It’s been a long time coming, but the decision to cease trading at the Blayney Bowling Club as of Thursday February 7 was a ‘no-brainer’ said the President of the club Steve Chapman.
“We simply cannot trade if we’re insolvent,” he said.
Ever since the decision was made by Newstead Bowling Club to merge with Orange Ex-services Club rather than Blayney, the fate of the club has been on shaky ground.
As a result of that decision the club now owes Newstead money that had been advanced to keep the Blayney club operating over the past two years.
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Mr Chapman though said that there are currently discussions underway with a hospitality management group that has a proven track record in helping turn clubs fortunes around.
“This group has an excellent track record of successful and profitable management of businesses like our club, which rely on boosting food, beverage and other income,” he said.
“The Club needs an injection of funds to clear debt and revamp the club facilities and premises to increase patronage and stem the trading losses. Without this the Club will not survive.”
As negotiations continue, Mr Chapman said that closing the club in the meantime was the only option open to the board and he hoped that a decision would be made within four weeks.
“If a successful deal can be reached, the board will call a meeting of Club members to provide full particulars of the proposal and give members the opportunity of considering the detail and asking questions and, if approved, authorising the board to finalise any management contract and refinancing” he said.
Despite Newstead’s decision to merge with OEC, Mr Chapman insisted that OEC was very keen to help in any restructuring of the club.
“We have met with the new CEO of Orange Ex Services Club, Daniel Perkiss, as well as Club President Graham Gentles. They assured us that they would not stand in the way of and would help us where they can to secure a sound future for our Club”
Mr Chapman added that if an agreement is made with the management group that the club wouldn’t open straight away.
“The club needs an overhaul and they will be spending a bit of money updating a lot of the facilities at the club,” he said.
In the end, Mr Chapman said that the board’s main objective has been keeping the club open for the community and members.
“The Board is committed to doing everything it can to return the club to its position in the social and community life of Blayney,” he said.
“The community wants to support the Club, but we need to offer something attractive, enjoyable and good value for money.”