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Southern Kings withdraw from remainder of Pro14 season

South African franchise would need additional €325,000 to finish out the year.

Kings were bottom of Conference B in the Pro14 with just one win and 12 losses.
Kings were bottom of Conference B in the Pro14 with just one win and 12 losses.
Image: Richard Huggard/INPHO

STRUGGLING SOUTHERN KINGS have officially withdrawn from the remainder of the 2020 Pro14 season to avoid incurring further debts.

The South African team will also not take part in the Currie Cup or any other domestic competition when rugby resumes after a shutdown since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kings were bottom of Conference B in the Pro14 with just one win and 12 losses.

Apart from financial problems, the Kings would not have been able to fulfil fixtures with European teams as the South African borders have been closed to combat the Covid-19 outbreak.

“As there was no contractual requirement for the Kings to resume short-term participation in the Guinness Pro14 competition, because of air travel restrictions, and as the Kings had no other commercial commitments to honour, the most prudent decision was to withdraw,” Kings chairman Andre Rademan said.

“It would require additional loans or extra shareholder investments of 6.5 million rand (€325,000)” to continue playing this year,” Rademan said.

“This may not be a popular decision, but in the current circumstances it is the right decision.

“It is obviously very disappointing news for the players and management who, like all rugby professionals, were desperate to resume playing,

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“However, the board believed that further investment in 2020 with zero commercial return would be reckless in the extreme.

“We now have time to consider what is the best way forward for rugby in the Eastern Province (Cape) in this fluid and financially challenging environment.” 

The South African outfit joined the Pro14 in 2017 after being dumped from Super Rugby when the elite southern hemisphere competition was trimmed from 18 teams to 15.

© – AFP, 2020

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