MEMO to the under siege and under-performing BOARD of the BRISBANE RACING CLUB:

FROM industry stakeholders and the racing public in QUEENSLAND: When you start treating people like PETER TIGHE, the owner of WINX and his family like second rate citizens, it’s time to give it away.

If the Board are so desperate to hold their positions that they produce some ridiculous excuse for refusing new memberships then those who vote the current directors back when it comes time for their re-election deserve what they get.

There are strong stories doing the rounds that Mr Tighe, former RQ and BRC chairman Kevin Dixon and several other prominent racing identities are keen to form a ticket to challenge at the next AGM.

Surely word of this has not reached the BRC bunker and immediate steps have been taken to circle the wagons and protect the jobs of those who have arguably not being doing them to the satisfaction of the racing public let alone a lot of disenchanted members especially when it comes to the redevelopment of the new Eagle Farm track which has been a total disaster not to mention a national embarrassment.

In a story in The Courier-Mail, Mr Tighe has taken aim at the BRC Board over its unusual decisions to defend new memberships.

According to the report by Racing Editor Nathan Exelby, who reportedly is off-side with the BRC because he has dared to criticize in more recent times, Mr Tighe paid memberships for himself and seven members of his family this month, but asked for a refund last week after learning new memberships had been suspended, despite earlier assurances they had been successful.

BRC chairman Neville Bell told Exelby the move was designed to help existing members because they were “only getting half the meetings they should”.

“It’s only a temporary suspension of new memberships and as soon as we have some clarity from Racing Queensland on a timeline for Eagle Farm, we will be in a position to make some decisions for members,” Bell said.

In an email to the club last week, Tighe described the explanation as “a lame excuse”. That opinion is shared by the majority of the racing industry who has had an absolute gutful of the way Bell, his CEO David Whimpey and until recently Racing Queensland have handled the entire Eagle Farm track fiasco.

Then again perhaps the reason for the RQ reluctance rests with a story doing the rounds that they were paid $250,000 as Project Managers for the rebuild of the track. We are not saying that is correct but believe the industry deserves confirmation or otherwise of whether that rumour is true.

Story goes that the Labor Government has issued an instruction to RQ and the BRC that this is not to be spoken about publicly obviously as it could prove embarrassing leading up to an election. They would rather pump up prizemoney increases which, by the way, only return Queensland to the level it was before they reduced stakes allegedly because of the financial deficit the industry was left with when the Kevin Dixon Board was sacked in the wake of the greyhound live baiting disaster. In reality Queensland is still a furlong behind New South Wales and Victoria in all things racing, especially prizemoney.

Mr Tighe went on to tell the Courier-Mail: “It seems pretty obvious to me the decision to suspend new membership applications has nothing to do with the racing program, but is more an attempt to avoid the potential for concerned people (such as me) to seek to challenge the BRC board’s decision.

“At a time when racing at the Brisbane Racing Club is at the lowest level possible, through poor management ­decisions and an out-of-touch board, one would have imagined this club would be looking to sign up as many new members as possible during this period of declining membership numbers.”

Tighe is an ex-board member of the BRC and fell out with Bell in the wake of an unsuccessful campaign to overthrow a board member in 2014.

Tighe and fellow board member Paul Williams resigned a number of months later, citing their relationship with other Board members as untenable and later let their memberships lapse.

Rumours of a planned “coup” to overthrow the BRC board surfaced last week, but Bell dismissed the suggestion the membership freeze was related to that in any way.

“If people genuinely had the interests of the club at heart, they would already be a member and quite welcome to stand for the board if they are unhappy with the incumbents,” he said.

“We’re doing so many great things here, it’s a shame somebody who resigned as a director sees fit to try and diminish that.”

Since leaving the board, Tighe has risen to national prominence through the deeds of Winx and has been vocal in his opinion of the board’s management of the BRC.

“With all of the debacles that have taken place at the club over the last 12 months, the BRC board’s only defence has been to blame everyone else,” he said. “Not once have they accepted responsibility for their poor decision-making.”


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