The Eastern Province Kings team played with white armbands in their Currie Cup match against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria over the weekend to support their fellow players and the coaching staff who have not been paid for a month, captain Tim Whitehead revealed after the match.
“We were wearing white armbands because only the 22 who played in this game have been paid and we wanted show our support for the coaching staff and the non-playing members of the squad who haven’t been paid for over a month,” Whitehead announced, unprompted, at the post-match press conference.
The Kings produced a superb first half before ultimately being beaten 48-27 by the Bulls.
The Kings team began the Currie Cup campaign having not been paid for months and went on a mini-strike in August as they had still not received their due money. The crisis continued in September but less than a week ago, the Aveng group were announced as new sponsors of the Kings.
But it is more than two months since EP Rugby president Cheeky Watson announced that the signing of “possibly the biggest sponsorship partnership for any franchise this country has ever seen” was “imminent”.