Kareela Golf and Social Club has left Tradies “standing at the altar” and is looking to amalgamate with Moorebank Sports Club.
The golf club’s general manager Nick Condell revealed the change of direction in a message to members on Tuesday.
“In working towards finding the best amalgamation deal for our club we found a problem with how we had handled the process,” he wrote.
“Following discussion with Clubs NSW and after seeking legal advice the board made the difficult decision to revisit the amalgamation process.
“That review of the process saw Moorebank Sports Club chosen as the preferred negotiating partner.
“Tradies have been very supportive and we thank them for all their help.
“They generously have understood how important good governance is to our club and have wished us well for the future.
“Moorebank Sports run one of Sydney’s most impressive clubs and we look forward to working on this deal with them and producing an MOU for you, the members, to view in the near future.
“This is a major decision regarding our future as a club and we are working very hard to find the right balance for all members and stakeholders.
“I will be in touch again soon with any developments.”
Kareela Golf and Social Club is negotiating to amalgamate with Tradies.
Following poor trading conditions, the privately owned golf club sought expressions of interest for amalgamation with other clubs, and received six offers.
The board narrowed the list down to Moorebank Sports Club and Tradies before deciding the offer from Tradies would result in the best deal overall for both the club and the course.
Sutherland District Trade Union Club (Tradies) has a record of keeping struggling clubs afloat.
In 2014, Tradies took over Helensburgh Workers Sports and Social Club, which was is in liquidation, and Caringbah RSL Club amalgamated with it in 2008.
Tradies also looked at an amalgamation with Bundeena RSL Club, but decided a business case could not be made for the move.
Tradies chief executive Tim McAleer declined to comment on the merger talks with Kareela Golf and Social Club.
Kareela Golf and Social Club general manager Neil Condell said they were in the early stages of an amalgamation process, and still negotiating.
“We are still choosing a partner and moving forward,” he said.
“There is no signed agreement, so it’s a an investigation into what is best for our future.”
Mr Condell said the club had sought amalgamation because of “poor trading conditions”.
“Clubs NSW says if go go early to look for an amalgamation partner you are more attractive and you can secure a better future,” he said.
“We are a club that has gone early and we are negotiating the right deal.”
Mr Condell wrote to members updating them on previous advice that expressions of interest had been invited.
“Six were received and the board narrowed it down to two clubs, Moorebank Sports Club and Tradies,” the notice read.
“The board invited both candidates to meet with them to explore their respective submissions in more detail and to negotiate a better deal for members.
“It was clear that both offers would have resulted in excellent outcomes for the club and a particularly good deal for golf, however, after further consideration, the board decided that the offer from Tradies would result in the best deal overall for both the club and the course.
“As a result, the board agreed to continue down the path towards amalgamation with Tradies.
“We will now work with Tradies to create a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that captures their offer in more detail and, once completed, it will be presented to you, the members, to accept through the appropriate voting process.
“At this early stage, it is difficult to give you any time frame for completion of the amalgamation process but be assured we are working to have this completed as soon as possible.
“Kareela Golf and Social Club welcomes Tradies to this negotiation process and looks forward to an information night where the benefits of our partnership can be explained to the membership in more detail.
“Members will be invited, once the MOU is agreed, and with at least 21 days notice, to a special general meeting where members will get to vote on the future of the amalgamation.”