Look who’s back

Ousted Spears CEO Tony McKeever expects to be back in office by the close of business today.

McKeever is expecting a ruling today on his Grahamstown High Court application and is confident he will be reinstated as boss of the Southern Spears some time today. “From the moment of the ruling it will take effect immediately and I will be able to resume my duties officially,” he told keo.co.za.

McKeever though has not been resting on his laurels during his enforced suspension by his own board – that he claims was a result of strong arm tactics by Sa Rugby.

Instead, McKeever has been in Cape Town fighting the good fight on behalf of the Spears on several fronts as he aims to win them back lucrative spots in the Vodacom Super 14 and Absa Currie Cup competitions.

The shocking news though, according to McKeever, is that neither SA Rugby nor the Spears opposed his urgent application, that would ultimately have resulted in more red tape for the beleaguered CEO.

“There has been no opposition to my application from either the Spears or SA Rugby, which was due by midday on Wednesday. The judge is aware of this and I fully expect to be reinstated immediately,” McKeever said.

McKeever expects his return as the first step in what will ultimately lead to the Southern Spears getting their places in the Super 14 (in 2007 and 2008) and the Currie Cup (2006) back.

The Spears were booted out of the Super 14 last month and on Friday heard they had been chucked out of this years’ Currie Cup in favour of Griquas – who themselves had threatened to take SA Rugby to court.

“The ruling will be a watershed moment which will vindicate the existence of the Spears. And this will come from an independent source,” explained McKeever.

It has been almost a year since SARU authored a document with 21 signatures from the board members that gave the Spears the right to play in both competitions.

“This was then ratified by the SA Rugby board on December 2nd last year. And I know people will say that was the old regime under Brian van Rooyen. But then this was further rubber stamped by SA Rugby’s legal manager Christo Ferreira in writing on March 15,” said McKeever.

“And (current SARU president) Oregan Hoskins confirmed to me on March 30 while in Port Elizabeth that the minutes of that meeting (on March 15) had been approved by the new board.”

While McKeever is confident that he is on the verge of making a breakthrough, one senses this Spears saga is still a long way from being concluded.

By Andrew Hollely