Lions hit back at Luyt's claims

2012-08-29 21:55

Cape Town - Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) president Kevin de Klerk has hit back at criticism from former Lions boss Louis Luyt after he lashed out at the cash-strapped union.

Luyt, who built the Lions (Transvaal) into a multi-million rand empire in the 1980s and 90s, said earlier this week when he left the union in 2000 it was financially sound. He said there was "R85m in cash reserves and no debt” - a far cry from the R80m debt they are reportedly suffering from at present.

"It's not a question of what's happened to the Golden Lions Rugby Union but rather a question of why people allowed it to happen," Luyt told Ballz Radio.

"With all due respect, how can you let a fantastic union like the Lions go down the drain like they did? I can only assume that people who were in charge didn't know what they were doing and what rugby was about.

"The money was there. But somehow or other the decision was made to use the money for junior rugby and other poor business decisions.”

However, De Klerk has responded strongly to Luyt's claims - saying rugby is now a different management game than when Luyt retired.

"Some of Dr Luyt's comments are mischievous and I wasn't around when he supposedly left this great amount of money behind at the GLRU," De Klerk told the Sowetan's website.

"I can give you an assurance that all monies are accounted for and there was no wrongdoing.

"Perhaps Dr Luyt's health at 80 years of age is not that great. I would urge him to enjoy his retirement and if he wants to advise the GLRU he is welcome to give me a call instead of sensationalising our situation.

"(Luyt) has had his time at the top and now he must let us get on with it. The moral is that with respect to Dr Luyt, these are different times and running a union is vastly different from what it was like in his day.

"The budgets are bigger and allocated differently. He made a reference that criticised the union for contracting junior players, but that's an absolute reality of the modern game. You have to contract good juniors at great expense," said De Klerk.

De Klerk, however, did admit that things are tough at the moment but said its challenges that "we will come through".


  • jacques.heijer - 2012-08-29 22:06

    Is that why we are leaking players(good) like a summer thunder storm?????because things are different????I smell BS

  • kobus.van.wyk - 2012-08-29 22:38

    It is very different nou. Apparently you don't need to balance the books. We can always hope for a bailout.

  • jaco.myburgh.galaxy - 2012-08-29 23:23

    "Perhaps Dr Luyt's health at 80 years of age is not that great." - This is an abusive ad hominem. Never was the points refuted that Luyt made (read: rhetoric). Instead, an attack was launched at Luyt's mental/physical wellbeing.

      blou.johnny - 2012-08-29 23:57

      ...yip, ..attacking dr. Luyt will not solve the Lions problems....

      bernard.ingram - 2012-08-30 07:18

      This confirms Kevin de Klerk is not the backside of a president worth. No people skills at all.

  • koos.vandermerwe.338 - 2012-08-30 03:14

    So, what happened to the money?

  • juannepierre - 2012-08-30 03:19

    This is such a boring story, I wonder, if I were Afrikaans would I have found this interesting?

      bernard.ingram - 2012-08-30 07:20

      You don't have to wonder, because people like you tread in the mud compared to the high rising Afrikaans speaking people.

  • basiladams.basil - 2012-08-30 06:00

    My advice to the kittens, take 5years and sort out all ur money problems then come ask the Kings how to fill stadiums coz all our games will be packed there won't b place not even 4a lion lol !!

      gregg.murray1 - 2012-08-30 06:45

      I will really like to see if you can get more than 25000 people per game, but its you that put it out here lets see.

      roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-08-30 08:19

      Wishful thinking. This won't happen while the Watsons are in charge. They can only fill their own stadium.

  • margie.swanepoel - 2012-08-30 06:36

    Mr Kevin de Klerk, if this is the your answer, please give us specifics. How did the other unions manage to cope in these times (Blue Bulls, Sharks, Western Province, etc). No once did Louis Luyt say you took over from him, he said bad management over the years. What have you done (after promising us, the loyal fans the world when you took over) to rectify the situation. Louis Luyt may be 80, but that does not mean he has become stupid. If as you say it is a different game, please tell us how you have adapted your business plan. Please just give us some facts on what you and the exco are planning and how you see that you are going to save our beloved Lions. All these vague things you are ranting on about mean zilch! To attack someone personally who is critising the way things are run does not show class or prove to us that you (the GLRU exco) know what you are doing or have a plan. So far not one little piece of information (excluding vague promises) to help us believe in the union.

      nico.pretorius.946 - 2012-08-30 06:53

      I'm not saying things at the GLRU is running as it should, but since KdK took over they got rid of Manie Reynecke (one of the ones responsible for player leakage and bad money management), also they stopped the contracts on a number of players that never played. Contracted some good juniors, unfortunately they are leaving us now! We got an equity partner in (Glassfit), we are the last union to get an equity partner, even the Cheetahs had SuperSport for years, and we won the CC last year. Problem is we got relegated from Super Rugby, and although we had injuries and such, KdK should take the blame for that one!!

      margie.swanepoel - 2012-08-30 07:17

      Nico, It was years after Kevin took over before they got rid of Manie, and only when they could not protect him any more, and it had become too blatant, Old boys club - same club, etc. etc. Also Manie was a paid employee, not elected at a general meeting and as such had to do what the GLRU exco (elected) told him to do. So once again the blame is with the Exco. Meeting after meeting, year after year. Who gave him the authority to sign players and spend money as he wanted - Exco - either by default by not caring and monitoring what he was doing or explicitly. Yes we won the Currie Cup (and what a fantastic day it was). But please explain to me why no-one in Exco knew about the allegations against John Mitchell? The stories were doing the rounds end of last year already. Why do you think Wikus never came back after his concussion early in the season? Bottom line - pure and simple. Bad management.

      margie.swanepoel - 2012-08-30 07:19

      I do not know how true this is, but I heard that the Sanzar rules state that the top "unions" in each country must play in the S15. If this is true, why do the Lions not sue - the Kings are not even in the premier division of the Currie Cup.

      nico.pretorius.946 - 2012-08-30 07:26

      I agree FNWitch, things are far from how it should be at the GLRU! Wish I had money to buy the union and fire the lot (doing a Louis Luyt there!) I just think the amount of bad decisions for KdK to sort out is so much, it is not possible without some drastic steps. About Wikus you are right, we really missed him big time in Super Rugby, and he is still not back, must have been one hell of a concussion!

      margie.swanepoel - 2012-08-30 07:40

      Nico, I often say when I win the Euro lotto .... I agree with you. As far as Kecvin goes, I have always respected him. He was one of my heroes (Jannie Breedt was one of big heroes). I respected what he did at Alberton Club and as a business man in his own right with his own company. I'm just tired of empty promises, nothing substantial and no plan. All I ask is give us something substantial that we can hang onto. Next year the Crusaders will be my number one team and not my number two. He promised us for how long that we would not be kicked out of the S15.

      margie.swanepoel - 2012-08-30 07:42

      Kevin is obviously not solely to blame, the Exco must take full responsibility as well. But we do need a strong leader that says, so far and no further. This is how we are going to go forward. Have a week's brainstorming, invite top business leaders and gurus (Clem Sunter - LOL) and set up a 10 year business plan and implement it.

      nico.pretorius.946 - 2012-08-30 08:24

      FNWitch - let me know when you win the Euro lotto!! Will be great to have a new management at the GLRU! The thing that upsets me most, more than the lost money and loosing games, in '95 the GLRU was one of the leaders on making the game professional in SA. Now we are probably one of the most unprofessional unions! Just wish we can get that edge back, cause that other things will then fall into place.

      margie.swanepoel - 2012-08-30 08:29

      I agree Nico. The difference methinks is that Dr Louis Luyt ran an amateur sport as a business, and today a professional sport is being run like an amateur club. Also their PR and communication sucks big time. The loyal fans deserve better.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-08-30 06:59

    The lions is in its predicament because of miss management kinda like South Africa... If you dont know what your doing why are you in that position... BS can only get you so dar, as we can visually see. Luyt is right... De Klerk is a chop.... Im deeply saddened that the Lions seems to be dying when they were one force to be reckoned with not so long ago.... Very sad for South Africa and Rugby.... ALso stupid promises to B-league teams to play in A leagues when they cant even get there on merit. Its completely miss managed!!!!

  • ivan.devries.7 - 2012-08-30 07:20

    Mr Luyt is a Master he has a point.Mr Luyt had balls

  • chiepner - 2012-08-30 07:47

    Proof is in the pudding Mr De Klerk and unfortunatly your pudding sucks.

  • christidv - 2012-08-30 07:52

    Time for a management change!!!!

  • nelius.vantonder - 2012-08-30 08:11

    So they concur that in today's game its important to contract junior players at great expense huh? So please explain to me, mr. de Klerk, why for the love of the game would you then let go of junior players such as: Ruan Botha, Paul Willemse, Caylib Oosthuizen etc. ???? The proof is in the pudding and words are wind you dumb sot!

  • Andre - 2012-08-30 08:16

    Wasn't the Lions franchise owned by some consortium a short while ago that knew nothing about rugby but more about wasting money?

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-08-30 08:17

    Perhaps Dr.Luyts honesty is not being accepted because as the old saying goes, "The truth hurts" The current Lions management should be investigated,like was done with CSA,and then if any irregularities,heads must roll.

  • sarel.brits - 2012-08-30 08:31

    Ag nee wat de klerk, as julle nog in super rugby was en darm iets gewen het kon jy sulke swak \statement\ probeer verdedig ma julle suck en ek dink nie julle moet n Skool span \manage\ nie as dit so moeilik is soos jy voorgee moet van die ander spanne in die selle bootjie sit so NEE julle kan nie n Rugby union manage om julle gatte te red nie Luyt is oud maar praat die waarheid. En wys n biekie respek vir ouer mense wat dalk n biekie meer weet en in die geval BAIE meer weet as jy.

  • stuartanthony.rousseau.9 - 2012-08-30 14:30

    i cant believe someone would say investing in juniors is a waste of money . im a sharks supporter but thats the stupidest comment ive ever heard

  • rassie.dupreez - 2012-08-30 17:10

    Lees artikel op oor dieselfde onderhoud. Belaglik hoe Media24 die nuus gedeeltelik deurgee om hulle eie agenda te pas. Skokkend!

      margie.swanepoel - 2012-08-31 05:55

      Rassie, ek het gaan lees. Maar nerens se Kevin wat is die"crucial" gedeeltes wat uitgelos is nie. So dit beteken 'n ronde nul op 'n kontrak. Miskien moet hy uitsit wat hy woord vir woord gese - dalk op die Leeus se webblad. Geen joernalis gaan alles wat jy se publiseer nie. So Kevin - geen vir ons die "uitgelaate" gedeeltes sodat ons self kan lees en die sogenaamde konteks kan evalueer vir ons self.,

  • henry.denner.3 - 2012-08-30 21:40

    First he is angry that Alistair Coetzee said that he might look at bringing in Lions players and now he makes insinuations about Mr Luyt's mental health. Not a very good week for Mr de Klerk's credibility, is it?

  • shaun.neveling.9 - 2012-08-31 20:38

    Well said mr de Klerk. Luyt needs to realise that allthough it was a proffesional sport when he left, it has become a multi million rand business of which there are huge shareholders and investors. I must envy you in your approach to tackle this situation head on. Personally I think the Lions are in serious crap, but with your fighting spirit, the union will stand up again. Typical of old managers talking about "back in my days".

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