Tradies renews attempts to merge with Kareela Golf Club as Cronulla Sharks dragged into debate

Kareela Golf & Social Club.  Picture: John Veage
Kareela Golf & Social Club. Picture: John Veage

Tradies is refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer after being left standing at the altar by proposed merger partner, Kareela Golf & Social Club.

Sutherland District Trade Union Club (Tradies) has appealed directly to members of the Kareela club, which is moving closer to amalgamating with Moorebank Sports Club.

“We would like the members of Kareela to know that they have options during a difficult time for their club,” Tradies said on its Facebook page.

Included was a letter sent to the golf club board advising Tradies was still willing to go ahead with an amalgamation if, for any reason, the merger with Moorebank Sports Club did not proceed.

The post also alerted Kareela members to a new development the Moorebank club had committed to in Gregory Hills, in the Wollondilly area, implying there would be little money left to invest in Sutherland Shire.

Former Cronulla Sharks chairman Damian Irvine replied to the post with an attack on Tradies and its chief executive Tim McAleer.

Sharks and Tradies discussed merging in 2010-11.

Mr Irvine claimed, in one of several posts, Tradies tried to “kill off” Sharks.

“In my experience with Tradies I would suggest members of Kareela run a mile from them,” he wrote.

Tradies denied the claim, replying, “At the time, we didn't feel that we were able to provide the dedication that running a football club requires and did not want to disappoint loyal Sharks fans with anything less than a full commitment”.

Tradies’ renewed efforts to merge with the Kareela club came after the golf club board rejected a request in a petition, signed by about 150 members, to hold a special general meeting on the proposed merger.

The board said in a reply sent to all members that, based on legal advice, the petition was invalid and did not meet the requirements of the Corporations Act.

The letter explained the reasons for the change in preferred merger partner.

It said the golf club’s former treasurer was found to have a  possible conflict of interest and had subsequently resigned, after which the board had voted to reconsider merger partners.

The letter said the board had acted in accordance with advice from ClubsNSW.

ClubsNSW had also found the golf club had not breached  of the Club Code of Practice and there was no evidence the club had acted improperly.

The Club is progressing steadily with its negotiations with Moorebank and aims to reach a Memorandum of Understanding shortly,” the letter said.

“Once this has been achieved, this Memorandum of Understanding will be put to the members for your approval as required by the Registered Clubs Act.”

Management of Tradies and Kareela Golf & Social Club declined to comment.