Super Rugby axe: EP president not panicking
Cape Town - Andre Rademan, the newly elected president of the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU), says there is no need to panic regarding the Kings’ Super Rugby future.
This comes after SANZAAR’s confirmation that the Super Rugby tournament will be reduced from 18 to 15 teams from next year.
Australia will lose one team and South Africa two, with Argentina’s Jaguares and Japan’s Sunwolves surviving the cut.
Speculation is rife that the Kings and the Cheetahs will be two South African teams scrapped from the competition, but according to Rademan nothing is cast in stone yet.
“The negotiations are very sensitive. I’ve just had a meeting with the South African Rugby Union and no decision has been made yet,” Rademan told Netwerk24.
“There is a lot of criteria that need to be taken into consideration before an independent auditor will make a decision.”
According to SA Rugby, the agreed criteria includes: "Financial and economic sustainability; sustainable support base; team performance; and stadium and facilities."
This criteria was further broken down in "sub-criteria and measurement mechanisms for each" and agreed upon by SA Rugby's Franchise Committee.
Rademan said the Kings were "not panicking".
“Everyone is trying to save South African rugby. We won’t give up hope, because there are many different options on the table.”
Rademan has replaced Cheeky Watson, who stepped down from his role as president of the EPRU in February.
It came after SA Rugby announced that the administration of the EPRU was set to be returned to local hands following a series of ground-breaking decisions at a special general meeting in Port Elizabeth.
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.
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.