Spears to “help” Lions

Spears CEO Tony McKeever wants a fund to be created for the Lions, who he believes will not be playing in the Vodacom Super 14 next year.

In a letter to Saru president Regan Hoskins, McKeever said he was willing to donate R1 million of the Spears’ R10 million sponsorship to a fund for the relegated franchise. He urged all the South African sides to make a similar contribution, that with the help of other sponsors would take the overall amount to R10 million.

McKeever believes the relegated side will need at least this much money to organise other matches during the Super 14 – against European clubs or other minnow Test nations like Samoa.

Meanwhile, following a meeting on Saturday in Johannesburg, a group of concerned Lions players (headed up by Kevin de Klerk, Hennie le Roux, Swys Joubert and Derek Minnie) decided to pursue a motion of no confidence in Lions president Jannie Ferreira and CEO Andy Turner, within the next two weeks, as a result of the bloated overdraft of R30 million that could potentially cripple the union.

The maladministration and bad corporate governance of the Golden Lions is highlighted in a detailed 44 page forensic report, authored by the financial journalist Deon Basson, outlining the financial demise of the current Lions rugby administration, under Ferreira.

The Spears, together with the concerned group of Lions players and supporters, have proposed that they collaborate on the development of a strategic rugby plan that will be to the benefit of rugby and its development in South Africa. They have recommended the following:

– The Spears and the Lions collaborate on the availability of players for the 2007 Super 14.

– The Spears play one of their home 2007 Super 14 games at Ellis Park.

– The Spears and the Lions enter into a player exchange programme for a year.