Magpies president Ben Campbell thinks about the task ahead as he attempts to lead the club through its financial crisis.
Magpies president Ben Campbell thinks about the task ahead as he attempts to lead the club through its financial crisis.

Who else is owed money?

A PUBLIC notice in today’s Daily Examiner is calling for any organisation or person who is owed money by the Lower Clarence Magpies to send the details to the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.

With known debts of about $110,000, the Magpies are in the midst of a financial crisis and NRRRL secretary Doug Harrison wants to ensure figures the club has provided are accurate.

“We want to make sure there are no other sleeping giants (creditors) out there,” Harrison said.

Clearly not happy with the Magpies’ predicament, Harrison said the Country Rugby League was going to crack down on ‘renegade’ clubs this year by penalising those that did not supply official bank balances to the governing body every quarter. The Magpies, he said, did not comply in 2009.

“Competition points will be deducted,” he said.

“That’s how serious it is.”

Harrison, who attended last week’s crisis meeting at the Maclean Showground, said there was demonstrated support for the club and he was confident the Magpies would stay afloat.

“It’s the old story – they’ve bought a competition, haven’t they?” he said, implying it was expensive marquee players employed by the 2009 committee that have brought the club to its knees.

Newly appointed Magpies president Ben Campbell said he still wasn’t sure how much money players had been paid last year.

Admitting the club, like many others on the North Coast, had paid their players cash for playing in the past, Campbell said he would propose all player payments be made through bank transfer in future to ensure accountability.

He said another strategy for keeping a closer eye on the cash was to do weekly stocktake audits of the canteen and bars to prevent any possible pilfering.

Campbell did not accuse anyone of stealing money but said he was aware the club, like many others, had been the victim of canteen cash theft in the past.

Campbell said $34,000 of the estimated $110, 000 debt was borrowed from the club’s own junior league trust and had virtually been written off, leaving a more accurate debt to creditors of $76,000.

Fully aware he was in a very hot seat at the moment, Campbell said he looked forward to working through the club’s financial woes, starting at next Monday night’s emergency public meeting at the Maclean Bowling Club.



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