The Lions will be ‘automatically relegated’ if they do not resolve a long standing dispute with franchise partners the Pumas and Leopards.
This was decided by Saru at its last executive council meeting, according to an article in the The New Age.
Official documentation in possession of the newspaper says the Lions have until the end of this season to come to an agreement with their partners (the Golden Lions, Pumas and Leopards make up the Lions franchise), who this week confirmed that negotiations relating to the repayment of outstanding broadcasting fees have failed.
‘Our endeavours to resolve this matter out of court have been unsuccessful and we have been left with no choice but to arbitrate,’ Leopards president Andre May told The New Age.
According to the official documentation, until the matter is resolved:
a) Broadcast revenue payments are to be withheld from the Lions
b) Payments of R750,000 each be made to the Pumas and Leopards
c) Automatic relegation from Super Rugby at the end of 2012 Super Rugby competition for the Lions.