Two iconic clubs with the urge to merge

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Maitland District Leagues Club and Club Maitland City have announced a proposal to amalgamate,with both business entities tipped to trade from Club Maitland City’s Rutherford site.

Leagues Club administrators and Maitland City CEO Ian Martin announced the proposal on Thursday and said both organisations have entered into a memorandum of understanding which has been agreed to”in principle”.

The final say however,will be up to clubmembersandleagues club creditors who were also notified of the news this week.

The history making agreement proposes to sell the Leagues Club’s Bulwer Street property and consolidate the business with Maitland City at its Arthur Streetsite.

The Leagues Club premises, valued at more than $3million,will be sold to extinguish creditors’ claims against the Leagues Club, and Maitland City willreceive any remaining Leagues Club assets to support it in honouring its commitments under the memorandum.

This includes entering into a30-year sponsorship agreement with Maitland Pickers, offering membership of Club Maitland City to Maitland District Leagues Club membersand providing them with the benefits of membership and the ongoing display of Leagues Club memorabilia.

Club Maitland City CEO, Ian Martin, said his club isexcited about the opportunity to potentially amalgamate with the Leagues Clubto secure the future of Rugby League in Maitland and enable theexpansion of youth and junior rugby league programs in the local community.

“Unfortunately,as recommended by the administrator, the financial position of the LeaguesClub is not sufficient to enable continued trade past the completion of amalgamation and assuch, the Leagues Club building willbe sold to pay creditors and otheroutstanding debts,” Mr Martin said.

Fairfax Media understands the club owes in the vicinity of$2million, over$1.5 millionto St George Bank andmore than $468,000to unsecured creditors.

Club Maitland City has also entered into an in principle, limited, temporary funding agreementwith theLeagues Club’s administratorsShaw Gidley, to allow the clubto continue to trade during the voluntaryadministration period while theamalgamation opportunity is explored.

“Club MaitlandCity has reached this agreement with the administrators for temporary funding to allow them some time to work with creditors to achieve and ensure the best possible outcomes for RugbyLeague in the Maitland district and members of the LeaguesClub,” Mr Martin said.

Fairfax Media reported last month how the Leagues Club had gone into voluntary administration. It is understood to have been insolvent since September last year.

In a report to creditors, administrators Shaw Gidley said Leagues Club directors cited a number of factors had contributed to the club’s demise including increasing competition, a decline in traffic and patrons, inability to increase poker machine income,lack of management, increases in operating costs, substantial capital outlay and the underutilisation of the club premises.

“Our preliminary investigations lend support to the directors’ reasons for failure,” the report said.“In particular we note that poor management and management’s inability to improve the company’s gaming income to a level sufficient to cover its increased service costs associated with the Tabcorp Gaming Solutions agreement, has significantly contributed to the failure of the company over recent years.”

The Leagues Club employs about 15 people, but no decision has been made on their future at this stage.

The Leagues Clubdoors are expected to close at the end of the year.

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