Dogs body threatens NCA with wind-up

PRESIDENT Mike Hilder is ‘‘absolutely confident’’ the National Coursing Association will satisfy the concerns of Greyhound Racing NSW despite a threat from the governing body  to wind up the club.

GRNSW increased pressure on The Gardens racetrack’s embattled managers yesterday, issuing the club with a show-cause notice over its financial situation.

The GRNSW board, which met on January 30, has asked the NCA to show why the state body should not appoint an administrator to run the club and employ independent auditors to determine whether it is viable.

GRNSW has given the NCA to February 25 to submit written replies to its concerns.

In a statement yesterday, GRNSW said it issued the notice ‘‘after a review of the NCA’s audited financial statements found that the ongoing financial viability of the NCA was extremely uncertain’’.

‘‘The board formed the view that the interests of the greyhound racing industry in NSW would  be at risk if it failed to take action with respect to the apparent financial position of the NCA given the importance of The Gardens venue to the sport.’’

GRNSW said the action would not affect racing at The Gardens.

Hilder said the show-cause notice had taken him by  surprise and the NCA would respond without delay to the state body’s concerns.

‘‘The NCA will strenuously argue its case and believes GRNSW has taken a very inconsistent approach to the NCA’s accounts,’’ Hilder said.

‘‘Our view is that NCA is debt free now and its underlying trading performance in the last financial year was the best it had been in a number of years.’’

He said an independent auditor had already signed off on last year’s audit and he did not know ‘‘where GRNSW are coming from’’.

GRNSW owns 70per cent of the Birmingham Gardens complex.It gave the NCA $1.2million last year as bailout money in exchange for the 70per cent stake.

Hilder said GRNSW had given $3.3million to the club in recent years.

He said a $5million write-down in NCA accounts due to the transaction with GRNSW last year had affected its annual figures.

The show-cause action comes as the NCA fights to keep its licence in light of a misappropriation investigation involving general manager Adam Dobbin.

The Newcastle Herald reported in November  more than $155,000 was missing from NCA accounts after Dobbin was found to have been paid in advance for form-analysis work.

Dobbin, who admitted to members at the annual general meeting  he had a gambling problem, was kept on and is paying back the money through his services.

GRNSW aired major concerns about the club’s operations and handling of the Dobbin affair before giving  the NCA a two-month licence in December instead of a standard six-month registration.

Hilder said he attended the January 30 GRNSW board meeting and answered all of its concerns.

● The semi-finals of the group1 National Futurity and Derby at The Gardens were abandoned last night after heavy rain damaged the track. Hilder said the races would likely be held next week, putting Friday’s finals back a week.

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