The Lions have been dealt another crippling blow, with confirmation that they lost the arbitration case against their Super Rugby partners.
Golden Lions Rugby Union President Kevin de Klerk confirmed to this website that the ruling in the protracted stand-off went against his union.
The Lions' Super Rugby partners, the Leopards and Pumas, claimed they were owed millions of Rands as their percentage share in the profits of the franchise.
De Klerk, who described this as "legacy issues" he inherited after taking over from Jannie Ferreira a few years ago, said there was never a formal franchise agreement.
"Yes, the arbitrator ruled in favour of the Leopards and Pumas," De Klerk told this website.
Although De Klerk was reluctant to go into details, the social media networks suggested the arbitrator ruled that the GLRU owe the Leopards and Pumas. at least ZAR2.5-million.
It has been reported that the Lions would have to pay another ZAR3-million, over and above the initial pay-out.
De Klerk, who said he still hasn't found any proper documentation to determine what was supposed to be paid or what was the structure of the agreements, said they will abide by the arbitration ruling.
"We have lost, but we do have mechanisms in place to look at this," the GLRU boss said, adding: "It won't bankrupt us."
Asked if they have to pay it in one lump sum, or if they will pay in instalments, De Klerk said those are the issues they are still discussing and negotiating.
De Klerk also said the ruling will not affect their ability to retain players.
"As I said, we do have mechanisms in place to deal with this," De Klerk said.
By Jan de Koning
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