Special General Meeting – April 2021
Office Bearers 2020/2021 Season
Patron: Barry Judd
President: Kevin Taylor
Life Members: E Simpson, R Moore, R Seaton, R Montgomery, T Dewar, G Clark,
R Flint, T Henshaw, M Reinholds, K Todd, B Judd, M Clark, D Simmonds, T Napier, C Nicholson, A Parkinson, E Molesworth, D Reid, P Chad, A Shephard, D Mayall, E Osbourne.
Board of Directors 2020/2021 Season
Chairperson Andrew Gale
Senior Cricket Manager Oneash Labrooy
Club Development Director SNR-Formal Shaf Asif
Finance Director Manuel Seidel
Junior Coaching Director Nick Carey
Junior Development Director Nathan Koppens
Female Coordinator Kunwar Dev
Club Manager Juan Le Maitre
MINUTES OF THE BIRKENHEAD CITY CRICKET CLUB
EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING
At: Birkenhead War Memorial Park,
Mahara Avenue, Birkenhead
Date: 17 APRIL 2021
Time: 19:30 pm
- Motion to sell half of the club rooms to the Northcote Tigers.
- Questions from the floor.
- Motion not to sell yet but to revise.
James O’Brien, Terry McEwen, Craig Dyson, Jonty Woodhead.
Kevin Taylor welcomes everyone present and mentions that electronic notices were sent out to all members at least 7 days prior to the meeting. Kevin also asked that the apologies be accepted and for the meeting to move forward.
He handed the floor to Andrew Gale.
Motion for sale of 50% of the club rooms to the Tigers Rugby league club
- Andrew Gale Chairperson
Andrew thanked the life members for their contributions to the club over the years and for the effort put in over a long time. He mentioned that through their hard work and determination over the years BCCC is now in a strong position as a club and is privileged to have a building and to negotiate this deal with.
Andrew then presented the “Motion of Sale” that would see the Tigers pay a sum of $181,000 in cash and a further $50,000 that would be donated by the Auckland Rugby League. The donated sum would be spent on the upgrading of the clubrooms in a 50/50 split between the two parties and that for this the Tigers would be equal partners in a third entity to own the club rooms. The presentation proposed that a third party or entity, potentially a trust would own and take responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the building. This third entity would also take over the liquor license and Council land lease. (A copy of the Motion can be supplied if needed) He then asked the floor for feedback and questions.
Questions and feedback from the floor
Javeed Ali asked what the clubs feeling was about gaming grants going forward and whether the funds would continue, increase or decrease.
Andrew answered that nobody can ever be 100% sure about what funds will be available and that there are also other avenues for funding but that the club doesn’t have the time to go find these and that this will be something that the third party or trust would be tasked with together with extra fund raising.
Terry Henshaw (built the club rooms and is a life Member), Peter Lingfield (ex-Chair and Life Member), David Reid (longest standing member and Life Member), Rodger Seaton (Life Member and Tigers member) and Roger Montgomery (Life Member) all felt strongly that they needed more information on how the Trust would work, who would be on that board and what the exit strategy would be. They were not entirely against the motion but felt that, having Commercial property sales experience between them, the Board underestimates the value of the building. They also raised concerns about other clubs raising huge sums of money and that they would be happy to get involved in these initiatives if asked. To them it seemed that the Club rooms were being given away. They also explained to the floor that the Tigers were notorious for mismanagement and that there had been previous incidents as in the case with Highbury where one party was doing well and the other not and that it all ended badly. They also wanted to know if the Trust would be paid rent by the Tigers and BCCC and how it would be managed if they wanted to increase this significantly. They finished by asking what would happen if the trust or third party could no longer perform its duties.
David Reid (Life Member) and Roger Montgomery (Life Member) mentioned that they know a club is not only about a building and that from what they have seen with Friday Night Cricket and the general feeling at the club is that BCCC is in a healthy space and wanted to know how secure the current board felt about the future of the club without this cash injection via a merger. Roger suggested that a Company be formed rather than a Trust to take ownership of the building if the Motion was excepted and that he though a Trust was the riskier option. He also mentioned that the Club worked hard to get a Council lease for the land and that the Board should be weary to not just give that and the liquor license away too cheaply. David finished by saying that he would just feel so much better about the whole merger if it was a 49% – 51% split giving BCCC ultimate control.
A few of these Life Members did raise concern about the fact that the Tigers had more wall space for memorabilia and that the history of the club was not reflected enough throughout the club rooms.
Andrew understood all the concerns tabled and explained that the motion could not explain how the Trust would work at this meeting as this was merely to ascertain if BCCC’s members wanted to go down this path. He explained that the Land was the property of the Council and that the building was actually only worth as much as someone would buy it for. He said that unfortunately club bars don’t bring in as much revenue as it used to and that keeping Cricket going while looking after the building was becoming more difficult. Andrew then explained how the Board got to the $181,000 and that he felt this sum was in fact fair. Andrew also said that the plan would be to have a fair and transparent partnership agreement in place with regards to the governance of the third entity and that there were a few really strong examples of how a Trust can work really well. He then said that the Council has given their input and they are for the Trust being formed and that they would share their insights on how others have done it successfully. Andrew commented that passing the responsibility of the upkeep and maintenance of the building on would help free BCCC up to better deliver Cricket to the community and see the club rooms improve dramatically.
Shaf Asif mentioned that he had some commercial property experience and felt that the value of the building was correctly calculated by using an old evaluation amount and adding a depreciation factor per year.
Ralph Moore (Life Member) then asked if BCCC had the rights to sell 50% of the building as he was concerned about the changing of Council agreements from North Shore to Auckland Council and wanted the floor to know that this Motion has been tried a few times before and that the Tigers always pulled out at the last minute.
Andrew answered that the new lease, which now has 9 years left, covers and allows BCCC to go ahead with the sale if the Motion was accepted. He also felt that having Cricket, Rugby and Athletics potentially join under one umbrella would give us a much stronger voice not only with the Councill but also when it comes to funding and grants.
Manuel Seidel then wanted to know what the Tigers needed done to the building to make it their home and to justify them not just staying on as they are currently.
Andrew replied and said that for the Tigers the most important thing was to have the shower block upgraded and that they needed a home, a place that they felt that they owned and could have a say in what happens.
Some individuals asked that the board redo the Motion with more details on how the third party would work and how it would be structured.
Others felt that if BCCC left it again, and did not act fast, they could lose out on this opportunity and that it might not come around soon again.
Andrew said that he felt the time was right and that the floor should remember that we will have a significant say if this Trust/Company and will therefore still have a huge part of the control.
Simon Rajwer (current Premier player) asked what the time frame was with the previous plans to the redevelopment of the BWMP and the area.
Melanie Kenrick (Kaipatiki Local Board) answered that with the arrival of Covid all funding was pulled and explained how it affected all areas. She did mention that even though the project is not going ahead at this stage, there are still some funds allocated for alterations but that it’s not as easy as it would have been before the Virus. She ended by saying that she thinks the Tigers have been at WMP for long enough to now call it home.
Barry Judd (Life Member) said that he was happy in principle with what the club was trying to do but that $500 000 sounded a lot more than he would be happy to settle with. He also mentioned that the Board should tap into the older members that want to contribute to the club.
Elliott Molesworth (Life Member) wanted those opposed to the Motion to understand that a Cricket club was not about the building and that the players made BCCC a special place.
Unknown member spoke about his role within the Council and that there are numerous clubs that have lost their buildings as the Council took back the land and that he felt that as a group of three Sporting codes it would be a lot harder for the Council to do so here. He said that while this deal is on the table BCCC should act fast while it is possible and take it.
Nic Carey wanted to know if the club could survive without the Tigers paying rent and what kind of guarantee BCCC would have with regards to the Trust and its survival.
Andrew and Oneash answered that BCCC would be directly linked to the Trust as we will have nominated members serving on that Governing body and that there is really no guarantee, just as we don’t have any guarantees that after or before the 9-year lease is up the Council may take back the land or declares the building unsafe as we saw with the grandstand’s demolition. Oneash also mentioned that if the Tigers left it would make it harder to keep things going.
Damian Hagoort felt that the Motion should have had more financial information on the BCCC’s current affairs as well as the workings of the proposed Trust. He asked that if the Motion was accepted that spending approval policies be put in place to ensure that the money does not go to waste. He also asked if the constitution had to be changed for the deal to be done.
Andrew answered that an AGM was all that was needed and reiterated that this meeting was only to get things moving towards the deal and that once this was done the finer details would be discussed, decided and communicated.
- Kevin Taylor – President
Kevin asked for a seconder of the Motion and Oneash Labrooy did so. Kevin then asked if the floor was ready to vote for this Motion.
Motion not to sell yet and to look at a new proposal
Terry Henshaw and Robert Montgomery took some time to propose an amendment to the Motion:
‘That a sub-committee be formed of 4 people, from BCCC members and invited experts, which is appointed by the BCCC board to provide a vision and strategy report for BCCC cricket facilities for the next 10 years.
The report shall investigate the option of selling shares in the clubrooms to Northcote Tigers and other options. The report shall address the feasibility of the desirable future facilities for BCCC; The Northcote Tigers and other relevant sports users of Birkenhead War Memorial Park. The report shall be completed and presented to BCCC member at an EGM before the 20th of November, 2021.’
Paul Rainey spoke about the club being in a new era and that a building does not make a club and that the players do. He finished by saying that sub committees seldom work and that the club is already far into a 10-year plan with this deal and that the time to act is now. A show of hands was determined as appropriate for voting on the amendment. The majority of people voted against accepting the amendment. With no other amendments proposed, there was a ballot vote on the original motion:
‘That BCCC should accept the offer to transfer ownership of their clubrooms to a third entity, upon receipt of $181,000, net in cash, and $50,000 having been spent on clubroom maintenance.’
The Motion was passed with a total of 32 votes for the motion and 13 against. The motion was passed.
Kevin Taylor then thanked everyone for their input and declared the meeting as over.