The New Zealand Rugby Players Association (NZRPA) on Friday unveiled a funding proposal to keep the All Blacks in New Zealand hands, angering New Zealand rugby managers looking to strike a deal with US investors.
The federation, which brings together elite rugby players in New Zealand, said their proposal offered the cash-strapped New Zealand Rugby Federation (NZR) a viable alternative to sell part of its stake in its All Blacks trademark in the California-based private equity firm Silver Lake. partners.
The latter plans to pay $ 280 million to acquire 12.5% of the commercial rights held by NZR, and the right to negotiate trade and distribution contracts around the world.
The plan put forward by the players is to sell 5% of the equity of All Blacks as part of a capital increase that will attract New Zealand financial institutions and “friendly” investors.
“NZR will retain greater control over its future, greater flexibility and more options, and will share its future results with New Zealanders who wish to invest in the company,” said NZRPA in a letter to NZR.
In exchange for Silver Lake’s proposal, the Players’ Union has a veto, despite the unanimous support NZR expressed at its annual general meeting last month.
In response to a question, NZR has not yet commented on the content of these players’ plan, but its General Manager Mark Robinson, reported by several local media outlets, has already said “shocked and disappointed” that this proposal had been submitted to the media prior to NZR.
According to him, it also contains classified information that the Players’ Union has no right to make it public.
“This is a fundamental violation of the trust and the partnership that we have attached great importance so far,” he said, accusing the players of trying to sabotage the agreement with Silver Lake.
Several confirmations were officially rejected by players’ union president and former All Blacks captain David Kirk. “We are facing a situation in which NZ rugby could change forever. The idea that we are not ready to discuss and debate different options is just a ridiculous idea,” he replied.
© 2021 AFP