THE debt stricken former Speers Point RSL Club went under the hammer yesterday, selling for more than $1million at a Sydney auction.
It is understood the Five Islands Recreation Club, owned by the RSL club, and parking lot will be demolished by the buyer.
The club went into voluntary administration after losing a court battle with Boolaroo-Speers Point RSL Sub Branch over land used for car parking.
The Speers Point RSL Club and the Boolaroo-Speers Point RSL Sub Branch are separate entities.
The club was in dispute with the RSL sub branch over a land title.
With the sale of the club, sub branch president Lyle Dalton said he hoped his club would finally see the $322,000 it had been awarded by the Supreme Court two years ago.
‘‘It’s a sad day to see the demise of the club but they brought it on themselves ... they were hellbent on running to the Supreme Court,’’ Mr Dalton said.
The resulting legal costs ran the sub branch down to its last few thousand dollars, he said.
‘‘Last Anzac Day we had to cut right back because we couldn’t afford our usual services.’’
The sub branch, which was forced to sell the land at the centre of the fight to pay for costs, let go of its final plot in a private sale before the auction on Tuesday morning.
Mr Dalton said the sub branch, which now operates from a shop front in Boolaroo, planned to open a drop-in centre for its members with the funds.
Speers Point RSL Club is one of more than 40 licensed clubs in the Hunter to close or amalgamate in the last two decades.
Adamstown RSL will close its doors at the end of October due to crippling debt. It follows recent closures of RSL clubs at New Lambton, Merewether and Hamilton.