Club on front foot for funds

THE new-look committee at prestigious sports venue Royal Kings Park Tennis Club has moved to institute further financial changes to turn around the organisation’s fortunes.

President Shane Bransby said members would be notified this week of the plan, which involves big cost-cutting moves, less staff, reduced bar opening times, a search for corporate sponsorship and a special levy on members.

Mr Bransby said several months of work had identified cost savings amounting to between $60,000 and $90,000 annually from the club’s administration, ground staff and bar.

He said the club also was on the hunt for major benefactors able to commit up to $300,000 to restore the club and clear crippling debt.

Fund raising expert and club member John King had been given the task of seeking sponsorship on a success fee basis. Club staff also will be making sponsorship approaches and members would be encouraged to help in this respect.

“In the market today it would be difficult to raise $300,000. I think we are looking for three to four companies to sponsor us,” Mr Bransby said.

The club also has created a more accessible corporate sponsorship package, with three tiers starting at $5000.

Most sensitive of the fund-raising proposals was a player levy, based on fees paid, which could cost players up to $200 in additional fees this year.

“We are trying to find something that people feel comfortable with, but which can help pay debts and provide cash flow,” Mr Bransby said.

A levy on members has been mooted previously, but the latest call is thought to be less than earlier predictions and

is likely to be payable in instalments.

The big concern is that a levy could turn away some members from a club whose membership has fallen to less than 800 from as many as an estimated 1200 or more just a few years ago.

“It has been hard work in the past few months, hopefully we will get the support of members,” Mr Bransby said.

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