City club still wants RSL
By NERIDA BLOK
IF GREG EDWARDS has to play second fiddle, he at least wants Goonellabah RSL Sports Club members to know about it.
The chief executive officer of Sydney-based Guildford Leagues Club said he was still interested in amalgamating with the sports club.
A deed of amalgamation was signed last month between the sports club's receivers, SimsPartners, and the Lismore Workers' Club.
However, Mr Edwards, who had been chasing the sports club since November, 2003, said if members of the sports club rejected Workers' proposal, his offer remained.
Members of both clubs will vote on the proposal at separate meetings in September.
"The plan now is that we be considered as a second option for an amalgamation," he said.
"We have invested too much time and money to walk away and be told by the receivers that they have signed a deal with the Workers' Club.
"It is a decision of the club members, not the receiver."
The profitable Goonellabah club had been looking for a saviour after it was unable to carry debts of $3 million inherited from its downtown parent club, the Lismore RSL Club.
The Lismore RSL went into receivership in April, 2004.
Mr Edwards said Guildford Leagues Club's interest in the Goonellabah club was 'all about sport, in particular rugby league'.
"We would be marketing at the sporting clubs or groups in the area with a view of supporting them," he said.
"The funds would not go back to Sydney, as has been suggested.
"The first thing to do is negotiate with council for the purchase of the land where possible, and pay back the original investment over a planned five to seven years."
David Leigh, from SimsPartners, said the Lismore Workers' Club remained the front-runner.
"The reality is, the Workers' Club is within a 50 kilometre radius ? that is specified within the Registered Clubs Act as being a club we must first consider amalgamation with," he said.
"So we can't entertain Guildford Leagues Club until such time, on the very low possibility, the Workers Club' changes its mind or withdraws."
Former Lismore RSL Club president Jack Piper, of Wyrallah, did not want to comment on who the club should go to.
"I do have a preference, but I would not like to make it public at this stage," he said.
"I would like to see some form of action take place as soon as possible ? whether it be Workers' Club or Guildford.
"The sooner something happens the better for the club and for the members."
Mr Piper said he hadn't heard from the receivers for 12 months.
"They've done all negotiations through the receivers, that's why I really can't comment, because I don't know what proposals have been put."