Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee fired a shot at the Lions following their resistance to the exit of Vincent Tshituka and Carlu Sadie, saying “players who are happy do not leave a team”.
Coetzee’s Lions counterpart, Rudolf Straeuli said the Sharks’ signing announcements of Tshituka and Sadie last week was “premature” and he is reportedly insistent on a meeting with Coetzee to discuss the matter.
Straeuli was quoted by IOL Sport saying the Tshituka move in particular “is going to get ugly”, but Coetzee told Sunday newspaper Rapport: “I’m really not sure what the issue is. Both players are at the end of their contracts and we talked thoroughly with both of their agents and made sure.
“In addition, we subjected the contracts to a thorough examination by a labour specialist to make sure everything is in order, as we usually do.
“We followed all proper processes and were transparent with the Lions at all times. It is a pity that the Lions are trying to put out fires after the public criticism they are currently receiving.
“Players who are happy do not leave a team and you can not force players to stay after their contract.”
Tshituka and his agent say they’ve ensured compliance, while Coetzee has insisted the only issue is when the DRC-born flanker arrives for duty.
His current deal at the Lions only expires in December, with the Sharks hoping to negotiate his arrival from July 1.
According to reports, the Lions have matched the offer for the 23-year-old – whose three-year deal at the Sharks was announced on Monday – entitling them to first use of his services, but they are willing to negotiate for compensation.