Ludeke hangs on

Cats coach Frans Ludeke has dismissed claims that he has asked for a R7-million payout if he is axed after this year’s Vodacom Super 14 competition.

Ludeke asked to be judged on his team’s performances in the home leg of the Vodacom Super 14, but those results have left a lot to be desired. “Judge me on the home leg. If we do not achieve some wins at home, then as the coach and the man responsible I must go,” he told me shortly after the team returned from their winless five-match overseas tour.

Three defeats and a last-gasp draw against the bottom of the table Western Force is all the Cats could produce, but Ludeke looks set to go nowhere at this stage.

And ahead of the Blues game at Ellis Park on Saturday, the Cats boast the miserable record of just six wins in their last 55 matches, a win ratio of less than 11%. Ludeke’s personal return is even worse, with just two wins in 22 outings for a success rate of 9%.

“I don’t know anything of any deal,” Ludeke told keo.co.za. “Altough Prof Jannie (Ferreira, Cats president) and Andy (Turner, Cats CEO) are not happy with the results they have told me they still back me. And to my knowledge no such deals have been struck.”

“Yes, we have made mistakes, but we have learned a lot this year. I’d like to stay and be involved next year. Coaching is my passion and I want to keep doing it.”

While Ludeke denies having requested the large payout, it seems the Cats would be unable to accomodate him anyway. Apparently the franchise has invested a whopping R30-million offshore in Australia and have no access to that cash, leaving their hands tied. It seems they may be forced to keep Ludeke whether they want to or not because of this.

“Ja, the results are not as good as we had wanted,” Ludeke admitted. “They have been bad results but I still believe we are on the right track and we have had lots of input into how we prepare the team and it has been positive.”

With only one home game left, Ludeke needs a win. But if the Cats lose again and he is a man of his word, he should resign. If he does that he may keep his integrity intact. A bit like flyhalf Tiaan Snyman.

By Andrew Hollely