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South Africa have bought back shares in Guinness Pro14 side the Southern Kings. RTE report that they have took back 74% in the Kings due to financial impact Covid 19 has had on the sport.
President of South Africa Rugby, Mark Alexander said the decision to buy back the share was down to the failure of the Greatest Rugby Company in the Whole Wide World (GRC) to meet its commitments financially which related to shareholding.
Rassie Erasmus the current director of South African rugby is said to be liaising with the Southern Kings interim boss Robbie Kempson on immediate team news. Mark Alexander said, “I cannot stress enough how reluctant we are to resume control of the Isuzu Southern Kings,”. He continued, “It is our last resort and we are keen to explore ways to return to the shareholding to another’s hands, in conjunction with the EPRU, the minority shareholder, who have given the required approval to the decision”.
Alexander said the next step will be to appoint a new board. This board will look after the franchise affairs, as well as ensuring the team is match ready when play can resume. He said,”The next step is to appoint a new board to oversee the franchise’s affairs and ensure the team is match ready for when we are able to resume playing.” A finance team have also been appointed by South Africa rugby. This is to ensure players will be paid and business needs addressed.
Mr Alexander continued, “This was a decision we took with extreme reluctance and after allowing GRC considerable lee-way in which to meet the contractual commitments they made on the acquisition of the shareholding”.