Lavington Sports Club closure | Panthers face a tough sell: Editorial

THE Panthers Group says it can’t continue to prop up its Lavington club, with an accumulated debt of almost $8 million the major reason behind its decision to close the club on Sunday.

Panthers Lavington has made small profits each year since it was rescued by the group in 2001 but Panthers was unwilling to continue to heavily subsidise the Border club which had been unable to pay back the debts it owed when the parent club took over.

Unfortunately, that means 40 staff have lost their jobs and now need to find other employment.

The employees received the bad news at a meeting yesterday after word had already got out the club had closed for the final time on Sunday night.

The big question now is, what happens to the club?

After selling the Lavington Sportsground to Albury Council for $1.2 million in 2009, the Panthers Group is holding more discussions with the Albury Council about the sale of the club building and car parks.

That’s likely to be a harder sell for Panthers — the council will be a reluctant buyer, despite its interest in land used for parking at major events including the Ovens and Murray grand final.