Southern Kings facing Super Rugby player strike

The Southern Kings are facing a player strike

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 the Super Rugby site 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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