A shadowy plan to promote the Sharks has emerged following the publication of a damning letter by the franchise’s former chief executive, Brian van Zyl.
The plan involves journalists being approached to publish articles attacking the former rugby chief executive. The articles were pre-written by unknown authors and distributed by the Sharks’ social-media manager.
This follows recent tumult at the franchise involving the resignation of John Smit leaving a leadership vacuum and a raft of allegations and counterclaims, including ones of financial instability.
An investigation by The Independent on Saturday has revealed the following:
Contracted Sharks social-marketing manager Chris Micklewood asked a Durban journalist to publish a comment piece discrediting Van Zyl.
Micklewood tried to persuade East Coast Radio sports journalist Gareth Jenkinson to publish the piece under the reporter’s own byline in the interests of certain unnamed role-players.
When the journalist refused on principle, Micklewood found another writer, blogger Benedict Chanakira, under whose name the same article appeared in sister newspaper, The Mercury.
Micklewood admitted to being an intermediary in the distribution of the article.
Micklewood and Chanakira have denied any wrongdoing.
Van Zyl’s original letter had alleged the Sharks were in dire financial straits and the debt had arisen since his retirement.
Source – MyBallito