For the past 3 months harness racing owners, trainers and drivers in New South Wales have been bleeding.
Harness Racing NSW is all but broke.
The people who run that organisation have somehow managed to blow $30 million in the past six years, and now they are robbing Peter to pay Paul just to keep the fast sinking ship marginally above water.
Due to gross financial mismanagement withing the organisation, HRNSW have no cash.
The peak body that distributes the prizemoney should have been able to withstand the shock when the Coronavirus hit out of the blue, but sadly only months before its leaders had drained the Future Fund established for this exact purpose, just so that they could pay the gas bill, so when COVID-19 came a’knocking there was nothing left in the kitty.
So HRNSW slashed prizemoney across the board, and although the pain was spread across the State, the hardest hit were the professionals based in and around the major racing centre of Menangle and their owners, the people who rely on the earnings from their winnings to put bread on the table.
They have all been suffering, but they shouldn’t have been.
A few million dollars to maintain the purse levels would have kept everything sweet, and Club Menangle could have subbed it, easily.
This club has $100 million in the bank.
The interest on that alone could easily have kept the prizemoney levels up through the pandemic season. Easily.
The $3 million that it spent to buy the breeding rights for the blank shooter Lazarus could have too, no worries.
But the Club didn’t offer and it didn’t give, and as a result everybody hurt.
Everybody but the Directors of Harness NSW and Club Menangle, that is.
Did anyone see any of them take a 20% reduction in their board meeting fees?
If so, I must have missed it.
So why didn’t Club Menangle come to the party and support our sport and the people in it who need that prizemoney to keep things ticking over?
Was it all the behind the scenes financial assistance they are providing to the self-immolating APG?
I don’t know, but I don’t like it.
In fact I think it stinks.
Direct all your questions to the Club Menangle Chairman Robert Marshall.
I’m sure Bob will be happy answer you with a tweet.