• Prospective investors cut ties with WP

    American consortium MVM Holdings has confirmed it will cease negotiations with WPRFU and pursue other opportunities in professional rugby. CRAIG LEWIS reports.

    This follows the statement on Thursday from Flyt CEO Zane de Decker, who confirmed they will seek to claim ‘damages’ from the Western Province Rugby Football Union over reneging on an agreement signed in June 2020.

    In addition to this, it’s now been confirmed that the potential R100-million deal for a 51% stake in WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd will not go ahead.

    ‘Given the recent media speculation, we thought it was important to the players, coaches, management, sponsors and supporters of Western Province rugby to share that MVM Holdings has decided to cease negotiations with WPRFU and to pursue other opportunities in professional rugby,’ read a statement sent to SARugbymag.co.za from Marco Masotti, head of MVM, on Thursday.

    ‘We are enormously grateful for the time and resources made available to us by WPRFU while considering to invest in such an established professional franchise. We remain passionate about the development of the professional and amateur game in the Western Cape.

    ‘It has been an enormous privilege to get to know the many and diverse Stormers Faithful on our journey. We will continue to treasure the traditions and history of this incredible franchise. I will always be a fan of Western Province rugby and hope for the continued success of our beloved rugby game in the Western Cape.’

    As reported by this website on Tuesday, MVM Holdings could now look to close an investment with the Sharks as a viable alternative, with discussions well under way to consider a shareholding in the Durban-based franchise.

    READ: American investors look to Sharks

    Meanwhile, in WP Rugby circles, the fallout could be significant considering a number of the Stormers’ senior players are widely reported to be unwilling to negotiate contract extensions until there is certainty about the financial security of the business wing.

    On Tuesday, Netwerk24 even reported that should the potential deal between American consortium MVM Holdings and the Sharks go through, someone such as Province and Bok captain Siya Kolisi – a high-profile Roc Nation representative – could be drawn to move to Durban.

    When addressing these rumours, WP coach John Dobson suggested it may just be ‘smoke’ at this moment, but did not entirely rule it out.

    ‘Siya is our leader. I literally asked Siya yesterday [Tuesday] if we need to have a chat and he said, “Let’s get through Friday”, which is the responsible and mature thing. I don’t think there is anything formal. There can be nothing formal until the contracting window starts. At this stage, I would think the Siya thing is just smoke.’

    ALSO READ: Province coach addresses transfer rumours

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    Craig Lewis