Lack of communication around salary freeze ‘bloody disgraceful’ — Kempson
Cash crisis at troubled Southern Kings deepens
A desperate fundraising appeal has been launched to help anxious Southern Kings players and staff buy food and other basic goods after they failed to receive their September salaries.
After the Kings’ shock liquidation eight days ago, players and staff at the troubled franchise were left unemployed.
Kings head coach Robbi Kempson, assistant coach Braam van Straaten and wing Yaw Penxe have spoken out on behalf of their beleaguered team.
Star wing Penxe, who will be playing in a Springbok Showdown trial match at Newlands on Saturday, released an emotional appeal video.
In the clip, Penxe says: “Please be a rainbow in our cloud.
“Please support our fundraising campaign.
“Your financial assistance will be appreciated greatly in our hour of need.”
Former Bok prop Kempson said there had been no communication from anyone and described the situation as “bloody disgraceful”.
Van Straaten, who played for the Boks, released a dramatic video on social media in which he pleaded for financial aid for his players and described the latest events as an injustice.
In the video Van Straaten said: “Good morning, SA, and the rugby fraternity around the world.
“The liquidation at the Kings is not a dream, it is our reality.
“As [former US president] Ronald Reagan said, and I quote: ‘We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone’.
“These boys really do need your help.
“Please donate and show how much we care.”
In a social media post Van Straaten wrote: “To the rugby family out there.
“We really need your help.
“Please share this message far and wide.
“Everyone affected by this injustice will really, really appreciate your help.
“Please share with family and friends to create some hope for the Boys in these difficult times.
“Yours in rugby, Braam van Straaten.”
Asked if the players had been paid, Kempson said: “Nothing at all.
“No communication at all from anyone. Bloody disgraceful.
“I can’t believe in this day and age, during a pandemic, that anyone can treat [people] so poorly.”
SA Rugby Players’ Association CEO Piet Heymans said he had started raising funds for the Kings’ 36 players, and 16 coaches and staff members.
“Sport Employees Unite is a registered trade union that will drive this fundraising campaign on behalf of the players and staff,” Heymans said.
“The Kings players and staff did not get paid for the month of September due to the liquidation of their employer and are facing huge financial challenges.
“Every small donation will help to provide them with a means to survive.
“Their financial needs are urgent.
“Donations will be distributed in equal parts among the players and staff to give them some money to buy food and meet their basic needs.”
Veteran Southern Kings player Schalk Ferreira said the liquidation of his team was sudden and tough, and that promises had been broken.
Cameron Wright, who recently moved to Port Elizabeth from Durban to further his career by playing in the European-based Guinness PRO14, now finds himself without a team.
Ironically, one of the reasons Wright left the Sharks was to gain more game time at the Kings.
Another unemployed Kings squad member, CJ Velleman, is so desperate to play that he has offered his services to Griquas for free.
MyPlayers, an organisation that represents the interest of SA’s professional rugby players, described the liquidation move as “downright cold-blooded”.
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