Picture: 123RF/RADUTUTA
Picture: 123RF/RADUTUTA

Embattled Western Province Rugby have sought to set the record straight after the departure of two more board members, but even that ended in an unexpected‚ premature parting of ways.

The Zoom call with reporters on which president Zelt Marais and chair Ebrahim Rasool tried to explain the departures  with other high-profile matters that have hit the headlines in recent months ended abruptly with the former in mid-sentence. He was cut short because the free version of the app was being used for the media briefing.

Some will say it is symptomatic of the state of affairs at the province that this week saw two more board members of their professional arm head for the exit.

This time‚ however‚ the departure of Hennie Heymans (DHL) and Suzanne Stevens (Brightrock) will be felt as they were sponsors’ representatives on the board.

This follows the departure earlier in 2020 of Kevin Kiewitz‚ Johan van der Merwe‚ André van der Veen and Raymond van Niekerk.

The boardroom merry-go-round has partly happened as a result of investor and equity partners deals Western Province have been linked with over the past year.

Rasool addressed the latest deal on the table, the $6m offer for a controlling stake from New York-based MVM Holdings.

MVM are keen to get a controlling stake‚ but Western Province Rugby Football Union are less keen to part with it.

Talks have not happened at the pace some might have expected but Rasool is keen to put the matter to bed. He told journalists WP officials want to meet Marco Masotti, a New York lawyer who heads MVM Holdings, in November. He wants that to be a decisive meeting.

First though he wants a firm financial proposal on the table and he wants details of the consortium Masotti represents so WP can perform due diligence.

If that is the case‚ the parties who have been in talks for some time‚ do not seem to have made much headway.


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