Guilfoyle’s Record – Expense Looting (4)

Marketing and promotion was a black hole for spending under Tony Guilfoyle.

He spent about $2 million every year on this.

Most of this was a total waste. To take an obvious example, the money spent on radio advertising was just a donation to the owners of the radio station. The club gained absolutely nothing from it.

Even the wages in this department were a hefty expense. There were 5 people there which would have been a wage bill of $400,000 a year. If you got rid of the three highest paid the two remaining would probably have done a better job. That’s because it was usually the latest, more grandiose, promotion that flopped. After each failure they would then fall back on something that had always worked in the past, at City Tatts and every other club in New South Wales.

Just getting rid of the top three would leave you with an extra, say, $250,000 that you could then give directly to members. An extra $5,000 every week to members for 12 years would have done more for the club than all the radio advertising under Guilfoyle.

So how much was lost in this black hole?

A very conservative estimate of the amount spent under the guise of “marketing and promotion” over 12 years, with absolutely nothing to show for it, would be $10 million.

City Tatts Information Desk


Guilfoyle’s Record – Expense Looting (3)

Based on his 12 years as CEO, members have estimated Guilfoyle’s priorities when it came to spending the Club’s money. This is what they came up with:

  1. Guilfoyle’s salary and perks
  2. Salaries and perks to a small number of employees in the club essential for protecting Guilfoyle’s position. These would include people like Mark Cooper (for covering up the rorts) and Jan Ellks (for covering up Guilfoyle’s absences from the club)
  3. Payments to firms or people outside the club essential for protecting Guilfoyle’s position. Examples would be Bartier Perry, KPMG and RSM Bird Cameron.
  4. Salaries and benefits to “special” employees with no obvious skills but earmarked for rapid promotion, such as Tania Purdy and later Kirsty Assad.
  5. Useless image spending on employees and activities that brought no benefit to the club but gave the impression that Guilfoyle had “new ideas” or “new vision” etc. These would include bringing in new overpaid employees like “marketing manager” Michelle Abbey and “executive chef” Trevelyan Bale, both dismal failures at salaries over $200,000 each. It would also include, obviously, the fortune spent on radio advertising over 12 years, all a total waste.
  6. Perks and benefits for the Committee such as free food, free parking and holiday weekends away.
  7. Spending on the Men’s Gym, mainly to keep the committee happy
  8. Useless value-destroying building projects such as the repeated botched changes to the Club’s entrance.
  9. Members

City Tatts Information Desk

Guilfoyle’s Record – Expense Looting (2)

Before we get on to examining some specific expenses (rorts) in detail, a general observation is warranted.

At Guilfoyle’s City Tatts, truth was stranger than fiction. No better example could be found than the approach to spending money for the benefit of members.

In a normal club you would do this by spending the money in ways that directly benefited members in the form of door prizes, or free drinks and snacks, or vouchers to use in the club, or subsidised meals, or entertainment.

But at Guilfoyle’s City Tatts a bizarre practice sprang up where a scheme that started out allegedly to benefit members would end up giving more money to an employee (like an “executive” chef or “marketing manager”), or a “consultant”, or a radio station, or a resort in the Blue Mountains. In other words, anyone other than members.

Actually Guilfoyle seemed happier spending $100,000 on any of these than spending $10,000 on members.

Next time, we will set out the priority system Guilfoyle used when it came to spending money.

City Tatts Information Desk

Guilfoyle’s Record – Expense Looting (1)

Make no mistake, expenses drained City Tattersalls Club under Tony Guilfoyle.

City Tatts was, and is, a very profitable business making $20 million a year from poker machines. And yet, at the end of every year Guilfoyle would struggle to show a profit of half a million, or maybe just break even, or sometimes show a loss.

How was this possible?

Insane expenses.

And the key word is insane.

City Tatts is a story of a very profitable business brought to it’s knees by ridiculous expenses.

How bad was it?

Any club with poker machine profits of $20 million should make a net profit of $3 or $4 million easily. This is not a “good” result or a sign of “good management”. This is the minimum you would expect using basic common sense to run the club.

All keen observers of City Tatts always knew this. But Guilfoyle also unwittingly revealed this himself. In one of his Airspace Development presentations he revealed that the poker machine department made a net profit of $9.8 million after all expenses. (Amazing what you find out when someone is desperate to do a property development)

This is conclusive proof that you should easily end up with a net profit of about $4 million.

Just think about it, you could waste $6 million running the rest of the club and still have $4 million left over.

So let’s be clear, the idea of City Tatts struggling to make a profit is an absurdity.

City Tatts Information Desk

We’d love to see Bineham in the Supreme Court!

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the Johny Bineham matter goes to the Supreme Court?

Just think what that would mean.

If Bineham goes to the Supreme Court every part of Tony Guilfoyle’s insane mismanagement at City Tatts will be on public display.

And Patrick Campion will have to defend it!

And also explain his own role in the Club’s spiteful campaign against a Korean War veteran!

Then at the same time, Campion will also be appearing at the Land and Environment Court – to defend Guilfoyle’s corrupt and stupid property development!

And people complain that the Committee don’t provide enough entertainment?

Bring it on, Bino!

City Tatts Information Desk

Johny Bineham – Back in the club?

Johny Bineham was sighted in the club on Monday. He was there for another hearing with the Committee.

As you know, right from the start we were convinced the Committee had decided that Bineham would never get back into the club. Which means that the arbitration concocted by Guilfoyle was an obvious farce, simply part of the plan to keep Bineham out permanently.

But with Guilfoyle gone the sentiment among the Committee has changed.

First, it was always Guilfoyle who was determined to keep Bineham out. Well, Guilfoyle was the one with most to lose from Bineham’s book. The truth is that half of the Committee don’t care that much, one way or the other, about Bineham.

Also, as you might expect, there has been a subtle attempt by some of the Committee to distance themselves from anything to do with Guilfoyle. So now they are not as keen to be seen still supporting one of his schemes.

But there is a bigger problem with the Bineham case, which some of the Committee must have realised.

The Committee expelled Bineham mainly for what he wrote about Guilfoyle’s mismanagement. But now they have sacked Guilfoyle (and Kirsty Assad). This means they have eventually come around to agreeing with what Bineham said two years ago. So if they continue to spend members money to keep Bineham out, how do they later justify this to members, or newspapers, or in court?

And make no mistake, they have spent serious money on Bineham.

It is generally accepted that they have spent at least $100,000 already. One legal expert says it is more like $200,000. That is an amazing figure, but then amazing figures at City Tatts usually turn out to be right. Just think of the amount given to Jan Ellks, or spent on radio advertising, or motorised mannequins etc etc.

But, for whatever reason, it is clear that the Committee are getting very nervous about the whole Bineham matter.

City Tatts Information Desk

Guilfoyle’s Record – Millions lost on building works (3)

Tony Guilfoyle’s perpetual building program was a complete flop.

But it could have been worse.

Sometimes it was pure luck that the Club avoided another million dollar building disaster.

One of Guilfoyle’s really stupid ideas was to build an atrium through the club from the 1st to the 3rd floor.

Even by his standards, this was exceptionally stupid. This was a $7 million project that would have reduced the Club’s floor space.

He claimed it was needed to comply with anti-smoking legislation.

But within a year it was quietly dropped. When asked why, his answer was that it was no longer necessary because they had bought 194 Pitt Street.

This answer made no sense.

If the small amount of additional street frontage that 194 Pitt Street provided was the answer to smoking legislation, then the much larger street frontage the Club already had with 196-204 Pitt Street would have been a better answer.

And sure enough, he eventually proved this a few years later with the open window slat/ventilation system using the street frontage the Club always had, which is still there today.

But the idiotic atrium idea was useful to members in one way.

It proved conclusively that Guilfoyle had no plan whatsoever when it came to building works.

City Tatts Information Desk