• An attempted palace coup at the Blue Bulls Company has revealed the depths of its financial trouble, Rapport said on Sunday.
  • The company, which controls the professional teams affectionately referred to as the Blou Bulle, owes its amateur union R13.43 million – and is not making money.
  • Attendance to rugby matches is dropping, and costs are rising, the Blue Bulls say.

The extent of financial trouble at the Blue Bulls Company, which controls the beloved Pretoria rugby team, has been revealed in paperwork around an attempted palace coup, Rapport said on Sunday.

Activist members of the Blue Bulls Union will in the next weeks days attempt to unseat its president Gert Wessel, the newspaper said.

A motion of no confidence against Wessel describe loans between the union (which handles amateur club and schools rugby) and the company (which is responsible for the professional Blue Bulls teams) – and it isn't pretty.

The company had been due to repay a R8.43 million loan from the union a year ago, but has yet to do so. In the meanwhile the company has borrowed another R5 million from the union, for a total of R13.43 million.

That is on top of a R7.5 million guarantee from the union for company debt.

The company is apparently only due to repay the loans when it is capable of doing so, but union members are not sure the union can last that long.

Read the fully Rapport article (in Afrikaans; subscribers only): Blou Bulle: Geldbom bars

An executive at the company told Rapport that it has been "under financial pressure due to the [lack of] performance of the team, rising costs, declining income and dropping spectator numbers."

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