rugby Championship Test between the Springboks and Argentina on August 19.
The EPRU was liquidated in the Port Elizabeth High Court in August last year. It came after the union failed to resolve its ongoing financial problems, which saw it unable to pay players’ salaries.
The EPRU’s affairs had been placed into the administrative control of SA Rugby - at the union’s invitation - in April 2016 to help regularise the union’s affairs as it faced a number of financial challenges.
Andre Rademan recently replaced the Cheeky Watson as president of the EPRU, with the latter having stepped down in February.
Under Watson as president, the EPRU plunged into a financial crisis in 2015, with the union unable to pay players’ salaries.
Watson had promised a R200m sponsorship for the Kings but this failed to materialise, with players forced to accept food vouchers following the non-payment of salaries.
SA Rugby was eventually forced to step in and take control of the union which was eventually liquidated.