Ex-CEO: EP Rugby an unmitigated disaster

EP Kings (File)
EP Kings (File)

Cape Town - Former Southern Spears CEO Tony McKeever has hit out at the administration of the Eastern Province Rugby Union.

The EP Rugby Union is in dire straits with players not receiving their salaries the last few months.

With the Kings set to play Super Rugby next season, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) opted to step in and take control of matters.

It is believed that SARU has identified around 22 Kings players who will be offered contracts on Wednesday, while the remaining players in the Kings squad will be contracted to the EPRU.

This led to an uproar among the Kings squad and on Monday the players - led by Kevin Luiters and Ronnie Cooke - handed over a petition of grievances to EPRU president Cheeky Watson, raising concerns about the fact that only some of them would be offered SARU contracts for Super Rugby.

McKeever spoke to SABC where he said the current management team have left the union in dire straits.

“EP rugby is an unmitigated disaster,” said McKeever. “Maladministration and financial mismanagement... and now you have a situation in which there’s a rogue element within the South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA) who are blackmailing the players right now.

“And there’s an element within SARU who have conspired and colluded to exclude an asset worth about R30m... and those are the 28 players that haven’t been offered contracts. You can’t just extract a R30m asset from EP Rugby, from the clubs in that area - and there are 110 of them - and then shut one door and open another 100m away.

“This is what the current CEO of EP Rugby (Charl Crous) has done. He’s walked out of his office, walked across 100m into the stadium and left behind an absolute disaster.

“Players are devastated, families are devastated… thinking that they can open up a new office with a new entity just across the road. You just can’t do that.”

Watch the full interview with McKeever below:

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