SA Rugby boss Alexander says franchises need equity partners
SA Rugby president Mark Alexander has said their organisation hasn't woken up too late to the need of having private equity partners to sustain elite rugby in South Africa.
Speaking at the Pro14 launch in Randburg on Wednesday afternoon‚ Alexander said there was a fair bit of housekeeping that was necessary to make investing in the franchises attractive for potential equity partners.
The Southern Kings are the latest example of a franchise who have not only secured themselves an equity partner‚ but also received a three-year sponsorship from Isuzu last week.
“I don't think we woke up too late. We had to clean up the mess first because you can't sell something that's broken‚” Alexander said.
“We needed to fix up what was broken and now we put it up for sale. The Kings were broken and they were on the verge of being liquidated. We had to do a deal with the city around the liquidation and once that was sorted‚ we were able to put the franchise up for sale.
“Once you say something is broken but then you have a partner who has a deep pocket‚ then it's different but we can't deliver professional rugby on our own. We need franchise partners to bring the professionalism of running a business.
“Surely we'll see more companies coming into the rugby business and I know there are other companies who are going to come on board soon.”
Alexander said the matter of the Golden Lions appointing a strength and conditioning coach to head up their Currie Cup was an internal one that the union has to handle.
The Golden Lions appointed Ivan “Cash” van Rooyen as their Currie Cup coach ahead of proven head coaching candidates like Bafana Nhleko and Joey Mongalo.
The former was the Lions' SuperSport Rugby Challenge coach‚ has coached at the various levels at the union and currently is the union's Under-21 coach while Mongalo is the union's Currie Cup and Super Rugby defence coach under Swys de Bruin.
“The Lions are a PTY on their own and we're an association. How can we tell a PTY what to do? There are guidelines but it's quite sad that there are guys that can't be used – but that's a question that needs to be asked to the Golden Lions‚” Alexander said.
“But our guidelines are there and we are going to start to put in stringent measures that the coaching staff also starts to reflect the demographics like the playing staff is starting to do so.”