SARU set to sideline Cheeky?
Cape Town - When the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and its union heads met with the department of Sport and Recreation in Cape Town on Tuesday, Cheeky Watson was one of the notable absentees.
Instead, the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) was represented by executive committee member Freddie Makoki - strange, given that an update on the EPRU was one of the main items on the agenda of the portfolio committee meeting.
But now Watson's absence may make a little more sense.
According to Netwerk24, the president of the EPRU received a letter from SARU on Monday informing him of their decision to step in and take control of the running of the EPRU.
The EPRU is facing liquidation on May 10 after reportedly owing staff and players around R18 million in unpaid wages, but SARU said on Tuesday that they were doing all they could to secure sponsorship from potential investors in an attempt to save the union.
Good governance and strong leadership, SARU president Oregan Hoskins added at the meeting, was imperative if investors were to buy in to the union.
And now it seems that Watson's role in that governance is diminishing.
According to the article, SARU CEO Jurie Roux informed Watson in the letter that SARU executive committee member Monde Tabata would be appointed as administrator of the EPRU.
Another SARU executive, Francois Davids, would act as chairperson of the union.
It is not clear exactly how these appointments will impact on Watson in his role as president of the EPRU, but SARU said they would be releasing a statement later on Thursday to explain their intervention.
In 2015, Watson publicly stated that he had secured a sponsorship worth R200 million, which never materialised.
Since then, the Kings have been taken over by SARU to accommodate their return to Super Rugby while the union has fallen apart under Watson's leadership.