Despite a distinct lack of communications to the media over the last week from the GLRU regarding the talks with the sponsors, recent communications indicate that MTN are still on board as an investor in the Johannesburg based Rugby Union.
The GLRU announced earlier today, via a media communication saying the following:
“Please be advised that for the duration of the 2011 Absa Currie Cup, the Golden Lions Rugby Union’s teams are to be referred to as:
Senior Team – MTN Golden Lions
U/21 Team – U/21 MTN Golden Lions
U/19 Team – U/19 MTN Golden Lions
Attached, please find the MTN Golden Lions logo for the Currie Cup season. Please use this logo going forward for the remainder of 2011.”
Whilst it would appear that the communications giant is still on board (at least for the duration of the Currie Cup), no mention is made of Discovery Health’s ongoing participation with the embattled union, who are due to present their Currie Cup squad to the public and media at a function to be held at the Sunnyside Park Hotel in Parktown, Johannesburg tomorrow, Wednesday 13th July 2011.
The ongoing participation of MTN can only be viewed as a positive point for the GLRU who have been accused of being “bankrupt” by former would be equity partner Robert Gumede in communications leaked to the media.
The GLRU have publicly denied that they are in dire financial straits as alleged by Gumede, but have continually refused to speak openly to either the media or their supporters on the matter, stating rather that they would be concentrating on preparations for the upcoming Currie Cup.
Whilst this may well be so, one has to ask how all of these shenanigans and hanging out of dirty laundry in public has affected the players. With the greatest will in the world, when one reads in the National press that one’s employer is bankrupt, it has to raise questions in even the minds of the most loyal of employees, irrespective of the type of job one is in.
As a devout Lions supporter I sincerely hope that the team have been cocooned away from the majority of the mud slinging, and that when the whistle blows on Friday evening they stand up and make a point.
Only time will tell.