Rugby

Smit hits back at former Sharks CEO

2016-06-22 14:32
John Smit (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Sharks CEO John Smit has hit back at the open letter from former CEO Brian van Zyl that questioned the financial stability of the union. 

The letter, published in The Mercury last Friday, saw Van Zyl suggest that the union under Smit's leadership had reached a position "approximating insolvency".

But Smit has denied the Sharks are in financial trouble.

According to IOL, Smit says that the union will break-even in 2016 while the "future is bright".

Smit pointed to a necessary increase in player salaries to combat the drain of talent opting to play their rugby in Europe and Japan as a contributing factor to the current financial position of the union.

Smit also suggested that the union had experienced financial challenges before he joined as CEO in 2013. 

The former Springbok captain added that he had reached out to Van Zyl, but that his predecessor was not returning his phone calls. 

"I have always respected the institution. Only Brian will know whether his letter to The Mercury was motivated by similarly pure concerns and considerations, as he claims, or whether, in fact, it represents the opening salvo in a campaign to challenge current office-bearers at the KZNRU... and he doesn’t care who is caught in the crossfire," Smit said. 

Smit also touched on the union's proposed relocation to Moses Mabhida Stadium in 2017, saying that a move would only take place if it made commercial sense. 

Smit, who played 111 Tests for the Springboks and lifted the 2007 Rugby World Cup trophy, will step down as CEO at the end of the current season. 

Read more on:    sharks  |  john smit  |  durban  |  rugby
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