Is your club continually looking toward the future? Five year? Ten Years? Even 20 years ahead?  If, not your club should be doing so regularly while constantly reviewing and updating your business plan.

Clubs are operating in an ever-changing and challenging regulatory environment as well as having to respond to the demographic changes that are constantly taking place around them, not all of which are favourable to traditional club operations as we know them.

For instance, clubs are currently faced with unpredictable movements in gaming revenue, stronger regulatory enforcement and rapid changes in technology.

Consequently it is important now more than ever that your club is putting in place plans to cope with these changes.

Common Elements in Successful Projects

The following elements are common to all successful projects;

  • The committee and management of the club considering the future operating environment of the industry by way of strategic planning sessions about improving the club's core operations as the first stage and considering future potential diversification options.
  • Obtaining feasibility studies from relevant consultants on the highest and best use of your club's land and the potential returns from those uses.
  • The engagement of experienced and reputable consultants to advise your club throughout any development process.
  • If diversification consists of a number of components, carrying out the project in stages.

Obtaining the Right Legal Advice

When looking forward you want to make sure you get it right the first time.  It is recommended that clubs seek legal advice to;

  • advise and draft resolutions that may be required under your clubs constitution
  • ensure that the project complies with all other relevant regulatory controls.
  • advise on the legal structure that needs to be put in place to regulate the carrying out of the project (including the financing. for instance, by way of a joint venture, off the club's balance sheet or through bank finance).
  • Draft, negotiate and finalise that legal documentation.

Looking Ahead

Unfortunately, clubs cannot bury their heads in the sand and simply concentrate on keeping the lights on.  There are many opportunities that await clubs looking to stay ahead of the game and not just survive but thrive.  Regardless of size or turnover, clubs which are properly advised on the legal and regulatory hurdles are more likely to do so.

(Source: Phillip Wade & ARJ Puveendran, Thomson Geer, ClubLIFE Nov/Dec 2018)