A lesson in organised corruption

Members of City Tatts have rightly questioned how Tony Guilfoyle has been able to avoid the ongoing scrutiny that would be reasonably expected from the Chairman while pursuing his agenda of destroying the Club and selling out to private enterprise.

 

When Guilfoyle offically took over as CEO in February 2004 he had already assumed the majority of control in the Club for a number of years. He gradually expanded the responsibilities of his position as Assistant CEO. (His formula was to then retain the power and delegate the workload)

 

Now, as CEO, Guilfoyle wanted absolute power. To achieve this he knew he had to compromise those in the position of Chairman.

 

COMPROMISING THE LEADERS

 

John Healy – Chairman No 1

 

When Guilfoyle became CEO John Healy was Chairman. Happily for Guilfoyle, Healy’s position was already compromised. Healy was content to accept the occasional overseas trip, free meals, free parking and the $10,000 he was paid each year. The $10,000 was paid for supposedly “conducting gym classes”. Other members conducted similar classes but only received free gym membership for their services.

 

Healy would dutifully present whatever Guilfoyle drafted for him at meetings and would sign off on the Guilfoyle-scripted “Chairman’s Message” that appeared in the Club’s Magazine. Healy was getting old and was easily manipulated by Guilfoyle.

 

John Kennedy – Chairman No 2

 

John Kennedy was the Committee’s “next in line” under their succession plan for Chairman. When Guilfoyle became aware of the plan by John Kennedy and the other three trustees of the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund to implement a skim operation for their own benefit, he knew that if it went ahead he would have an automatic hold on Kennedy. In the middle of July 2004 Kennedy set up a bogus “promotion” company (Super Promoters Pty Ltd) to skim .615% off the assets of the BSF each year and then appointed Equity Trustees as trustee. For good measure Guilfoyle then merged the City Tattersalls Club Super Fund into the BSF (giving Kennedy an automatic benefit at the expense of the staff who were in the fund).

 

In 2008 Kennedy’s bogus “promotion” company received $2 million from the fund but only spent $24,000 on Advertising and Promotion (a nice little earner).

 

The Member and Employer Representatives were never democratically elected and were always stooges from either senior management or the Club’s Committee. Guilfoyle still retains a representative position to this day. Super Promoters is currently being investigated by ASIC and APRA.

 

Six months into his reign as CEO, with Healy and Kennedy in his pocket, Guilfoyle had no problem taking $200,000 from the Club without the permission of the Committee. Guilfoyle used this $200,000 to set up a business venture (Springs Resorts) with one of the Club’s questionable consultants who has been paid in excess of $250,000 over the last few years (an obvious conflict of interest in itself).

 

When the $200,000 was brought to the attention of the Committee six years later (2010) it was covered up by Kennedy and current Chairman, Pat Campion. An investigation of this matter is currently under review by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.

 

Guilfoyle’s incompetence, corruption and bullying went unchallenged by Kennedy with evidence showing he even supported it. Time caught up with Kennedy. For the last six months of his Chairmanship he could not face his “life long” friends in the gym when they became aware of the super fund ripoff (some of them lost heavily). Kennedy did not stand for re-election in 2011 and has not been sighted in the Club since.

 

Pat Campion – Chairman No 3

 

Guilfoyle assessed Campion’s attitude on the Committee to be similar to most of the other Committee members. That is, accept without notice and without question whatever Guilfoyle put forward, put your hand up when required and sit down to a free lunch.

 

In 2007 Guilfoyle had to look at Campion differently. Kennedy was being groomed to take over from Healy as Chairman with Campion being endorsed as the next Vice Chairman. 2007 was a testing year for Guilfoyle. Too many members were becoming aware of his obvious mismanagement. He manouvered rule changes to take away members rights. He instigated a fear campaign about the impact of the non-smoking legislation to justify spending $7 million on the “Alfresco Gaming Hole” he proposed to put through the middle of the Club. He also had to convince members to approve the purchase of 194 Pitt Street for $9.25 million when the market value was no more than $6 million. Campion was a solicitor. What if he started to take his position seriously now that he was identified as a future Chairman? Guilfoyle was worried that Campion would learn that due diligence was either never carried out or ignored, because the building could never provide members what they were told to approve the purchase. The Club had bought a virtual derelict building that they would never be able to afford to refurbish.

 

At the same time as members were being asked to approve the purchase (Nov 2007) Guilfoyle organised for the Club to donate $80,000 to an arm of a charity that was chaired by Campion’s brother. Members were misled to to believe that this $80,000 went directly to St John Ambulance (who in 2007 had a turnover of $20m, a marketing expense of $4m and a profit of $8m – the same year CTC ran at a loss). It was never disclosed to members that the $80,000 was used to fund an eye clinic in Moree (the Campion family’s hometown) and it involved Campion’s brother.

 

Guilfoyle now had Campion well and truly on the hook. Campion was now a willing servant of Guilfoyle.

 

Campion failed to act when he became aware of the conflict of interest when Guilfoyle formed Springs Resorts with a consultant that has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Guilfoyle on behalf of the Club.

 

Campion failed to act when he became aware that Guilfoyle took $200,000 without the permission (or knowledge) of the then Committee in 2004.

 

Campion failed to act when he knew the $200,000 was a lump sum taken in 2004 and not the accumulation of travel and entertainment expenses that is being offset against accrued annual leave (the charade put up by Guilfoyle)

 

Campion was party to fabricated evidence in the Supreme Court action taken against the Club by a member.

 

Campion misled the recent AGM by informing members that there were no legal settlements in 2011.

 

Campion did not disclose to members the $200,000 taken by Guilfoyle and is implicated in the cover-up.

 

The danger for members is that Guilfoyle and Campion will fast-track the sale of the Club premises hoping that skeletons of corruption will get buried in the demolition.

 

The plan by Guilfoyle and Campion is to present themselves to members as “White Knights”, the saviours of the Club with a proposal – the Club has no alternative but sell out to developers and/or hoteliers. Ironic seeing that they were the main players in orchestrating the Club’s deliberate demise.

 

 

City Tatts Information Desk


All in the Timing

Guilfoyle and Campion are running out of time in their pursuit to sell off City Tattersalls Club

They are currently under investigation so they have to fasttrack the process. Their latest destruction strategy is to hold out on paying even the smallest creditors and not replace employees who continue to form a long line to leave the Club. They hope this will speed up the decline to justify that the sell-off is the only option for members.

These two destroyers will put a plan to members under the guise of “saving the club”. Campion continues to aid and abet Guilfoyle’s “questionable” irregularities by repeatedly covering them up and the $64m question is “will the expanded investigations into the Club, the Committee, Guilfoyle, Kennedy and Campion be finalised before they can put the sell-off to members?

“The biggest single threat to the survival of our Club is the activities of … Campion and Guilfoyle” – Pat Campion’s message to members (slightly modified by the Save City Tatts Committee to reflect the truth)

City Tatts Information Desk


Spare a thought for Mark Cooper !

City Tatts CEO Tony Guilfoyle has two “alibi’s-on-call” – Jan Ellks and Mark Cooper.

Although Cooper’s alibi duties might seem attractive, destinations like Hamilton Island and the Snowy Mountains, the reality is different.

When Cooper attends these Guilfoyle/Purdy getaways he is still required to bring along his computer and put in a 8 hour day. He is put under pressure by Guilfoyle to cover for him both recreationally and professionally. Cooper comes back from these trips needing a holiday himself!

Jan Ellk’s alibi duties, more often than not, only cover for Guilfoyle up until 9pm, although there have been some midnighters.

While Cooper is referred to by some staff as Guilfoyle’s “pet dog”, because of the ongoing bullying, it should be noted that even pets can turn on their masters under certain circumstances.

Every dog has his day, Mr Guilfoyle!

City Tatts Information Desk


Round Table (Re)Treat at Boonoona Ski Lodge !

It became obvious this week who wears the pants in the Guilfoyle/Campion relationship. After being directed by Campion to cancel the Melbourne jaunt because it was highlighted in the Herald article, Guilfoyle blatantly defied Campion and went on his own Round Table Retreat to Boonoona Ski Lodge for the past week (at the Club’s expense) so that he wasn’t deprived of the valuable time he had earmarked to spend with Tania Purdy.

To give this junket credibility Guilfoyle dragged along the Marketing Manager and the Financial Controller. By the way, the total salaries of these for absent employees is over $1 million per annum. (It should be remembered that Guilfoyle took Mark Cooper and The Hyphenator to Hamilton Island last year as his alibi for his holiday with Tania.)

How Campion tolerates this contempt is a mystery (one of many in City Tatts!) and again raises a number of questions. Over the last few weeks Campion has steadfastly defended Guilfoyle in a number of areas and this is how he is rewarded.

By failing to stand up to Guilfoyle, Campion is proving to be not only a disgrace to the Club but an embarassment to the memory of his late father John who was held in the highest regard by the Club and it’s members. 

Footnote

For those (valued?) staff members who are not up to speed with staff terminology, T1/T2, Ken and Barbie, Bill and Monica and TG/TP are one and the same (or should that be two and the same?)

City Tatts Information Desk


Unsolved Mysteries at the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund

After all the publicity in the papers there is still one thing that remains a mystery in the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund and that is the role of Keith Free.

Keith Free and the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund

For those of you who don’t know, Keith Free was the Treasurer of City Tatts for 19 years until he retired in 2009.

The more interesting fact is that he also ran the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund for a long time before it became a Public Offer fund in 2004. (The BSF office was located on the second floor of City Tattersalls Club.)

Then John Kennedy came along!

As the whole world now knows (as a result of coverage in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Financial Review) in 2004 there were big changes in the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund.

John Kennedy (Committee member, and later Chairman, of City Tatts) set up a company called Super Promoters Pty Ltd to get fees from the BSF. He did this, by the way, while he was a Trustee of the fund. This nifty little scheme eventually made $11 million for him, and the other three amigos, by the time they sold it to Diversa in 2009.

Here is the real mystery of the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund

Given the amount of money made from the scheme (at the expense of members) you would think that Keith Free must have had strong feelings about it, either for or against.

Since he built up the Bookmakers Superannuation over a long time you might expect him to be totally opposed to what Kennedy had done. But that is not the case:

  1. He obviously knew about the Super Promoters scheme and no member ever heard him say anything against it.
  2. He worked very closely with John Kennedy on the Committee of City Tattersalls Club especially when John Kennedy became Chairman.
  3. He was the Treasurer of City Tatts when the City Tattersalls Staff Super Fund was rolled into the Bookmakers Super Fund (which meant that every member of the City Tatts fund started to pay fees to Kennedy).
  4. He was an Employer Representative on the policy committee of the BSF after the Super Promoters scheme was set up.

So he certainly was not against the scheme.

But if he approved of it why did he not insist on his share of the profits?

City Tatts Information Desk


An Open Letter to Patrick Campion

Dear Sir,

In your recent correspondence sent to staff on Tuesday August 7 you refer to staff at City Tatts as Valued Staff Members.

Valued Staff Members?

These are the same valued staff members who don’t get a regular roster until a couple of days before the shifts are to start. This is despite repeated requests for rosters to be passed to staff in advance on many, many occasions.

These are the same valued staff members that you and your executive team headed by Guilfoyle thanked last Christmas for an entire years work with a tiny cup cake (which staff had to sign for).

These are the same valued staff members who were not paid public holiday rates, as award requirements dictate, during public holidays over Christmas last year and early this year.

The same valued staff members who only got paid their public holiday rates when they complained about not being paid.

The same valued staff members who don’t receive any overtime, even when colleagues are sick or indisposed.

The same valued staff members who are expected to work full shifts with no support often on their own when fellow staff do not show up for shifts.

The same valued staff members who thought you looked like a rabbit trapped in a spotlight when delivering you spiel about the recent newspaper articles.

The same valued staff members who don’t believe a word you say!

Signed

The Valued Staff Members Group, City Tattersalls Club


City Tatts are saving costs !!

First there was the cancelled holiday to Melbourne for the committee, executive staff, Ms Purdy and Mr Guilfoyle (that Guilfoyle-Purdy has a ring to it, doesn’t it?). Then there was the stripping back of poker machine staff. 

In a business that has declining membership revenue and massive losses in all restaurants, that is wholly and solely dependent on gaming revenue, what do they do?  Cut back on poker machine technicians of course !

Now if you are unsure what the issue is here, a poker machine technician is the person who ensures that poker machines are working to full capacity. They are what a motor mechanic is to a car dealership or what a pastry chef is to a bakery. They are as important as the battery in a battery operated torch or the gas in a gas lamp.

Now that we have painted the picture we can advise that Guilfoyle has cut back on technician hours. It is not clear whether he was advised to do so or decided on this foolhardy initiative on his own.

Come to think of it, he must have decided on this himself because it fits in with every other foolish idea he has come up with while he has held office at City Tatts.

Consider the facts:

  • Pokies deliver in excess of $20,000,000 revenue yearly to City Tatts club.
  • Technicians work for average wages and keep the machines working at all times the Club is open.
  • Guilfoyle delivers nothing except heartache and bad decisions while receiving in excess of $500,000 in wages.

The Solution

  • Replace Guilfoyle with two technicians and a CEO on a wage more in keeping with a fair wage for managing a registered club. For this swap City Tatts would ensure their only “cash cow” was working to maximum capacity and better decisions would be made, not to mention less staff turnover, improved staff morale, happier members and a club not for sale! All this for $250,000, representing a saving of over $300,000!

Sounds like a good idea to us – and we are sure it will sound like a good idea to most.

City Tatts Information Desk