Cape Town – Privatisation is the way forward for South Africa’s rugby franchises, former Stormers coach Robbie Fleck believes.
“The business sector needs to invest in the franchises to help them survive by creating structures whereby we protect our assets,” Fleck told Netwerk24.
Fleck added that it would in the best interests of South African rugby.
“Everyone needs to realise that the game is not going to survive without financial investment and business-level expertise. All the franchises need to be open to it and shift their egos to one side. It’s not about ‘my way’ of doing. We all have to work together to the advantage of South African rugby.”
The Bulls are the first South African franchise to have gone this route, with the Pretoria outfit recently selling a 37% stake to mining magnate Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Company.
Remgro boss Johann Rupert’s company also boasts a 37% ownership in the Bulls, leaving the private ownership of the Bulls at 74% which is allowed in the SA Rugby constitution.
Rupert and Motsepe are no strangers in their association with sports teams.
Rupert recently sold his share in English club Saracens, the current European champions, and his Remgro company also offered Western Province a lifeline in 2016 with a loan which saved the union from bankruptcy.
Motsepe is well-known as the owner of Absa Premiership glamour club Mamelodi Sundowns, who often play their home games at Loftus Versfeld, the Bulls’ headquarters.
– Compiled by Herman Mostert