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The Problems with an Open Cheque book

Written by Iza Loubser (Ice)

Posted in :Admin, Bulls, Currie Cup, In the news, Lions, Original Content, School Rugby, Springboks, Super Rugby on 23 Apr 2013 at 22:08

So, call me gorgeous :lol: , and call me blonde, but add Clairvoyant to that resume now!

As some of you might recall…mind you, or not…I wrote a little piece on the Bulls with their open chequebook some time ago.

And it seems the only problem might just not be that they tried to dry up the talent youngster pool, to ensure success. They seemed to have mismanaged the money pool. Or at least the planning thereof.

According to and  and Brenden Nel in particular, the Bulls union not so much spend more than they had, but had a bit of bad planning for the future where their shopping spree is concerned.

“With the sudden announcement of Springbok fullback Zane Kirchner becoming the latest to leave for greener pastures overseas, there is a concern that the Vodacom Bulls may be facing a mass exodus just when they are getting ahead in their rebuilding process.

The Bulls, by their own admission, had a tough time last year when they lost several big-name Springboks after the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and committed themselves to an open rebuilding process.

By signing up some of the best young talent in the country, they made it through to the playoffs in 2012, and are currently leading the South African conference in Vodacom Super Rugby this year.

But a string of moves announced in recent weeks may threaten that, as a senior core of players is already leaving, lured by the increased money available abroad, while junior stars look for more remuneration as well.”

While the Zane Kirchner’s announcement caught the Bulls off-guard, I thought he might be an asset to any opposing team, but that’s just me.  Juandre Kruger’s move to France, after leaving them under the impression he would re-sign with the Super Rugby franchise, Morne Steyn, another opposition hotty (not as in sexy) in my books,  who will also head to France while veteran centre Wynand Olivier (Geeeeezzz – yet ANOTHER one), who, by his own admission hasn’t signed anything yet, is also set to move abroad to finish off his career. (I will reserve my opinion to myself on all 3 players, whether I would have signed them for now)  :twisted:

Yes – these moves are expected but, more worrying is the amount of other players whose contracts come to an end this year who haven’t recommitted to the Bulls after – in their words – “less than expected” offers.

Springbok Jano Vermaak is one, who has initially rejected the Bulls’ offer to renew his contract,  (cocky little shit – just for the sake of our Lions readers) and is currently negotiating with Stade Francais after the Bulls apparently offered him “close to half” his current salary to sign again with the team.

Francois Venter is another one who initially rejected his renewal offer, as it meant a pay cut, and apparently Dewald Potgieter and Willie Wepener, have been asked to take salary cuts.

“With one Bulls board member confirming there has not been a cut in the player budget, the question arises why so many players are being offered contracts lower than they are currently earning? “

And here comes my favourite part:

“The answer lies in the massive amount of juniors the Bulls have signed and the fact that most players have yearly increases built into their contracts. There have been extra fees in securing the services of players like Jan Serfontein and Arno Botha for a longer term and with the budget only so big, paying some players more mean others need to be cut.”

“It is a problem of the Bulls’ own doing though, as their policy of signing the country’s best juniors was always going to cause a logjam at some point, and while player salaries grow, the income stream – sponsorships, season tickets and suites – have all stayed relatively constant over the past few years.”

I’m not gonna bore you with what you have already read in the papers – which above quotes show.

My question is. Do we need another system in South Africa to keep competition between Rugby Unions healthy and fair? And affordable to all? And Unions out of financial trouble….


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