An extraordinary general meeting of the Balmain Leagues Club on Thursday, August 27, is to put forward a resolution to sell the property in an effort to clear the club’s debts.
On the agenda of the meeting is a proposal to hand the property to Rozelle Village Pty Ltd, headed by former Tigers board member and player Ben Elias. Under the terms of the resolution, the property will be handed to Rozelle Village, which will assume all of the club’s $20m debt, with the site leased back to the club upon completion. Tigers Leagues Club has been operating at a loss for a number of months.
At the time of writing, it was unclear where the financing for the project was coming from. Previous announcements by Tigers had indicated a tie-up with Balmain Development Pty Ltd, also a venture of Mr Elias, which the Independent understands was sourcing funding from a company called Pacific Investments.
Mr Elias declined to comment publicly until the meeting had been completed.
The meeting will also discuss proposals to move the club to another location while construction work is carried out. The Independent understands two alternative spots have been nominated for discussion at the meeting.
But the announcement of the EGM and its agenda has raised questions over the long-term prospects of Tigers regaining control of the site. An email response from Mr Camiller to a series of questions from a Tigers Leagues Club member, seen by the Independent, said the club’s principal interest is “securing the long-term future of the club on the site”, and that, “it was never the intention of the Club to retain full ownership of the site.”
But this was disputed by others, including Leichhardt Deputy Mayor Michele McKenzie. “We were always told they were going to hold on to the property,” she said. “I didn’t vote for it, but I’m sure that my colleagues based their decision on the idea that the club would not be sold.”
Tigers CEO Tim Camiller failed to respond to requests for comment.