Cape Town - WP Rugby president Thelo Wakefield says “it’s a fact” that Stormers assistant coach Paul Treu is unhappy in his role, but the union will wait for the report of an independent investigator before taking possible action.
It was reported in July this year that Treu had stormed out of a Stormers season review meeting. Treu reportedly said he “had enough of being treated poorly” and was “not going to take it anymore”.
Wakefield appeared on SuperSport's Phaka rugby chat show on Tuesday where he confirmed that the union had enlisted the services of legal specialists Bowmans to investigate the matter.
This comes after Treu recently submitted a 26-page document detailing his grievances to the union’s board.
“He’s unhappy about something that happened. We haven’t proved discrimination or marginalisation yet... we haven’t proved any negativity... I was in involved in a discussion with Paul Treu about his feelings and then he submitted the report, I said it’s good that we have a neutral person to investigate this matter to test his evidence against the others,” Wakefield told the show’s anchor, Kaunda Ntunja.
Wakefield said he was happy for a professional firm to handle the matter.
“We have to listen to all the other coaches. It is a fact like cow that he is unhappy... but we need to bring him back and say ‘how can we bring you back to normality and make you happy’. I will be much wiser after I have the report of the investigator, which is a professional person from Bowman Gilfillan. I went for the best because I’m conflicted because I deal with Paul, Robbie Fleck (Stormers head coach) and CEO Paul Zacks on a daily basis. So, I don’t want to be seen as choosing sides. So, we gave it to a professional company to investigate.
“If the answer is yes, there was discrimination, we will take out the stick and hit. If the answer is no, there was no discrimination or marginalisation then we will bring them together and pick up the ends again and say ‘guys, move forward, the Stormers are more important. We need to win Super Rugby in 2019.’”
The WP president added that if any form of discrimination was proved, then appropriate action would be taken.
“We can never afford that in Western Province, not in the Western Cape. We need to bring rugby unions back to normality. We must be seen as a fair employer, and that is the role we want to play.”
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