John Mitchell: 'There is some unfinished business to do
with the Lions.' Photo Getty
Former All Black coach John Mitchell says he has been
found not guilty of charges of misconduct by the Golden Lions
Rugby Union (GLRU) and is demanding to be reinstated as head
coach of the South African side.
A statement released by Mitchell's management group expressed
anger that the 48-year-old was still suspended by the GLRU
even though it had withdrawn six of the charges levelled
Mitchell was suspended at the end of June after Lions players
lodged a list of grievances with the GLRU.
The GLRU will not be drawn on Mitchell's claims, confirming
only that an independent chairperson, Peter Bam, had
concluded the internal disciplinary hearing.
It said the findings and recommendations would remain
confidential until discussions had been held with Mitchell,
prompting a heated response.
"That's pretty amazing considering the damage that this
action taken by the GLRU has done to John's reputation and
brand," a statement from The Fordham Company said.
"One would have to question why this information is being
Mitchell's lawyers had threatened an application to the
Labour Court to secure full disclosure of the findings.
Mitchell signed a three-year deal with the GLRU after leaving
Australia's Western Force franchise in 2010.
He led the Lions to their first domestic Currie Cup title for
more than a decade last year but oversaw a Super Rugby
campaign this year in which the Lions finished last and were
replaced in next year's competition by the newly-formed
Southern Kings franchise.
Forwards coach Johan Ackermann coached the Currie Cup team to
last month's semi-finals while a suspended Mitchell took up a
consultancy role at his former English club Sale.
"I want my head coach position back at the Lions," Mitchell
"There is some unfinished business to do with the Lions.
Furthermore, I am determined that my future will be in South