Club deal anger

By NERIDA BLOK

A SYDNEY club alleges it has been duped during its attempt to take over the Goonellabah RSL Sports Club.

Guildford Leagues Club chief executive officer Greg Edwards yesterday said he was shocked a deed of amalgamation had been signed between the Lismore Workers' Club and the sporting club's receivers, SimsPartners.

He said members should know there were other options available.

SimsPartners yesterday declined to respond to the criticism, but said there were 'overiding and compelling issues' to be taken into account.

The agreement was reached last Friday after months of searching for a suitable saviour for the club, struggling with debts of more than $3 million inherited from its parent company, Lismore RSL.

Members of the Lismore RSL Club and Lismore Workers Club will vote on the amalgamation.

Lismore Workers Club's annual general meeting will be held on Sunday, September 18.

A special general meeting will be held for Lismore RSL Club members at a similar time, but on a date to be set.

Yesterday Guildford CEO Greg Edwards said he wanted people to be more aware, particularly members of the club, that there were other options on the table.

He said he had been told by the receivers that his club was the only party negotiating for the sports club ? other interested groups either pulling out or making unsatisfactory offers.

"I fell off my chair when I was told (on Monday about the decision)," he said.

"I was absolutely shocked."

Mr Edwards said the receivers had earlier told his club that its offer was acceptable. He said they had been waiting for a deed of amalgamation to be sent since June 21.

But Mr Edwards said if both clubs had made an offer to the receiver that was acceptable by them and the bank, 'surely it is up to the members of the Sports Club to make the decision'.

"Members should be given the opportunity to consider all options," he said.

Lismore Workers Club general manager Stephen Bortolin said he knew nothing about Guilford's offer.

Phone the Star Feedback line on 6624 3266 or email opinions@northernstar.com.au



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