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Tinkler Calls For "Immediate" AJC-STC Merger

Friday, 26th June 2009

Patinack Farm chairman Nathan Tinkler also released "an open letter to the NSW racing industry" which noted he "welcomed the findings of the Ernst & Young report" which "has highlighted an outdated & unsustainable club governance structure, which is leading both the AJC & STC to financial ruin." Tinkler declared: "I applaud the Minister (NSW Racing Minister Kevin Greene) for having the foresight & vision to commission the report . . . . . Constructive commercial debate over the next month should now shift to how the merger is immediately implemented. With strong leadership this much needed restructure of racing in NSW should begin in the near term & take no longer than 6-9 months to complete . . . . . Whilst the synergies of a merger are now apparent, hard decisions must now be made. I call on the Minister to capitalise on the much needed work he has undertaken to date & take decisive steps to implement a strategy immediately which will deliver a stronger & sustainable platform for the growth of racing in NSW for participants new & old." Tinkler added: "As racing club members & participants, we all need to dispense with the emotion of club membership & unite to support a stronger & more sustainable product, which will deliver entertainment to the racing industry for many years to come. The core of the racing industry is pure entertainment & I call on all racing enthusiasts to address racing as such. Enough with the impassioned testimony from committees & members holding onto emotional debates. Our much-loved industry is dying & we all now have the chance to support a new commercial model, which can secure its future. Business today is very different from what it was even a year ago, given the impact of the financial crisis; yet our current racing club governance structure has not changed in a lifetime. The reality is, a merger is imminent & for it to be successful it needs to be looked at as a marriage, not a merger.  It is not relevant (now or in the future) to discuss who owns what: partner up & succeed together, or die alone. Punters & racing enthusiasts go to the races to be entertained in the sport of their choice; do they really concern themselves with who puts the event on? They just want to see a great spectacle. The numbers at our racetracks say that hasn't happened regularly for many years. It is time for change."

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