Aerios, the company who managed advertising rights of the Western Province Rugby Football Union, is suing SA Rugby and the union for R183 million.
The start of court action is the culmination of a three-year-long enquiry into the advertising rights issues, about which Aerios now say ‘[we] believe Saru acted unlawfully in trying to rid itself of Aerios for self-gain’.
Allegations levelled against SA Rugby include threatening the local union to withhold Test matches at Newlands to ‘extract itself from advertising agreements with Aerios’.
‘Saru purposely ignored the rights WPRU had granted to Aerios and instead concluded broadcasting and mobile digital agreements with SuperSport,’ Aerios claimed.
The claims have been strongly denied by SA Rugby.
‘We strongly deny the allegations emanating from Aerios,’ said a SA Rugby spokesperson.
‘Given the nature of these claims, the matter is now being dealt with by our legal team and we will respond to any further communication from Aerios through the appropriate legal channels.’
Western Province Rugby Football Union denied receiving any claim from ‘Aerios as yet’ saying: ‘If any such claim is forthcoming we shall deal with it in the appropriate forum.’
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