New CEO and (maybe) new sta­dium for the Sharks

CityPress - - Sport - HEN­DRIK CRONJÉ sports@city­press.co.za

Ed­ward Grif­fiths, for­mer CEO of the SA Rugby Union (Saru) and boss of the English club Sara­cens, is not among the can­di­dates to suc­ceed John Smit at the Sharks.

The Sharks are plan­ning on re­leas­ing the name of their new CEO be­fore the end of the month af­ter Smit’s re­cent res­ig­na­tion.

They will also make an an­nounce­ment soon on whether the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium will in­deed be­come the new head­quar­ters of the union.

“Ed­ward didn’t ap­ply for the job,” Gra­ham Macken­zie, pres­i­dent of the Sharks, told City Press’ sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion, Rap­port.

“We are still busy fi­nal­is­ing the short list af­ter the job was ad­ver­tised. We are happy with the ap­pli­ca­tions we’ve re­ceived. Tal­ented peo­ple have ap­plied.”

In an un­ex­pected move, Smit re­leased a me­dia state­ment on May 26 in which he con­firmed his res­ig­na­tion at the end of the 2016 sea­son. He wants to spend more time with his fam­ily.

Grif­fiths was since seen as a strong con­tender to be his suc­ces­sor. He was of­ten seen in the Shark Tank af­ter Smit in­volved him as a con­sul­tant. His tasks in­cluded help­ing with player ne­go­ti­a­tions. Grif­fiths was also cen­tral to the Sharks’ dis­cus­sions with the eThek­wini mu­nic­i­pal­ity about their pos­si­ble move to Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium.

Rap­port un­der­stands Grif­fiths has since re­turned to Lon­don.

“John will fin­ish at the end of Oc­to­ber, or when the Cur­rie Cup se­ries ends. We want his suc­ces­sor to work with him for at least a month or two,” said Macken­zie.

Smit be­came CEO in 2013 af­ter con­tro­ver­sially tak­ing over from Brian van Zyl.

The names on the short list for the CEO job are not yet known.

Macken­zie has, how­ever, con­firmed that dis­cus­sions with the eThek­wini mu­nic­i­pal­ity about a pos­si­ble move to Moses Mab­hida are at an ad­vanced stage.

“We are now ba­si­cally wait­ing for the fi­nal doc­u­men­ta­tion with all the de­tails. A lot of things will in­flu­ence our fi­nal de­ci­sion.

“It will not be a purely com­mer­cial de­ci­sion. We will take our clubs, spon­sors, box hold­ers, sup­port­ers and even trans­for­ma­tion plans into con­sid­er­a­tion. “Also, Kings Park has a rich his­tory.” Su­per­Sport, the largest share­holder in the Sharks union, has given its sup­port for the new home ground as long as it’s in every­one’s best in­ter­ests. Su­per­Sport owns 40% and the Sharks 60% of Sharks Pty (Ltd).

The end­less fi­nan­cial chal­lenges of main­tain­ing Kings Park are seen as the main rea­son for a move to Moses Mab­hida.

Kings Park has been in use since 1958. How­ever, the last time sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments were done was 21 years ago, prior to the 1995 World Cup.

PHOTO: STEVE HAAG / GALLO IM­AGES / GETTY IM­AGES

BIG SHOES The Sharks are look­ing for a re­place­ment for John Smit as their CEO

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