Mitchell denies bankruptcy rumours

John Mitchell says the upcoming retrenchment of players is no indication of the Lions’ financial status.

It was reported on Thursday that the Lions are looking to offload 15 players from their payroll. This website understands that this is being done to ease the union’s financial woes which surfaced last year following the failed relationship of former investors Robert Gumede and Ivor Ichikowitz.

Wandile Mjekevu (who has recently had a trial at the Sharks), Kevin Buys, Jannie Boshoff, Dries van Schalkwyk and Trevor Hall are some of the players that are expected to be released.

However, head coach Mitchell has denied these claims, saying that the situation has been misinterpreted.

‘The media has got it wrong. There are no financial issues,’ Mitchell told keo.co.za. ‘We are just retrenching players who do not live up to Super Rugby standards. That way, we are creating an elite squad here at the Lions. This is all part of the restructuring plans that we have for the union.’

By Gareth Duncan