South African rugby ‘industry’ has come together to navigate the retention of teams and jobs in the face of the threat to the business posed by the Coronavirus pandemic.
All rugby activities were suspended prior to the start of national lockdown. Some events have already been cancelled or rescheduled, while others remain under threat. A return to play date is yet to be confirmed.
In response to the threat, all stakeholders in the running of the game and of teams and the employment of people in the sport have come together to confront the challenge.
A working group has been established among:
• SA Rugby – governing body managing fixtures and holding over-arching commercial relationships
• South African Rugby Employers Organisation (SAREO) – Representing the provincial employers
• MyPlayers – Representing professional players
• Sport Employees Unite (SEU) – Trade union representing non-playing employees in the rugby Industry
In a joint statement the grouping said: “We are in constant communication and have created various works streams in sub-groupings to determine the extent of the financial impact on the business of rugby.
“This is a unique situation which has called for a unique response and we are considering a number of potential scenarios and how we can mitigate the impact on the sport and our people.
“We are being transparent with each other in order to find best-case solutions for all engaged; the game, the employers, the players and the staffs and we are close to finalising a mitigation plan.
“Once that is complete and has a buy-in of all our constituencies we’ll be able to share with those impacted and the wider game. We will not be able to comment on the process and discussions until then.”
In the meantime, the grouping urged the rugby community to strictly observe the lockdown directives of President Cyril Ramaphosa.