Financial crisis rocks Bulls
- 11 Mar 2018
The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd is close to bankruptcy and struggling to repay the Blue Bulls Rugby Union after receiving unauthorised loans worth millions.
According to Rapport newspaper, BBRU president Gert Wessels allegedly made several unauthorised loan transfers from the union’s funds to the company, but the payments are in arrears. The company is close to being declared bankrupt and is surviving on more loans and favours.
An initial loan worth R8.43-million from the union to the BBC was supposed to be paid off by February 2017 but the company has failed to do so. Despite the non-payment, the union’s CEO Eugene Hare approved another unauthorised loan of R5-million to the BBC, while also signing as a surety for R7.5-million of the company’s other outstanding debt.
The unions’ clubs have now tabled a motion of no confidence in Wessels, stating that he recklessly acted outside his mandate and ruined the union financially.
‘We are of the opinion that he [Wessels] did not put the BBRU’s interests first and we feel he can’t stay on in the position as president,’ said BBRU vice-president Henri van Aswegen.
But according to BBC CEO Barend van Graan, financial difficulty is not exclusive to the Bulls' business arm, but rather the entire South African rugby industry.
‘We are under pressure financially because of the teams’ underachievements, rising costs, low income and dwindling [crowd] attendance. The company will repay these loans as soon as we start making profit again,’ said Van Graan.
After being requested from the BBRU to resign, Wessels reportedly said he’ll only do so if the union nominates him for a position on the SA Rugby executive committee.
Photo: Gall Images
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