Cash-strapped Lions tighten belts

The Golden Lions Rugby Union insists it will be able to pay its players despite having ‘financial difficulties’.

GLRU deputy president Altmann Allers told the Sunday Times that the union is in ‘the process of huge restructuring’ and that ‘people have been retrenched’, but dismissed reports that player salaries would not be paid this month.

‘I wonder if the rumours will go away when the players get paid this week?’ Allers countered. ‘It is true that we are going through some financial difficulties but the players’ salaries will not be affected. I don’t know if it is a misunderstanding or if someone misinterpreted the situation, but we are going to meet our obligations in 2012 and beyond. We are in financial difficulty but that is exactly why we are cutting back.

‘There are a number of players whose contracts we didn’t renew,’ he added, careful not to go into specifics. ‘We are in negotiations to terminate [the contracts of] 13 others.’

Allers estimates the union will have 40 to 45 senior contracted players in 2012, 30 fewer than last season.