• Aerios takes fight to WP

    Costas Constantinou, CEO of Aerios, has confirmed that they have filed papers in the Cape High Court opposing the winding up of 'fraudulent' WP Rugby's liquidation.

    WP Rugby boss Thelo Wakefield confirmed earlier this month that the union has obtained a court order for the provisional liquidation of their commercial arm. But Aerios believes WP Rugby is exploiting the liquidation laws to get out of contractual responsibilities in their ongoing advertising rights dispute.

    According to Sport24.com, Aerios claims WP Rugby reneged on an advertising rights contract for exclusive rights to sell stadium space, and one, two years ago, to install Wi-Fi and digitise Newlands in a multi-million rand development contract in exchange for content rights.

    ‘It is clear to everybody that WP Rugby are using the liquidation laws to service a scheme; a fraudulent plot they’ve got to try to cancel our (contractual) agreement,’ Constantinou told Sport24.

    ‘The attempt is to suggest separate entities; the reality is the Pty is basically an agency to the Union. There’s no separation. It’s just a non-profit body that doesn’t pay tax and to be commercial they need to set up an agency,’ he added.

    ‘The CEO of the Union [Paul Zacks] is the CEO of the Pty. They work from the same premises, do the same things, there is no difference and we will go out to prove it, which exposes them that much more.

    ‘They’re using this whole matter as a trick to come out the other side, and hijack our rights. They are just trying to be rid of us. It is a complete farce, a set-up. I feel like I am one guy fighting monsters.’

    Constantinou hinted that Wakefield has tried shift the blame for the Aerios dispute to Rob Wagner, who retired as WP Rugby chief executive in March.

    ‘Rob’s the one who did the deal with us. Rob and I have always had an amazing relationship and I think he’s a good man, though I just think sometimes he may not think enough about what he is doing. But the bottom line is that first agreement was actually drafted by Dave Kagan, who is a board member and it went through a whole process; we went back and forth through board meetings.’

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    Photo: Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images

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    Mariette Adams