Sharks in red

2016-08-25 12:20
Sharks CEO and former player Gary Teichmann will be expected to find solution to the team's financial woes.

Sharks CEO and former player Gary Teichmann will be expected to find solution to the team's financial woes. (File)

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While the Sharks may be R39 million in the red, the game goes on with new CEO and former player Gary Teichmann at the helm having succeeded John Smit.

Smit’s reign was never smooth. How he came into power in 2013 and how then CEO Brian van Zyl was dealt with, basically being informed to leave and make way for Smit, tainted the former Springbok captain’s time in office with a tarnished brush.

Van Zyl was never happy at what had gone down and penned an open letter to the media in June this year outlining his concern that the Sharks were nearing insolvency. He stated that no financial numbers had been released for 2015 and that in the preceding years, a deficit of approximately R40 million had been accumulated. He said it was the right of Sharks supporters to know what was going on behind the scenes and not to remain uninformed.

“There is a meeting annually in April where the honorary president is decided for the year and the previous year’s financials are approved,” said Van Zyl. “This year, for the first time in Sharks history, these financials were unbecoming as the Sharks were not a going concern at the end of 2015. Shares were sold to SuperSport to get some cash flow.”

As president of Collegians Rugby Club, Van Zyl holds rugby administration dear but he copped much flak for his letter, especially from Smit and KZNRU president Graham Mackenzie, who has since stepped down from his position as well.

“That letter was enough from me and I concentrate on Collegians matters now,” said Van Zyl. “After my letter and opinions were published, I was asked to keep quiet and not cause more trouble. The new CEO is the man to talk to.”

The financials were revealed earlier this week in front of the same delegates who attend the April meeting. Van Zyl was not involved in attending either gathering, hence his referral to the new man in charge.

As far as Teichmann was concerned, the matter was “old news” and the Sharks had seen enough of their fair share when it came to bad press. “That’s all been written about, everyone knows the figures, it’s nothing new,” he said. “As far as I am concerned, I have taken over and am starting a clean slate with my main objective to restore good to the union and Sharks name.

“I was not here when all these figures came to light and created such a negative feel regarding the union. My focus now is to move the Sharks forward, to return to the former glory we know we can achieve.

“It’s about being positive, getting the right people in the right places and watching youngsters from the province develop in the game. I want to restore the culture that has been lost.”

Teichmann confirmed SuperSport had re-capitalised the business and his job was to manage matters and get everything back on track. He also confirmed that KZNRU was still the major shareholder.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  finances  |  sharks

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