Newcastle Greyhounds racing on without CEO

Newcastle Greyhounds chairman Brett Lazzarini says employing a chief executive is “money wasted” and The Gardens track at Birmingham Gardens will continue to operate without one.

The club has parted ways with Gary Brown, who started in the role in June 2016 and followed a long line of CEO’s at the track.

Alan Williamson served an eight-month stint as the new club’s first CEO from July 2014 after PPB Advisory won a tender from GRNSW to operate The Gardens. Tanya Hayes, Dave Kiernan and Brown followed in similar tenures but Lazzarini said “the club is going to run without a CEO”.

“We don’t need one, and we’ve made more money without them than with them,” he said.

“It’s different if you’re running a few clubs, like the GBOTA, but it’s one club. You need a race night manager and a racetrack manager, you don’t need a CEO. It’s money wasted.”

Lazzarini said long-serving racing operations manager Vicki McIntosh would continue as the key administrator at the track.

Racing returned to the track last Friday and Saturday after three weeks of redevelopment works co-funded by Greyhound Racing NSW and the Newcastle club. 

The track sand was removed and a new base and drainage laid before 1500 tonnes of replacement sand was installed. There were also upgrades to the starting boxes, surrounding areas and the catching pen.

Lazzarini said rain delayed the work twice, leading to an extra week where meetings had to be transferred from The Gardens.