The Free State Cheetahs say they are still engaged in high-level talks with local stakeholders to ensure they remain a valuable, viable and competitive franchise.
Last month, SA Rugby confirmed its existing four Vodacom Super Rugby franchises will make the transition to an expanded PRO Rugby competition, at the expense of the Cheetahs and Kings.
While it has been stated that the Cheetahs could fight SA Rugby’s decision in court, there were also talks that the union was initially looking at joining a revamped ‘Super’ competition.
But in a statement released on Friday, the union said it is looking at alternative options and exploring all possibilities with regards to its future.
‘The Cheetahs are still engaged in high-level talks with SA Rugby, SuperSport, sponsors, other franchises and stakeholders to ensure the Cheetahs remain a valuable, viable and competitive franchise in South African rugby and world rugby in general.’
‘The board of the Cheetahs this morning mandated its negotiating team to continue with these complex, time-consuming and mostly constructive negotiations.
‘While the Cheetahs reaffirm their entrenched rights in PRO14 and an expanded PRO16, they have actively pursued other opportunities after the SARU general council decision on 29 September 2020 to include only the Bulls, Stormers, Lions and Sharks in PRO16. As rugby reorganises and reinvents itself after the Covid-19 impact, new permutations and opportunities arise.
‘The Board continues to explore possibilities in the interest of the Cheetahs, players, staff, supporters, sponsors and other stakeholders.’
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