Lions deny allegations of financial woes

2011-07-01 14:20

The Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) has denied allegations made by former potential equity partners the GumaTAC group that the union is unable to meet its financial commitments.

“The union has had its ups and downs over the years but I am confident that we can look forward to an outstanding Absa Curie Cup season and many more years of providing our fans and stakeholders with the brand of Lions rugby that they have come to enjoy,” GLRU president Kevin de Klerk said in a statement today.

GumaTAC partners Robert Gumede and Ivor Ichikowitz alleged in an email leaked to the media this week, which was addressed to De Klerk, that the union was battling to pay salaries.

Gumede and Ichikowitz also alleged that the union owed Absa Bank in the region of R30 million, a loan which was due to be paid back on Sunday, and was also in danger of losing approximately R100 million in sponsorships negotiated by GumaTAC.

De Klerk said the GLRU was already in negotiations with other investors after talks with GumaTAC broke down this week.

“Our intentions have always been honourable in engaging with an equity partner and my objectives and views around identifying a BEE partner are well documented,” De Klerk said.

“We accepted an approach by Guma as a result of this.”

“Suffice to say, we are already considering an offer from an alternative equity partner and can assure our supporters that the Lions’ 120-year legacy is not being compromised.”

De Klerk said the union would make no further comment on the claims or any new allegations.

“We have a rugby business to run and a trophy to win and that is where we are now able to focus our energies,” he said.

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