DOWN AND OUT: North Albury Sports Club in administration

North Albury Sports Club. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN
North Albury Sports Club. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

NORTH Albury Sports Club has ended months of uncertainty about its financial future by agreeing to enter voluntary administration.

The parent body of sporting groups including the North Albury Football-Netball Club made the decision to enter administration late last week.

It is the latest blow to the local licensed clubs industry following the Panthers Group’s decision to shut the Lavington Panthers Club a fortnight ago.

Club president Rob Williams couldn’t be contacted for comment yesterday and the club’s debt and the number of creditors remains unclear.

The club was open and continued to trade at the weekend.

But The Border Mail has been told banks have frozen the club’s accounts.

A recent sports club annual report indicated directors had “significant doubts” on its ability to continue as a going concern.

Poker machine licences have been sold in recent years to reduce debt.

The club recorded a small profit in the year ending 2012, but is dealing with a long-standing debt repayment to the Australian Tax Office.

Almost a year ago, the sports club agreed to approach Albury Council with a sale-and-lease back proposal for a car park, but no formal talks took place on the potential rescue package.

The sports club had hoped to raise $250,000 from the sale.

North Albury Football-Netball Club president Mark Cronin said yesterday there would be no immediate effect on the Hoppers.

North Albury has one match left to play in the Ovens and Murray league this season.

“We are going to have to do something about our structure,” Mr Cronin said.

“But we don’t see any short-term impacts on us.

“Voluntary administration might be for three months, it might be 12 months, the administrator might decide there is no future.

“Who knows? I don’t at this point.

“I assume the directors of the sports club will tell the sporting bodies exactly what is going on sooner rather than later.”

Mr Cronin said the football-netball club, which revealed a six-figure debt earlier this year, was already investigating becoming an incorporated body.

The North Albury Sports Club was created at Bunton Park in the mid-1980s when the football club plunged into financial trouble with debts of about $90,000.

The creation of the new entity enabled the sports club to become licensed and operate poker machines.

Major decisions made by the football-netball club including the appointment of coaches still need the approval of the sports club board.

Lawn bowls and junior football and cricket are also played at Bunton Park, which is leased by the sports club from Albury Council.