Magpies? bold new concept


A BOLD concept involving the formation of a new sports management, promotional and fund company was proposed to members of the Lower Clarence Magpies at yesterday's annual general meeting.

While still in its embryonic stages, the new company ? Clarence Valley Sports Management ?with Lower Clarence president Gary Anderson, first grade captain-coach Jason Hebbard and ken Mercy likely to be heavily involved, the entrepreneurial company has the potential to generate large additional funds back to the football club.

It will be a self income generating entity that will pay it's executive a fee, yet to be agreed upon, for raising funds and work in its other activities.

The new company, a futuristic follow on from the successful Magpie Pilot Project, will be charged with increasing the profile of rugby league, not only in the Lower Clarence, but throughout the Valley and act as a promotional, management, consultative and fund-raising arm for the football club.

Anderson told the AGM he believed the new management structure would considerably enhance the chances of not only survival in the immediate future but prosperity, by implementing a more professional business approach to running a football club in the modern era.

A lengthy motion to accept the new proposal was deferred until the committee agreed on a fee structure, considered possible conflicts of interest and other relevant matters.

Around 25 people attended the 2-hour AGM at the Maclean Hotel including several players which pleased Anderson.

Anderson was returned as president, Barry Johnson, the new vice president, Pat Battersby treasurer and Jeff Jones as secretary. Thirteen members were elected to the committee.

"It was a daunting season, very difficult at stages," Anderson said in his president's report.

While praising the efforts of debutant first grade captain-coach Hebbard as exemplary, he admitted the first grade team had 'under achieved'.

He added it was a 'unique season' where the club was low on local players, a bone of contention for many supporters.

The club had initially budgeted to be involved in a 10-team Group One competition.

"We were then in a new comp with 14 teams. We couldn't re negotiate with the players we just had to wear the additional expenses," Anderson said of a blow out in player fees.

He told the AGM there were 'problems' in reserve grade, coaching and forfeits, which he believed had helped impact on takings through the gate and contributed to the club's overall loss.

"It was a rocky road but in saying that our Under-18s did us proud," Anderson said.

The Magpies audited financial statement was not available but treasurer Battersby produced a profit and loss statement which showed the club had an operating loss of $13,802, much of which can be attributed to additional player payments and downturn on gate revenue from last year.

While all business creditors had been paid, including loan payments on long term inherited liabilities, monies are still owed to 2005 players which Anderson said would be settled by mid-December.

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