Road map on table for Kings deal

EP Rugby boss says common ground found with consortium

RUGBY MEETING: EP Rugby boss Andre Rademan said a four hour meeting was held with the business consortium on Sunday
RUGBY MEETING: EP Rugby boss Andre Rademan said a four hour meeting was held with the business consortium on Sunday
Image: George Byron

A road map and time frames have been put in place for a big-money deal that could see a business consortium take control of the Isuzu Southern Kings.

EP Rugby bosses and the consortium met for four hours on Sunday as the parties thrashed out details of the R45m bid.

This was one of a series of meetings that have taken place regarding the buyout which will be a lifeline for rugby in the province.

“Our meeting went very well. There is a road map going forward and there are time frames in place," EP rugby president Andre Rademan said.

 "We should have finality very shortly.” but I can’t say anything further." 

Present at the meeting were the EP Rugby Union executive, the Southern Kings board and the consortium.

It is believed consortium spokesman Loyiso Dotwana addressed stakeholders about the R45m buyout bid.

Apart from being EPRU president, the influential Rademan is also chairman of the Southern Kings board.

“The meeting started at 9am finished at 1pm. It was a very positive discussion," he said.

Asked if the consortium would now meet with clubs at a special general meeting, Rademan said: “I can’t answer that question. Common ground was found on the way forward. "

Such is the sensitivity of the talks that insiders say the consortium could walk away from negotiations if there are breaches of confidentiality.

The other members of the consortium are businessmen Gary Markson, Rory Stear and Kenny Govender and businesswoman Vuyo Zitumane.

A transaction summary for the acquisition of a majority stake in SA Super Rugby (who control the Kings) by the Greatest Rugby Company in the Whole Wide World has been distributed to clubs.

Thanks to the cash injection, there are plans to create an academy so that the Eastern Cape can retain and grow rugby talent. Dotwana said at the launch of the Isuzu sponsorship in August that a new dawn beckoned for rugby in the Eastern Cape province.

“We want to build a professional and competitive team for the long run,” he said.

“Our long-term ambition is to achieve incremental growth which, ultimately, will result in the Kings winning the PRO14 Championship.

Kings coach Deon Davids is hoping that a deal can be struck as soon as possible so that new funds are made available to buy new players and assistant coaches.

This year, the Kings have won only one of their opening 10 Guinness PRO14 matches. and are struggling to make headway.

The team are now on a break and will resume their season with an away match against Edinburgh at Murrayfield on January 5.