Bankruptcy downplayed

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

As of December 2016, the Union’s liabilities exceed its assets by $1.8 million thereby indicating the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the Union’s ability to continue as a going concern…

 

Prime Minister and Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.), Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, has downplayed reports the Union is on verge of filing for bankruptcy.

But he does not deny the Union desperately needs financial help and that they will soon ask members of the public and rugby supporters for help.

He did not rule out the possibility of a wheelbarrow, saying the Union would welcome any monetary assistance, including donations of one tala coins that are not needed by most people. 

The announcement was made by the Prime Minister during a press conference at his office when he was asked about the financial predicament faced by the Samoa Rugby Union. 

“This is nothing new,” said Tuilaepa. 

Last week, S.R.U. Chief Executive Officer, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i, opened up about the dire financial difficulties faced by the Union.  Paying off debts, poor game results, attaining international sponsorships, dealing with public criticism, the injustice faced by the Samoan players overseas are some of the issues Faleomavaega spoke about during an interview with the Samoa Observer.

“We have improved considerably over the last three years,” he said. 

“Our debt used to be $3.2 million and it’s now come down to $1.4 million."

“We are continually trying to reduce our costs but the expectations of the country and the expectations of the world surrounding the Manu Samoa is that we have to be up there at that level. "

“To improve the performance it needs money, money we don’t have,” said Faleomavaega. 

Tuilaepa agrees with the statement made by his C.E.O.

“We have emphasized to our team management the need to play to win because that will attract businesses to donate. Because of the poor results, we are changing our coaches repeatedly because we are looking for coaches who will make us win.  “And again this will attract donors. At the moment the Union is depending on the government, with some donations from Digicel and BlueSky, but even that is never enough to support the players financially.”

Asked about funds from World Rugby, he said it is not enough. “There is not that much of funds coming from the World Rugby. 

“So we plan to host a radio thon or a wheel barrow drive to gain financial assistance from the public to help our Manu Samoa teams.” 

According to the Samoa Rugby Union’s 2016 Annual Report, their loss amounted to $106,394. As of December 2016, the Union’s liabilities exceed its assets by $1.8 million thereby indicating the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the Union’s ability to continue as a going concern, says the auditor in the report. 

Furthermore, there is also the growing concern of the S.R.U’s continuation and dependence on the willingness of the donors such as Government, BlueSky, S.I.F.A. Gambling Control Agency, and World Rugby to provide the funds for the planned activities of the Union and become profitable in the future. 

“The financial statement of the Union for the year ended 31 December 2016 show working capital deficient of $1.8million (2015 $1.5million). 

“These factors raise doubts in whether the Union will be able to continue as a going concern and whether it will realize its assets and extinguish its liabilities in the normal cause of business,” says the auditors.  

The auditors said the Samoa Rugby Union accounts were unqualified. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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