North Albury Sports Club ‘on its last legs’

NORTH Albury Sports Club’s survival is hanging by a thread after a slow response to a call for member pledges, and the revelation its debt is close to $900,000.

Administrator Chris Chamberlain said yesterday he was “concerned” less than $50,000 had been committed in response to a call for $250,000 within a fortnight at a members’ meeting this week.

Mr Chamberlain was speaking after an initial creditors’ meeting where he revealed the club’s debt was now estimated at about $900,000.

The affiliate clubs including football-netball and bowls have also gone into administration.

Their bank accounts have been frozen.

“The club desperately needs support and the amount we hoped to raise is significantly down on where I thought we would be,” Mr Chamberlain said.

“A lot of people are sitting on their hands, but if you want the club to survive you’ve got to support it.”

More than 10 creditors attended the meeting yesterday including representatives from Albury Council, which owns Bunton Park.

Another creditors’ meeting will be called within three weeks, but Mr Chamberlain warned he could make a call on the club’s future before then if he wasn’t satisfied it could be saved.

The amount owed to unsecured creditors had grown to $500,000 and the NAB was owed about $400,000.

Mr Chamberlain said talks with the bank were ongoing.

“The bank is well aware of what we are trying to achieve,” he said.

“They have indicated from day one they are open to discussion.

“They don’t want to see the club fold, but we’ve got to be able to satisfy all parties.”

A major bowls tournament is scheduled at North Albury this weekend and Hoppers’ netball teams have qualified to play in Ovens and Murray finals starting tomorrow.

Bunton Park is also in contention to host the second-semi final next Saturday.

It is the second financial upheaval experienced by the football club in less than 12 months with a six-figure debt revealed in late January.

Mr Chamberlain said the club would remain open this weekend, but he admitted it was a “day-to-day” proposition.

“We want the model to remain, but we can only do so many things,” he said.

“There are hurdles for everybody right now.

“They will continue on as best they can under the circumstances.”

A members’ committee has been formed to raise urgently needed funds.

“We are still trading this weekend, but the jury is still out,” Mr Chamberlain said.