Western Province demands R1m for Siya Kolisi: Sharks label the transfer fee as 'ridiculous'

11 February 2021 - 11:21
By liam del carme AND Liam Del Carme
Stormers and Springboks captain Siya Kolisi leads his team onto the field in their opening 2020 Super Rugby opener against the Hurricanes at Newlands.
Image: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix Stormers and Springboks captain Siya Kolisi leads his team onto the field in their opening 2020 Super Rugby opener against the Hurricanes at Newlands.

Sharks CEO Ed Coetzee has labelled Western Province's R1m transfer fee demand for Springbok captain Siya Kolisi as “ridiculous”.

The Sharks are now set to play the waiting game before they lure Kolisi from the Cape later this year.

The Sharks confirmed interest in acquiring Kolisi's services but Western Province have demanded that they pay a R1m transfer fee before the move can happen. Kolisi will become a free agent at the end of October and the Sharks would then simply have to negotiate personal terms to obtain his services.

“We will not be paying a transfer fee and we will wait‚” said Coetzee who referred to the fee as “thumb suck”.

It is understood that the fee Western Province was hoping to exact is more than the release figure stipulated in Kolisi's contract.

“We are very interested in him but we will rather wait until he becomes available whether that is next week‚ July or October‚” said Coetzee.

The Sharks expressed their interest in Kolisi after the player opted not to renew his deal with Western Province inside the prescribed time.

“It is then that his agent contacted us and we started talking‚” said Coetzee.

The Sharks CEO explained why it is prudent not to pay the fee and rather play the waiting game before concluding a deal.

“Even if we paid that fee we don't know yet what competitions we will be playing in. They still need to be confirmed.”

By not releasing Kolisi‚ Coetzee believes Western Province is not acting in the interest of the player.

“I don't think it will be good for him‚” said Coetzee about Kolisi having to play for a team to which he may not be entirely committed.

“It may be that they have lost some of their players mentally for a while‚” Coetzee added.

The Springboks' Rugby World Cup-winning captain was always going to be a target for the Sharks once they concluded their shareholder agreement with American based MVM Holdings.

MVM Holdings is now the majority shareholder in the franchise and through one of its affiliates, Roc Nation‚ they have an existing interest in Kolisi.

Kolisi became the talent agency's first rugby client when he signed with them in December 2019‚ but Cheslin Kolbe has since followed when he inked a deal with the organisation in July last year.

MVM had earlier attempted to pull Kolisi into its orbit when they made a $6m offer to buy the majority stake in Western Province. The union‚ however‚ was reluctant to relinquish their controlling share and MVM moved on and concluded a deal with the Sharks.

It is likely Kolisi won't be the only high-profile player to sever their ties with Western Province in the coming months.

Several of their Rugby World Cup winning Springboks have been in the crosshairs of teams abroad and for a union in cash crisis there are limited means to retain their most prized playing assets.