Hoskins sticks to transparency guns

Oregan Hoskins believes his public apology to Rian Oberholzer reinforces his claims that integrity and honesty will underline his leadership of Saru, should he win the vote on Friday.

Speaking to keo.co.za, Hoskins refuted the view that his public attack on Olberholzer and subsequent apology represented a sign of rumour-mongering, the very aspect of Brian van Rooyen’s leadership he regularly has criticised.

“My apology to him shows a misjudgement on my part, but to equate what I said to actions bordering on corruption and deals made under the table is completely unfair. On the contrary, I believe my public apology shows my commitment to openness. I immediately acknowledged my misjudgement and set the record straight.”

Hoskins also refuted the view that if Van Rooyen is judged on the financial performance of Saru, he should be similarly judged on the performance of the Sharks. He stated that too many variables rendered the comparison useless.

“I find it difficult to link a region’s finances to the performance of its administrators. Saying that, the Sharks are not insolvent, and we expect to pay our shareholders a reasonable dividend. But the comparison to the situation at Saru is not fair as we at the Sharks rely on season tickets, attendances and suite sales as our financial lifeblood. Those are obviously linked to the performance of the team.

“Saru, in contrast, have 80% of their income from the SANZAR television deal. The rest comes from local sponsorships etc. Thus the income is very stable, whereas at the Sharks it fluctuates more owing to on-field performance.”

Hoskins felt that the stable nature of Saru’s finances meant Van Rooyen should be held accountable for poor performance.

“Saru budgeted a R20 million profit in 2005 for the financial year, and yet now two very credible sources tell me it will be closer to between R3 million and R7 million. That is striking. Equally, when Van Rooyen inherited the leadership of Saru there were cash reserves of R45 million. That has now been wittled down to R30 million.”

Only three days ahead of the vote that will determine whether his campaign to dethrone Van Rooyen will be successful, Hoskins would not admit to feeling bullish or bearish.

“It’s a very tough campaign, and I’m taking it one day at a time. There can be no predictions. I’m just hoping for the best, hoping I get enough votes. A lot of people have promised me their votes, but people like to be nice to your face, so I’m not counting on anything. I’m just very hopeful.”