Cape Town – The “saviour” of the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) has been revealed to be a bankrupt businessman with an unregistered UK firm and a false business address.
Integrated Sport, a sports marketing company from London, was recently revealed as the union’s new sponsor.
This information was made public when the EPRU handed in a business plan to the High Court in Port Elizabeth in an attempt not to be liquidated.
According to the business plan, Integrated Sport would invest R20 million per year into the EPRU for the next five years, with the first R20 million paid up front as a token of good faith.
However, in a stunning new development, the DispatchLIVE website is reporting that Christopher Wishlade of Integrated Sport is in fact bankrupt.
According to the website, a three-day investigation revealed the following:
– Integrated Sport is not a registered company in the UK;
– Wishlade was declared bankrupt in June 2010 and again in April last year;
– Barcelona Football Club, which Wishlade claims was a client, says it has never worked with him;
– A company he formed in 2005 was liquidated two years later, with 11 creditors owed £142 864 (R3.1 million)
– The address on the Integrated Sport website belongs to Kensington Pavilion, a business club where the receptionist has never heard of Wishlade – or his company.
The EPRU has been in major financial strive in recent times and was unable to pay players’ salaries.
It forced SA Rugby to step in and take charge of matters as the beleaguered union faced liquidation.
On its official website, Integrated Sport describes itself as a “company that specialises in offering a range of solutions for our clients whether they be a commercial organisation, sports club, franchise or federation”.
However, UK Companies House case manager Janet Hurley said the Integrated Sport registration number listed on its website was not linked to any UK-registered company.
When contacted, EP Rugby president Cheeky Watson referred all questions to SA Rugby.