NAIROBI, Kenya, October 23 – Less than 24 hours after Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) confirmed the appointment of South African Paul Treu as head coach of the national 7s team in a bumper pay and perks package, his new charges went on strike on Thursday demanding to sign pending commitment contracts with the side.
However, the Union is adamant that the matter was resolved later with the day after the protesting players were called to put pen to paper only for them to reportedly reject the deal, throwing the Treu transition and preparations of the second round of the HSBC World Sevens Series in Dubai under the new man in quandary.
Title sponsors, Kenya Airways, are yet to renew their USD4,716,981.13 (Sh400,000) partnership with KRU, after their previous deal lapsed at the end of last season just before the team went for IRB World Cup Sevens in Moscow, Russia, leaving the Union’s hands tied in negotiating fresh terms with the playing staff.
“The issue was about contracts, because the players went to Gold Coast 7s with the sponsorship deal not signed.
“The players attended training today (Thursday) where some of them like assistant captain, Collins Injera, picked theirs.
“I have seen the contracts myself and players have nothing to worry about,” a source at KRU not authorised to speak publicly on the matter told Capital Sport.
This is the second time this year that the national 7s players have downed their tools following their strike ahead of the penultimate leg of the 2012/13 HSBC World Series under English immediate former head coach Mike Friday, demanding unpaid salaries and bonuses.
Treu will be earning a monthly net salary of ($11,000) Sh935,000 as he becomes the highest paid coach in Kenyan sporting history with other perks including first class tickets from Kenya Airways, an official car, comprehensive insurance as well as massive bonuses for winning Olympics gold also in the package.
This is a major blow for the former South African 7s tactician who is yet to arrive in the country to prepare the team for the Dubai 7s set for the weekend of November 29 to 30.