NEWSTEAD Bowling Club chairman Gary Norton has quashed any suggestion of the club closing, labelling the whispers “nothing more than vicious rumours”.
“Newstead is definitely not closing,” Mr Norton said.
“As a board we think the rumours have been started by a couple of individuals, from other bowling clubs, who seem to think if Newstead was to close our assets would go to the nearest club, which is just plain wrong.”
Despite conceding the club had a lean year in 2013, Mr Norton said Newstead’s board is proactively searching for a sustainable business model.
“Like any club of our size, small to medium, it has been reasonably tough over the past 12 months,” he explained.
“As a board we are finding a way to make the club sustainable long-term. We feel like any club’s board or committee who don’t do the same would be naive. We have called for expressions of interest to all clubs in New South Wales for a possible amalgamation, or joint merger. We have certain responsibilities to make the right decisions for the betterment of our club, and to protect the club, and club member’s assets.
Mr Norton said the potential merger is born from forward thinking, rather than a dire current position.
“Newstead is strong, very strong, financially,” he said.
“We have money in the bank, and no creditors. Of course we are also a very asset rich club, but we are considering the merger because in reality the only club in Orange now that is guaranteed strength in the future is Ex-Services’.
“We have no pre-determined plan at the moment of how it would work, but we feel the right decision is to seek potential ways to improve our club now, while we’re strong.
“This issue could come up again in five years, and if a club was to seek a joint venture when the doors are virtually shut it will become a submissive merger, which it doesn’t have to be.
“We see huge benefits in a potential merger, mainly tapping into the intellectual capabilities of other clubs.”
Despite the thought of amalgamation, Mr Norton was quick to clarify the proposal is not a guarantee but rather a precaution.
“Newstead can run exactly as it is now,” he explained.
“We are not closing, and even without a merger we are strong enough to carry on as we are. We merely feel a joint venture would be for the best for our members and our club.”