Siya Kolisi. Picture: REUTERS
Siya Kolisi. Picture: REUTERS

Sharks CEO Ed Coetzee has labelled Western Province’s R1m transfer fee demand for Springbok captain Siya Kolisi as “ridiculous”.

The Sharks are now set to play the waiting game before they lure Kolisi from the Cape later in 2021.            

The Sharks confirmed their interest in acquiring Kolisi’s services but Western Province have demanded that they pay a R1m transfer fee before the move can happen. Kolisi will become a free agent at the end of October and the Sharks would then simply have to negotiate personal terms to obtain his services.

“We will not be paying a transfer fee and we will wait‚” said Coetzee, who referred to the fee as a “thumb suck”.

It is understood the fee Western Province were hoping to get is more than the release figure stipulated in Kolisi’s contract.

“We are very interested in him but we will rather wait until he becomes available, whether that is next week‚ July or October‚” said Coetzee.

The Sharks expressed their interest in Kolisi after the player opted not to renew his deal with Western Province within the prescribed time.

“It is then that his agent contacted us and we started talking‚” said Coetzee.

The Sharks CEO explained why it is prudent not to pay the fee and rather play the waiting game before concluding a deal.

“Even if we paid that fee we don’t know yet what competitions we will be playing in. They still need to be confirmed.”

By not releasing Kolisi‚ Coetzee believes Western Province are not acting in the interest of the player.

“I don’t think it will be good for him‚” Coetzee said of Kolisi having to play for a team he may not feel fully committed to. “It may be that they have lost some of their players mentally for a while‚” said Coetzee.

The Springboks Rugby World Cup-winning captain was always going to be a target for the Sharks once they concluded their shareholder agreement with US-based MVM Holdings.

MVM Holdings is now the majority shareholder in the franchise and through one of its affiliates, Roc Nation‚ they have an existing interest in Kolisi.

Kolisi became the talent agency’s first rugby client when he signed with them in December 2019‚ but Cheslin Kolbe has since followed when he inked a deal with the organisation in July 2020.

MVM had earlier attempted to pull Kolisi into its orbit when they made a $6m offer to buy the majority stake in Western Province. The union‚ however‚ was reluctant to relinquish their controlling share and MVM moved on and concluded a deal with the Sharks.

It is likely Kolisi will not be the only high-profile player to sever ties with Western Province in the coming months.

Several of their World Cup Springboks have been in the crosshairs of teams abroad. For a union facing a cash crisis, there are limited means for retaining their most prized player assets.

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