McKeever suffers another setback

In another blow for the former CEO of the bankrupt Spears franchise, Tony McKeever, the Competition Commission has issued a notice of non-referral relating to the complaint brought by him against SA Rugby.

McKeever has been in a wrangle that borders on a vendetta with Saru’s commercial arm, SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd, since 2005 when the expansion of the Super 12 rugby tournament to 14 sides was first considered.

He has continually attempted to obtain compensation from SA Rugby after their decision to exclude the Spears from the expanded Super 14 and the Currie Cup.

In his most recent attempt McKeever reported SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd to the Competition Commission, claiming that the national body had “collaborated, colluded and conspired as a cartel” along with South Africa’s five existing Super 14 franchises to prevent the Spears from participating in Super Rugby and the Currie Cup.

A statement released by SA Rugby (Pty) Ltd on Tuesday stated that the Competition Committee have rejected the complaint, and would not be referring the matter to the Competition Tribunal.

SA Rugby’s full media statement reads as follows: “The Competition Commission has issued a Notice of Non-referral relating to the complaint brought against SA Rugby by the former CEO of the Southern Spears, Tony McKeever.

“McKeever, who in his complaint to the Competition Commission described himself as ‘the principal creditor of Southern Spears (Pty) Ltd (in liquidation)’, alleged that SA Rugby, together with the five Vodacom Super 14 franchises, had colluded to exclude the Southern Spears from the Vodacom Super 14 competition.

“SA Rugby is, in fact, the major creditor in the insolvent estate of the Southern Spears, having provided loan capital of some R5.7 million to assist in the establishment of a sixth Vodacom Super 14 franchise, for the South Eastern Cape region.

“At the time the complaint was lodged towards the end of 2007, McKeever claimed that SA Rugby faced a penalty of up to R70 million for its Competition Act transgressions, and that this could put SA Rugby ‘into bankruptcy’.

“The Competition Commission, after receiving a submission from SA Rugby and having completed its investigation, gave notice that it will not refer any part of the complaint to the Competition Tribunal.”

* Border, Eastern Province and South Western Districts – the three sides that Mckeever views as the nucleus of the enivisaged Spears franchise -are currently in the last three places on the Vodacom Cup’s South section log with a total of three matches won out of the 15 played.

Sapa –

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