Southern Kings

Southern Kings facing Super Rugby player strike

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Struggling South African Super Rugby side the Southern Kings are facing a player
strike if their demands are not met before Christmas.

The South African Rugby Union have stepped in and taken charge of the Southern
Kings and on Friday they announced the new management team that will lead the
Kings back into Super Rugby.

However Super XV Rugby has learnt that a group of up to 30 players have signed a petition
stating that they will not be prepared to work for any of the Unions involved
unless their demands are met.

The players are demanding that they are given an irrevocable pledge from EP
Rugby and SARugby that all players will be paid all outstanding salaries and
benefits before the 18th of December.

SARU said on Friday that the players who have not been paid for months would
be paid this coming week.

Part of the concern is being caused as it is understood that SARU have made
a budget available for the Southern Kings however this is believed to be less
than the original EP Kings budget which may mean salary reductions for those
players that will be offered Super Rugby contracts.

The players have been left to wonder if EP Rugby were unable to pay them how
SA Rugby will fair with a lower budget.

In addition a Facebook page called the “EP Kings Army” has a post
which states that Kings players met at a local guest house on Friday evening
and agreed on a statement which reads, “The EP Kings Players have no confidence
in Mr Cheeky Watson, we feel he is no longer fit to hold office and as such
needs to step down or be removed with immediate effect.”

“We also have no confidence in the SARU plan as this will only cater to
a very small % of current Kings players.”

SARU chief executive Jurie Roux said that he hopes to bring in two new sponsorships
for the Southern Kings but as Watson promised a new sponsor months ago and did
not deliver the players are understandably wary.

The petition entitled “EP Rugby – Player Petition” and has been
signed by the players reads as follows.

“I hereby confirm that I am joining the EP Rugby Funding Petition and
Rugby Player Strike.

“I will not be prepared to work for EP Rugby Pty Limited, EPRU or Southern
Kings Pty Limited, SA Rugby Pty Limited or SARU (acting on behalf of SANZAR
or EPRU) or any associated companies until such time as there is an Annual General
Meeting or Extraordinary/Special General Meeting of the EPRU in order that the
order of business is as follows:”

*An irrevocable pledge by EPRU and SARU that all players’ outstanding
salaries and benefits are fully paid up on or before the 18th December 2015,

*A vote by member clubs in favour, or not in favour of the current EPRU Executive
Committee on or before 12th December 2015,

*Credible and competent rugby turnaround specialists be permitted to present
proposals of a sustainable funding model in association with the Nelson Mandela
Metropolitan Municipality on or before 11th December 2015.

The players also said that they want a vote of confidence by the EPRU clubs
in the new proposal and administration and management leadership to take place
befor Saturday the 12th December.

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