Threat to Tigers' future

Threat to Tigers’ future
Daniel Lane
May 13, 2012

THE future of the Wests Tigers power base could shift dramatically in favour of the Wests Magpies if the proposed development of the site of the old Balmain Leagues club does not go ahead, after the chief executive of the Balmain Leagues Club admitted it was becoming harder by the year to meet their football commitments.

Balmain and Western Suburbs are half-owners of the Wests Tigers, and the relationship has always been tenuous with arguments about logos and choice of colours still raging. However, the Tigers suffered a blow when their leagues club, based on Victoria Road at Rozelle, was shut down when the former state government resumed land along that strip to build a metro-style railway that was planned to link the inner west and CBD with a rail network.

The project didn’t happen and the old building is now an eyesore, covered in graffiti and said to be infested by vermin. The original proposal to redevelop the precinct was knocked back and the revised version, which is on public display, was condemned by Green groups for being too big, out of the area’s character, something that’d create traffic gridlock while there was also concerns about the shadow the tower would cast over surrounding dwellings.

Balmain relocated to two venues, the old Five Dock Bowling Club and the other at Flemington markets. However, Balmain Leagues chief executive Andy Timbs conceded business was tough and said unless they returned to where ‘‘people know us and love us’’ it could be hard to service their future commitment - which was as much as $1.5 million - as half-owners of the Wests Tigers and supporters of the local football competition.

‘‘It puts a lot of pressure [on us],’’ Timbs said of being based away from their traditional home. ''Balmain relies on a lot of support from the community by way of people being members of the club and supporting the club and if we have only [the current] two small businesses to run it will be hard to get the revenue through the business that’s required to run the footy and so forth.

''Obviously, we’re half-owners of the Wests Tigers and obviously that would affect that. If we continue to operate away from Rozelle we’d find it hard to continue to support [Wests Tigers] but we do our best … we always come up with the money … and it is just getting harder and harder each year.

‘‘It’s $1.5 million a year we need to come up with a year for football and it’s hard to get that sort of revenue if you haven’t got the big enough business to support it.’’

Timbs said it was clear people in the area were passionate about their team and said he received 30 calls a day asking when the club would return to Victoria Road.

''People want their club back, they want the Tigers to thrive, they want to see the local football thrive and junior football develop and all of this can happen if the development goes ahead. It would be a terrible shame to see such a wonderful opportunity lost. From Balmain Leagues point of view, it was always the expectation we’d reinhabit that area and the potential to move into a state-of-the-art venue was something we were excited by.

‘‘The structure would be the envy of the inner west.’’

Timbs said he was astounded by the reaction by some groups who were aware of the facilities the new premises would offer - a medical centre, supermarket and club - and suggested people who were pro-development had been subjected to unacceptable behaviour.

‘‘It’s quite alarming and sad seeing people get into such a state where they’d end up threatening people,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s sad to see that happen because they live in the same area - it would be lovely to see everyone embrace some degree of change. It’s happened all through history where the naysayers are always there but sometimes we need a bit of vision.’’

There is always debate in these threads which can get lively.

There is also at least one worthless moron in each of them.

Congrats to Shane for being that moron

Smeg, your posts are always spot on and entertaining. One of your best mate 😆

Ignoring Shane2801 post, what is everyone’s genuine thoughts on the financial situation of balmain FC and balmain leagues club site? And how that affects the one half owner of WT?

Posted using RoarFEED 2012

Is the 1.5 million figure mentioned in the article part of the merger conditions or an arbitrary figure? That is would the Wests Leagues Club/s also contribute 1.5 million?

WTFL The financial situation is not good. We are lucky that we have such a stable football club so the burden can be reduced if we have to. By this I mean that the grant can be reduced and the Wests group reduce their grant amount by the same amount.

The current WT financial position is such that this can occue i believe.

Still I want to see every club attatched to WT flourish to make sure we have strong footholds in as many communities and lives as possible.

Regardless of who writes the cheques,as long as they are the Weststigers i will continue to support them .Its just another anti Balmain/Wests story that hit the pages on a regular basis this season by the journos looking for to stir the pot .
Harry has enough money to prop up his beloved Tigers anyway.

This will affect WT from an ownership and control point of view. I don’t see the JV ever dissolving but decision making and boardroom control may change with the possibility of one part of the wests group (most likely ashfield) buying out a portion of the current 50% ownership that balmain Fc cannot afford to maintain.

How that flows onto more obvious issues like nsw cup situation, ryde-eastwood involvement and hotly debated ‘wests related branding issues’ in WT remains to be seen.

Posted using RoarFEED 2012

Although the situation is grim I think is more a call to arms that anything else. Something will get built on that site and that club should be able to come up with the cash but in any case the days of teams relying on a grant from the leagues club are pretty much over.

Most if not all of the issues raised need to be discussed on their own merits rather than in the context of Balmain’s current problems.


but in any case the days of teams relying on a grant from the leagues club are pretty much over.

That pretty much sums it up for mine.

The grants are a nice fall back but we will be profitabl before grants either this year or the next as things stand.

Its a bit more than just ‘handouts from a leagues club’ its also ties into the current constitutional ownership of a private company which is WT. Complicated because WT affectively run and financially support balmain fc and junior league.

Posted using RoarFEED 2012

This guy is speaking on behalf of the ‘leagues’ club and its distribution of funds to the Balmain Football Club…

Anything relating to funding of the WT Partnership is purely speculation and there is nothing stopping BFC sourcing income from alternative methods?

I actually see this article as a tool to ensure the people/supporters of all things Tigers stand up and get behind the proposed redevelopment…

I believe this is also the way the Western Suburbs junior league is being structured now operating out of a Wests Tigers branded office and using WT as the distribution point for funds to the junior level.

The three major stakeholders want the WT brand to run this way it seems so it actually bodes well for the future and it means we will have financially viable junior legues in an environment that sees them losing money in most instances

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