• Kings in cash crisis

    EP Kings players have still not received salary payments for October, and are continuing to be advised of their options by the South African Rugby Players' Association. CRAIG LEWIS reports.

    After payment problems surfaced again at the end of October, Sarpa issued a written 10-day notice for the Kings to pay outstanding salaries.

    That deadline elapsed on Tuesday night, and Sarpa spokesperson Nyaniso Sam confirmed on Wednesday that payments had still not been received.

    ‘We’ve been advising the players throughout this process, and we’ve now told them that if they have other opportunities or offers to move elsewhere, they can exercise the right to terminate their contract with the Kings after failing to receiving due payments,’ Sam told SARugbymag.co.za.

    ‘If the players do opt to stay, we’ve advised them that they have no obligation to report for duty if no payment is made.’

    The Kings were expected to begin pre-season training next week as they prepare for a return to Vodacom Super Rugby next year.

    Sam said the ongoing wage issues had obviously been extremely tough on the players.

    ‘It hasn’t been easy for the players and those affected by this issue. We’re doing whatever we can to support the players and advise them of their options.’

    Earlier this week, the EP Rugby Union also faced an allegation that ratepayers' money was being channelled to pay the running costs of the union and players' salaries.

    EPRU executive member Vernon Stuurman refuted the claims.

    ‘The Eastern Province Rugby Union has noted media reports on allegations made by the Ratepayers Association and AfriForum Port Elizabeth of money being paid to Access Management to fund the EP Kings.

    ‘As the finance referred to is said to have come from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, EP Rugby regards itself as a major stakeholder playing a particular part in the space of participatory governance. As a responsible anchor tenant of Access Management, we take pride in our business relationship with them which is built on sound business ethics.’

    Photo: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

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    Craig Lewis