Tennis club accused of mismanaging funds


Ric Nicholas, former president of the Blue Gum Squash Club, has levelled accusations of mismanaged funds against the tennis club. Picture: Jon Hewson        www.communitypix.com.au   d449957
Ric Nicholas, former president of the Blue Gum Squash Club, has levelled accusations of mismanaged funds against the tennis club. Picture: Jon Hewson        www.communitypix.com.au d449957

Mr Nicholas was president of the Blue Gum Squash Club from 2007 to 2015. He believes the Blue Gum Park Tennis Club, which holds the lease for the entire centre, has severely neglected the squash facilities in that time.

He claims the tennis club has used centre funds – including income from the use of squash facilities – for numerous upgrades of the tennis courts and clubhouse over the last decade.

“The lease between the tennis club and the City of Melville means they are in control of running both the squash and tennis facilities,” he said.

“It’s been obvious for ages that the tennis club has been using income obtained through squash to help pay for extensive upgrades and refurbishments of the tennis facilities and to bolster their bank account.”

Mr Nicholas said it was all about the money.

“The squash facilities bring in a significant amount of money that the tennis club does not want to relinquish,” he said.

“I have, from the tennis club president Pauline Foster, the findings of their squash sub-committee’s review which clearly states the net revenue generated through the squash facilities averages out to about $50,000 a year for the past 10 years.

“In the past six years we’ve watched the tennis club upgrade some of its grass courts to synthetic surfaces and completely replace all surrounds and gardens. They also built a green-keeper’s shed for close to $45,000.

“All the while the 35-year-old squash facilities have not been touched, and at times even the bare minimum maintenance of the courts has been neglected.

“The only significant maintenance in the past five years came as the result of the Melville council’s asbestos removal policy which saw the roof and ceiling replaced but that was not paid for by the tennis club.”

Mr Nicholas said no one from the squash club had been allowed on to the tennis club’s squash sub-committee for at least the past 10 years.

“The tennis club has been completely disinterested in engaging with the squash club for years but is holding on to the squash facilities because of the income they generate,” he said.

The Blue Gum Park Tennis Club declined to any answer questions about its respective investment in the centre’s tennis and squash facilities or its relationship with the squash club.