Western Province Rugby are bankrupt.
The union confirmed on Monday that it had applied for, and obtained, an order for the provisional liquidation of Western Province Rugby (Pty) Ltd – its business arm.
Western Province Rugby Football Union President Thelo Wakefield and Group CEO Paul Zacks said that the Union, which owns 75 percent of the trading entity, will be unaffected.
WP Rugby have been in financial trouble for a while and were reportedly being sued for R72million by commercial agency Aerios over various sponsorship deals.
At an emergency press conference called at Newlands yesterday evening, they assured fans that they will continue to play Super Rugby with all their star players next year after securing all their contracts.
Wakefield says: “The liquidation is due to a number of factors, including financial climate, commercial challenges and deals.
“The contracts of the players remain secure.
“This won’t affect the players and our participation in competitions. Our teams will function as they normally do.
“All current liabilities have been settled, and all staff and players have been paid.
“We have tried to renegotiate the terms of our contract with Aerios in terms of commercial contracts.
“The relationship with Aerios has broken down irretrievably, and a relationship of trust does not exist.
“Aerios only had certain rights in terms of advertising rights, and did not apply to the High Court for a R72m claim.
“We chose to liquidate the company following legal advice, and I got the mandate from the WP Rugby Union executive.”
Eugene Henning, Managing Director of the players’ organisation MyPlayers, says: “We were comprehensively briefed this morning in a transparent and open manner about the application and we are comfortable with the process at the moment.
“We will now consider the relevant legal submissions and determine what impact the process will have on player interests, from where we will then base our course of action.
“We have appointed a legal representative on behalf of the players to oversee the proceedings and we will be in constant communication with WP Rugby and the players.”