No matter how you spin it, RSL is in big trouble

IT SEEMS the Southport RSL had to retreat pretty hastily after we revealed last week that it was in a bit of financial strife.

The club was forced to tell members that it wasn't closing down, wasn't in trouble and was going to trade its way out of strife.

Which is what you'd expect after a quick perusal of the club's most recent newsletter.

Southport Memorial Club president Mark Tull announced that the club board will buy the RSL club premises before engaging in a multimillion-dollar facelift.

According to the most recent Southport RSL newsletter, the club owes $3.2 million on its mortgage, with payments needed of about $80,000 a month.

The only source of income nets the board $45,000 per month.

"Clearly the rent does not cover the mortgage payments,'' the letter said.

"A fund that we have used to supplement the rent in order for us to meet our mortgage and other fiscal obligations is about to run out.

"When this occurs, the sub branch will no longer be able to pay for the mortgage or meet other financial costs. ''

It seems there is another battle brewing for Mr Tull and his board. There is palpable angst among members at what's going on and no amount of spin or PR will smooth this one over.

At one stage Mr Tull was sub-branch honorary secretary, before standing down.

He has re-emerged as Memorial Club president as the sub-branch announced it would sell the club premises as it is no longer able to service the mortgage from the income it is receiving as landlord.

It's a testing time for the ex-diggers.

The club has been the backbone of the local community for many years. It really does need to get its affairs in order to ensure it survives.

Let's hope the club continues to be transparent with all its fiscal dramas.