Marco Masotti, a high-profile senior partner at law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton % Garrison LLP, has made his intentions clear with a take-it-or- leave-it offer of $6 million to the cash-strapped Cape Town rugby franchise.
It would be a welcome liquidity injection into the Union that is in desperate need of an overhaul. According to reports, there is a 45 day exclusivity agreement relating to talks between Masotti and WP Rugby Football Union. A key outcome of the deal is for Masotti to take a controlling share in the union.
With the future of SA rugby up in the air following the dismantling of Super Rugby, it would be welcome relief for privatisation to enter the game. The American group are no strangers to sporting affairs as they currently have a controlling stake in NBA basketball team, the Milwaukee Bucks. Commercially, the deal would be able to provide exposure of rugby to the American public through exhibition fixtures between the Stormers and MLR sides as well as the introduction of loan agreements between promising US rugby players and South African rugby franchises.
It remains to be seen how the WPRU board will be able to put their egos aside and reach a conclusion, however, one certainty is that this is an opportunity too good to pass up in a post-coronavirus landscape.