Let’s continue our look at Patrick Campion’s “Report on Annual Planning Conference” by turning to what he said about the proposed development of the “airspace” above the Club.
But before we examine what Campion told members, it is important to be clear on one thing – there is no need for any development ! This whole development is just a ploy by the Committee to distract members from the obvious mismanagement of the Club. City Tatts already has everything it needs to be a successful club. It owns a large building in a fabulous location. It has 400 poker machines generating profits of $20 million a year. It has thousands of members. It has a tradition built up over a hundred years and has survived through war, panics and recessions. It is only the chronic mismanagement since 2004 that has brought the Club to it’s knees. What City Tatts really needs is new management.
According to Campion, the early indications of the development “have all been positive” and they are proceeding with “a more detailed enquiry of the Sydney City Council”. But the really interesting thing is that these further investigations are “without cost to the Club”. Really? This raises a number of questions:
- Is it only the later, more detailed, enquiry that is “without cost to the Club”? If that is the case then the statement is meaningless – because the Club could pay any amount and claim it was for the earlier investigations.
- But the more important issue is that we have checked this with sources in the property industry and they all say that Colliers and Georgesons Associates do not operate like that ! Our property sources say that any meaningful proposal to Sydney City Council would cost at least $50,000. Now just consider the case of Georgesons. This small firm has received $800,000 in fees from City Tatts in the past eight years. (That is not a misprint – they really have received that much in fees alone.) Is it really possible that Georgesons are now working for free? This seems very unlikely. Either they are been paid now or there is some arrangement to pay them later.
As for the proposed meeting “to fully appraise” members of the project, this is coming from a man who kept the whole thing a secret from members until the Sydney Morning Herald exposed it.
Overall, we predict that much of what Campion has told members about this development will eventually be exposed as misleading or dishonest.
City Tatts Information Desk
Let’s have a closer look at Patrick Campion’s “Report on Annual Planning Conference”.
All informed members know that this so-called “conference” was just a sham. And the topics mentioned in his “report” prove it. Every one of these matters could have been discussed at a normal Committee meeting. In fact, if you believe what Campion has been telling members for over a year now, they are. So why was there any need for a special conference?
The next thing that jumps out is that no real action was taken on anything. Even with this special three-day “conference” the outcome on most issues was to refer them to management or outside consultants for another look. This, of course, is similar to the normal Committee meetings. The Committee has regular meetings, often lasting for four hours, and yet every major problem in the Club persists, or gets worse, because the Committee never actually tackles anything.
But the really striking thing about the Campion account is that there is nothing in it about members. There is nothing about entertainment, nothing about Subsidiary Clubs like the Dance Club, in fact nothing about the very things that make City Tatts a members club. Instead there is this attempt to pretend that they are business people running a business. But all long standing members know that it is as a business that City Tatts has failed most since 2004 under Tony Guilfoyle.
Just examine City Tatts since 2004 as if it was a business and this is what you will find:
- Eight years of declining membership
- Trading in every department in decline
- Overheads out of control
- Disgruntled employees
- Every major capital project a failure
No, the present management are not capable of running a business. If they were running a real business it would have gone under by now. It is only the annual profit of $20 million from poker machines that has permitted the chronic mismanagement to continue this long. But even the pokies profit could not shield the Club from waste and mismanagement forever.
City Tatts Information Desk
We have just read Patrick Campion’s “Report on Annual Planning Conference” which appeared on the Club’s website last week and is also available at the front desk.
It is in a similar vein to most of Campion’s communications to members. Overall, it is hilarious to read, and completely useless to anyone who actually wanted to know what is going on in the Club. In fact, useless might be too kind a word. We predict that much of the content will be eventually exposed as misleading or dishonest.
Anyway, lets start with the funny stuff.
“A long standing and well intentioned member …” !!
You don’t have to wait long for a laugh when Campion writes – the first sentence is hilarious. He starts off with “A long standing and well intentioned member suggested that the Committee might provide a report to members …”. Why did he feel it necessary to use this over the top introduction? Regular contributors to this forum had a few observations to make on this opening line.
Firstly, there is only one reason why Campion decided to “report to members” and that is the recent publicity on the internet (including this forum), and in the Sydney Morning Herald, about these so-called “Annual Planning Conferences”. These useless “conferences” have been going on for eight years and no one on the Committee felt any need to “report to members” before now.
As for “well intentioned” this must be CampionSpeak for one of the Committee’s cronies who have their head in the sand about the obvious decline of the Club. In other words, someone who will not bring Campion to account (as opposed to members of this forum who clearly do know the real state of the Club).
You also have to laugh when Campion pretends that he wants to keep members informed. Just consider some of the mismanagement that has been revealed about City Tatts in the past year:
- Staggering losses in the Club’s restaurants
- Insane salaries to a few favoured employees
- Obscene waste of members’ money on legal fees
- Unauthorised loans to employees
- Unpaid suppliers refusing to deal with the Club
None of the above were ever deemed important enough by Campion to “report to members”. The reality is that they were all revealed through member questions, internet blogs and disclosures required by law.
But the funniest thing about this “conference” is that it was held at all. This “conference” was always intended to be just a weekend away in Melbourne for the Committee and management. It was only the public scrutiny, especially in the Sydney Morning Herald, about the cost of this year’s trip while the Club was in dire straits, that caused it to be cancelled. But if they decided to cancel it completely it would be exposed for the junket it always was. So they had to go through the motions of having it anyway in City Tatts !
City Tatts Information Desk