The new Directors of the Brisbane Turf Club, the old BATC and the folk who until 2009 ran Doomben, were desperate to bludgeon members into voting ‘Yes’ in a second merger ballet after the first one went down.
They knew that they needed to make the financial position of the club look dire, so dire that the nouveau rich members would feel that they had no other option other than to vote in favour of a merger with the old money toffs from across Nudgee Road at Eagle Farm. If the finances looked good they had no hope. And so hi-ho-hi-ho off to work they went, and what came next was totally bent.
They sold the share portfolio. making a loss of more than half a million dollars on a gilt-edged parcel of high value shares that had been going gangbusters until the GFC hit by selling them at the bottom of the market. Then they wrote the losses from the assets into the balance sheet, turning it around a million and a half bucks in the process.
Next the Directors calculated that the loss of 14 meetings due the equine influenza outbreak only cost the Brisbane Turf Club $330 000, or less than $20 000 a meeting despite the fact that the BTC lost over a third of it’s schedule meetings.
The figure was so blatantly light it wasn’t funny, because the EI outbreak and the meetings lost as a result led to bar and catering revenue alone dipping by about $1.6 million, and when you throw the combined drop of $450 000 in tote and turnstile revenue then just on those three line items alone the true cost to the club of the lost meetings was well in excess of $2 million and when everything is factored in almost certainly closer to $3 million.
I missed a zero in the number above. They are actually millions, not hundred and thousands.
So why did the BTC Board of Directors say the loss was only $330 000, and how on earth did they get away with such a fraud? There was compensation made available by the government for the lost meetings, but the BRC put in a claim that clearly only covered at the very most 20% of the club’s losses, and in the end only received about 2/3rd’s of that miserly sum.
The members woz robbed. And it was a group of Directors with a fiduciary duty to the club’s members who robbed them.
The result was this.
The BTC management put out a press release predicting an apocalypse, basing their dire prediction about the club’s inevitable and impending demise on the revenue figures that even Blind Freddy from Banyo could see were a once off event caused by the unfathomable Board decision to sell the share portfolio sale, the loss of a third of the club’s meetings due to EI, and the even more unfathomable decision by the club to only claim a fraction of the cash made available by the Government to compensate the BTC for their actual loss.
You can’t read that without it conjuring up a mental image of the BTC members having a gun put to their head to ‘persuade’ them to vote yes to the merger with Eagle Farm, and it was the club’s Directors including my vocal critic Mr Ross ‘the Tin Man’ Tinnisdale who were directly to blame.
The members voted Yes.
They had been led down the garden path and been made to believe that they had no other choice. But it was all a lie, a great big super-sized con and fraud perpetrated against the members of the club.
Everyone involved should be warned off Queensland race-tracks for life, and the Racing Integrity Commission or the corporate watchdog should institute an immediate thorough probe into the whole scandalous affair.
What a bloody disgrace.
Ross Tinniswood (pictured below) you are nothing but a joke and your criticisms nought but an ill wind and hot air. Nevertheless I am a huge believer in democracy and free speech and thus offer you an unedited right of reply that I undertake to publish on this site the moment that it is received.
Over to you big mouth. Tell the racing industry why you did it. They’re all reading you know, and know your reputation’s on the line.
The floor is all yours.