Lions lose backing of riches

2011-06-28 16:23

Johannesburg - Eight months after announcing they had sold a 49.9 per cent stake to Guma TAC, the Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) said on Tuesday that negotiations had fallen through.

IT billionaire Robert Gumede and international businessman Ivor Ichikowitz had terminated the agreement.

The Golden Lions had been prepared to keep working on the agreement but unity from both parties could not be reached.

"We have worked very long and very hard at the Union to deliver a workable final shareholders agreement" said Kevin de Klerk, GLRU president.

"We were prepared to keep working on that process, but unfortunately the agreement could not be concluded."

"This is a sad day in many ways, but our first concern has always been for the well being and integrity of rugby in the Golden Lions region, and until all our concerns were settled the union felt it difficult to proceed.

De Klerk said that he could not go into commercial details but explained that the Lions leadership focus had to be on ensuring the health of rugby at all levels in the union - not just with the marquee elements of the Lions team and playing venue.

"Producing a trophy-winning MTN Lions team remains our top priority, but there's always a danger that you can throw the baby out with the bathwater, and our duty as a union is to promote and develop rugby at all levels in the Golden Lions region," De Klerk.

De Klerk stressed that the dissolving of the arrangement would not have a negative impact on the team's preparations for the Currie Cup and that the decision would free the union from the negotiating table to concentrate on their core responsibilities.


  • Grant - 2011-06-28 16:32

    Pity! The Lions looked like they were starting to offer something again - would be nice for them to be a force in SA rugby again...

      Paddy - 2011-06-28 23:50

      Kan dit slegter gaan?Dit sal jul leer om NIE met die ouens in besigheid betrokke te raak nie.Hul het geen liefde vir die spel nie en dit gaan net om hulself.Bye-bye Lions hello Kings!Die Lions en Bulletjies moet maar saamsmelt as die Gauteng Otters.

      Uwe Klopfer - 2011-06-29 08:25

      @paddy : die kings sak nie in super rugby speel nie. Ja dit kan slegter met die lions gaan...laas jaar was slegter. Die kings kan nie eers die currie beker maak nie

      Danny - 2011-06-29 08:25

      @ Paddy, Lol mooi gesê, Gumede het gedink hy sal soesji te eet kry, hahaa imagine die Blou hanswors Leeu span.

      StBad - 2011-06-29 11:34

      @Paddy: The Lions would put 70 points on the Kings

      Nfusitjie - 2011-06-29 17:01

      The Kings are a joke...they're gonna get smashed weekend after weekend, at least the Lions showed guts and won a game or 2

  • sharks4playoffs - 2011-06-28 16:37

    Well, say goodbye to any chance of a 90's-style Transvaal rugby team again!!!

      Nfusitjie - 2011-06-29 17:00

      that's exactly what they need now...Mitch have been trying to get it back but to no avail, they need better players in the key positions & heyneke meyer-like coaching structures

  • GILLBERT - 2011-06-28 16:38

    does this mean they will lose Mitchell and Carlos as well... bad bad bad news for the lions

  • JitteKerl - 2011-06-28 16:39

    a Lions player told me the GUMA TAC group wanted to increase the number of overseas players in the team to around 50%!! they stopped negotiations because this would hamper the regional development programmes

      red - 2011-06-28 16:46

      50% overseas players ? as in New Zealand/South Pacific Island players ?? Wow , that would have been great , at least we would have had players that could string 3 decent passes together....

      Patrick - 2011-06-28 17:08

      Red, where you get your stats from. 90% of the AB players are born in NZ. They only come from Pacific Islands decent, meaning their family is originally from there. Saying that is our team full of english/dutch?

      Randall Chemaly - 2011-06-28 17:35

      Unlikely. the Rebels are the only super 15 team allowed to have 10 overseas players, untill they are up and running. Old teams are still only allowed one or two players from other countries.

      Totman - 2011-06-28 17:44

      @Patrick. I think that is what he mend. He is not going into their nationalities. He is talking of players who, according to him, can pass a ball.

      Henry - 2011-06-28 20:25

      Affirmative action could have been more the thinking behind their money. Look at the players that have joined the Lions lately.Murray , Maku , Edgar , Lionel , Jantjies and I also know about various junior players of clour that have joined them.Even the Beast was on the shopping list.

      Paddy - 2011-06-28 23:50

      Red jy is n oningeligte poephol!

  • red - 2011-06-28 16:40

    Guma must have thought that they could use the Lions as a loss , but John Mitchell publicly reprimanded his leadership for not looking forward and putting their money where their mouth is. Bottom line , this might be a good thing, The Lions need to start playing well , get their stadiums full , and this will be enough revenue for the union , without the need for a 50% owner. Good luck Lions .... Conspiracy Theory: Guma was used by Southern Kings to destroy the lions , thereby getting into Super Rugby ?? :)

      subjective-denotation - 2011-06-28 18:09

      real idiot you are!

  • jontheb - 2011-06-28 16:47

    ag ja - the lions finished last in the super 15 with the cash...what will they become now? No man - kick them out and give the kings a chance!

      Jimmyboy - 2011-06-28 20:23

      How about the kings try get into the currie cup before you give them super rugby. The lions vodacom cup team beat the ep kings and might I point out that that team was mostly made up of youngsters. So before you get to far ahead of yourself maybe you should sit down and do some research at how the kings aren't as great as they are made out to be. . .

      kosie - 2011-06-29 10:24

      the top five of the currie cup should play in the S15 thats it...

  • Themz - 2011-06-28 16:56

    The best part is that MTN signed a 5 year contract that they cant change! Leeuwsars with Leeuwsars...

  • G8 - 2011-06-28 17:00

    What a shame.

  • Byron - 2011-06-28 17:08

    thats no good for the purrrrrring lions!!!!

  • Mikus - 2011-06-28 17:32

    Hey, Eskom appears to be quite flush at the moment, how about them to help keep the cash pool filled. Imagine - "The Electric Lions"

      RobinHood - 2011-06-28 17:36

      (lion)kings of darkness

      OZNOB - 2011-06-28 21:58

      NOW THAT WOULD BE SHOCKING - a good idea though . It would be nice to see the lions giving the other teams a set of carrots for a change

  • RobinHood - 2011-06-28 17:37

    The food in the boxes must have been REALLY bad.....

      OZNOB - 2011-06-28 21:59

      NOT QUITE i found it to be rather pleasant

      Nfusitjie - 2011-06-29 16:58


  • thefeather - 2011-06-28 17:44

    Another well-publicised BEE deal gone sour. Would love to read about the commercial reasons. Wonder if this means Butch will go back to Bath now that he hasn't got a salary anymore.

      Marcell - 2011-06-29 01:45

      The real question: Was it going to be a front to wash dirty money?

      Snoek - 2011-06-29 09:38

      Marcell, very good question. I won’t be surprised

      Tbla - 2011-06-29 09:51

      You must know something we don't Marcell. Go on share with us or shut up.

  • clivegoss - 2011-06-28 17:49

    Transvaal, Golden Lions, whatever. Kevin you guys have been there, been seen there , got sandbagged sand blasted and got the T-shirt to show for it all. There is enough talent in South Africa (and in Gauteng South) who all would simply love to get a game where they can show their talent. Get the selectors out to the clubs,(where they beong) like in your day and start over again. It is about the game.

  • Jean - 2011-06-28 17:58

    no sa teams are allowed as many as they like until saru intervines iets the local unions who decide that not Sanzar

  • Dan - 2011-06-28 18:09

    Won't say I was always convinced that this would happen. It was never an issue about if it would happen, but when. The entire deal just didn't make any sense.

  • The_Fox - 2011-06-28 18:10

    Massive blow.. really really bad news. No more funds to buy any top quality players.

      LionsFan - 2011-06-29 11:21

      we do not need to buy players ,the bulls did it about 8 years ago by developing their youngsters ,they put structures in place to develop the players ,right coaches ,medical staff etc ,the bulls were a 2nd divison side

  • StaalBurgher - 2011-06-28 18:14

    Yeah, I also think there wasn't enough BEE in the this BEE deal for them so they bailed. Would be interesting to know the real reasons.

  • Willie B - 2011-06-28 18:19

    Bring back Louis Luyt!!! At least in his time as president the Lions was a force in rugby. Now it is a whimpering bunch of losers

      Eishh - 2011-06-28 19:22

      J a waar was die dae toe Transvaal nog gewen het met "plaaslike spelers" en afrigters (Kitch Kritsie van Harlequiens Pretoria). Onthou julle nog die name van die paar Bulle in die rooi span: Heinrich Rodgers (stut), Uli Scmit (haker), Hennie Strydom (slot), Rudolf Strauli (losvoor), Jannie Breedt (losvoor), Johan Roux (skrumskakel), Gavin Johnson (losskalel, vleuel, heelagter), Theo van Rensburg (heelagter). Almal het seker nie dieselfde tyd gespeel nie. Sê maar net.

  • zule - 2011-06-28 18:33

    To my never did look like this thing was going to fly...wrong people and wrong expectations...well done Kevin...integrity is the key element for RUGBY here

      Maori - 2011-06-28 19:18

      Zule, explain your understanding of "wrong people" if you do not mind. Contracts are being terminated on a daily basis by parties - unless your understanding of contracts has something to do with the person you contracted with

      Stephan - 2011-06-28 20:26

      Maori, wrong people as in "people who knows bugger all of rugby integrity, and who are only involved in financial gains within rugby". And just for the record, because I smell another "is it because I am black" curveball; I never once in defining "wrong people" used ANY reference to any colour!

      Marcell - 2011-06-29 03:33

      I thought they want to wash their dirty money and De Klerk would not allow that?

      Maori - 2011-06-29 11:56

      Stephan, you response defined you. These are commercial contracts in a professional rugby environment. No need to know rugby or the rules of the game - need to understand the industry in which you are going to invest. It was a lame attempt on your side to deal with the underlying motive of Zule's response - do not deal with BEE guys! Keep our rugby "clean"

      Nfusitjie - 2011-06-29 16:57

      I agree, the Lions are better for this...Gumede had other plans...

  • Watch Dog - 2011-06-28 19:04

    jee wizz> what next for the poor kittens

  • AB.VILJOEN - 2011-06-28 20:28

    These East Rand Gawies will never be able to transcend into big business, that Ivor and Robert offered. They just need a enough bucks for a brandy and coke. Luyt would have loved to do business with these guys.

  • Jimmyboy - 2011-06-28 20:31

    I'm not sure how this will effect them, because from my understanding the GUMA group never gave up any cash so the union has been using it's own money to fund everything on the assumption they were getting more funds soon. I think the lions will be ok if they get rid of all the average fringe players they have in the vodacom side (likes of chavanga and delport come to mind) and find a new financial partner that can help back them. I read somewhere that the lions have the highest wage bill to pay in South Africa due to something like over a 100 senior contracted players. The next 24 months could be the most decisive in the whole of the lions unions history. . .

  • Johann - 2011-06-28 21:41

    Goes to show that money can't buy everything, there has to be some integrity and a love for the game as well. Lions will be OK without those guys.

  • Proppie - 2011-06-28 22:15

    The Lions - to us supporters its like your brother being in jail - you still love him but you don't talk about him anymore!

  • chris - 2011-06-29 02:49

    Kevin soos jy weet ons het baie goeie spelers hier in TRANSVAAL so julle moet net na die regte spelers kyk wat gereeld kom offen en super fit is dan kan hulle die hele game van 80 min speel en nog exsta tyd asdit moet .Ek het baie vertoue in die spelers wat nou daar is dit is net die fiksheid wat moet reg kom.Die mane het dik bene wat sterk is maar niks uithou vermoe nie vat hulle n' bietjie na n' mynhoop wat nog daar is en laat hulle op en af hardloop dan sa jy n' ander ding sien en sodra hulle weer gereeld wen dan sal Ou Elispark weer vol wees dit belowe ek jou en dan het ons nie ander bystaanders nodig nie .

  • nonduplume - 2011-06-29 07:08

    Obviously there was no BEE freebie for dear dodgy Robert.......................just like his IT deliveries vapoourware for megabucks that doesn't work!!!!!

      Nfusitjie - 2011-06-29 16:56

      he's a showman, that's all

  • jurie.lemmer - 2011-06-29 08:32

    Get yourselves a Chinese Stakeholder. Someone like Huawei, Hisense, Bank of China, Indusrtial and Commercial Bank of China (who holds a 20% stake in SBK SA), China Ping An Insurance etc, etc!!! I;m no Lions supporter, but we cant afford to loose a union in our game!!! Good luck boys!

  • Morgan van Dyk - 2011-06-29 08:40

    Well I cant say I did not see this coming. Lions talk about development yet they cannot show any stats of the younger players in there ranks. Rugby is the only sport South Africans have a world cup in yet its dieing everyday with a lot of help from LIONS rugby. Most Gauteng schools don't even play rugby any more and there seems to be no problem with this from Lions. Now if you go to blue bull country there they have almost every school playing rugby. Bullietjie rugby seems to be growing stronger every day and the Union can follow the players through there rugby life. I think miss management would be a understatement

  • jk - 2011-06-29 08:53

    what a balls up, these business men should know that it takes a couple of years to build up something..,

  • diode - 2011-06-29 09:26

    The Lions performed very well overseas, think this termination is very premature maybe a better investor would purchase the Lions as they can be a mega factor in next years S15

  • andrewc75 - 2011-06-29 10:01

    "Producing a trophy-winning MTN Lions team remains our top priority, but there's always a danger that you can throw the baby out with the bathwater, and our duty as a union is to promote and develop rugby at all levels in the Golden Lions region," De Klerk What's the point in developing young players who then move on to other unions when they start to show any promise???????????? We need the cash to buy new players AND hold on to the ones that show promise. It's a huge shame that the deal couldn't be struck. In the professional game it's money that talks!!!!!!

      LionsFan - 2011-06-29 11:24

      we do not need to buy players ,the bulls did it about 8 years ago by developing their youngsters ,they put structures in place to develop the players ,right coaches ,medical staff etc ,the bulls were a 2nd divison side

  • tommo - 2011-06-29 10:45

    NOOOOOOO!!! ten more years of empty cup cabinet.. sigh

      Nfusitjie - 2011-06-29 16:55

      wishful thinking mate...more like 20

  • LionsFan - 2011-06-29 11:19

    Stuff them ,time to shut up and play rugby ,time for all the players to man up and play some disciplined rugby ,put the structures in place ,get the youngsters to start training with the Lions team ,take a good look at what the bulls did 8 years ago and make a world beating side ,if they can do it so can we ,the bulls made their Super rugby side from youngsters

  • innasticks - 2011-06-29 13:26

    Ek was saam met Paddy op Hoerskool sy was 'n fantastiese netbal speler.

  • Nawe - 2011-06-29 14:11

    Kevin De Klerk is a clown! now Robert is going to buy into a soccer team & the biggest loser will be rugby.

      Nfusitjie - 2011-06-29 16:56

      i dare you to walk up to him and say that, he'll smack your acne-ridden face into next month

  • buzzliteyear - 2011-06-30 00:45

    Serves Lions right....they threw away loyal partners at the end of last season for greed. It was all about money, money and money. They were going places, too good to loyal sponsors who stuck by them when they could not win a game, all for their new high profile owners. Look where that got you now. We see them starting to come crawling to those they shut out 6 months ago. It is sad to see the Lions run by such idiots. Start at the fop and get rid of the fat.......then filter down and you will become just like the great Transvaal rugby teams of the past with winning rugby. A valuable lesson here for the greedy directors!

      red - 2011-06-30 11:24

      agree... if you are incapable , its time to move , Cheetahs and Lions have the same common problem , poor management !! Rather get a business person to run a union , NOT an ex-rugby player.

  • marius.theron1 - 2011-06-30 15:58

    Tatta Welpies, julle kan maar plek maak vir die Kings. Gee julle stadion vir die plakkers.

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