Schwartz and O'Neill Acquire Leagues Club's Debt to Football Club

South Sydney Leagues Club suitor Mr Jerry Schwartz has made a payment to the South Sydney Football Club to acquire the South Sydney Leagues Club?s debt of $3.01 million today, a debt which was purchased by the Football Club last week from Perpetual Trustee Company.

This transaction followed an offer made by the Football Club to Perpetual Trustee Company over a month ago for purposes of protecting the Football Club?s original debt. The timing of administration caught the Football Club by surprise, although it was long overdue in the Football Club?s opinion after seeing the Leagues Club?s trading figures.

The monies owing to the Football Club had always been vehemently disputed by the Leagues Club Board, which makes it all the more fascinating that Leagues Club Deputy Chairman Bernie O?Neill handed over a cheque for $192,000 to immediately pay off that debt.

Not only had the Football Club been seeking to protect its interests by purchasing the Perpetual debt, it was also for purposes of re-establishing a friendly relationship between the Leagues Club and the Football Club, so they could work together to fulfil the Return to Redfern 2008 proposal.

Yesterday the Administrator of the Leagues Club, Mr John Lord, categorically confirmed at an information meeting of Leagues Club Members that there will be ?no sale of assets, such as property, apartments, poker machines or the strata of the building, without a full vote of Members.?

South Sydney Football Club Executive Chairman Peter Holmes ? Court said: ?This gives us enormous confidence that sensible proposals will now be considered by the Administrator and put to the vote of Leagues Club Members.?

?We now know that Members of the Leagues Club will have an opportunity to vote on a proposal that keeps their assets in their hands.

?Members of both Clubs need not be concerned by rumours that Mr Jerry Schwartz has been able to buy the Leagues Club building. Members should draw comfort that John Lord has guaranteed them a vote.?

The Football Club is supporting a proposal being submitted to the Administrator by a group of Leagues Club Members, which will completely refurbish the Leagues Club?s bar, food and entertainment facilities on the first floor; create a Rabbitohs Hall of Fame, new Football Club management and player facilities to complement the state-of-the-art training facility being built across the road at Redfern Oval by the City of Sydney; a public gymnasium on level two and the remaining floor space being renovated and leased on commercial terms with all rental income returning to the Leagues Club. The funds put into this renovation of the club will bring it up to a level to repay debt and make substantial future profits for the Leagues Club.

?The purchase by the Football Club of the Perpetual debt was not for the intention of getting control of the Leagues Club. Control of the Leagues Club will always rest with a vote of its Members and we look forward to members using their rights to vote for what they feel is best for their Club,? Mr Holmes ? Court said.