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New tennis club committee courts business

THERE have been sweeping changes in the power structure at prestigious sports venue Royal Kings Park Tennis Club, with newcomers holding a majority of official positions following Monday night’s annual meeting.

A business bent is understood to have been a strong element among the seven new faces on the12-member committee.

Western Potatoes chairman Jim Murphy was elected vice-president and is understood to be leading some form of coalition to improve the fortunes at the 102-year old club, which has been troubled financially for at least two years.

While several specialist office holders, such as president Shane Bransby, were re-elected unopposed, the biggest change occurred at general committee level, where 10 people vied for five positions and only one incumbent remained after the voting.

Mr Murphy was not in Perth for the vote and could not be contacted by Business News.

However, a source close to the businessman said Mr Murphy had led a ticket at the poll with the aim of shoring up the financial resources of the historic club.

But Mr Bransby said he was not aware that a ticket had been run and he had yet to hold talks with the newcomers.

“We have gone through some tough times and people are realising it is up to the membership,” he said.

“You have some high quality business people throughout the club, it is encouraging to see they can give up their time.”

Problems arose at the club during a period of almost a year to April 2000, when an overdraft facility was blown out from about $6000 to almost $150,000, sparking a financial crisis whereby the admini-strative team quit.

But a fund raising effort has failed to turn the club around despite a promising start to the year when about $70,000 had been raised.

There has been a lot of talk that tennis legend John Alexander’s South Australian-based New Generation business was looking to revamp the club, helping to offset the cost of upkeep on the heritage stands and buildings.

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