NEWBRIDGE Greyhound Stadium has blamed the economic downturn for its imminent closure next Saturday, March 26.
Figures obtained from the company’s 2009 balance sheet suggest that the stadium made a loss of E91,000 that year. It also showed that the company owed more to creditors than it owned in fixed assets.
The Newbridge Greyhound Racing Company said that it has been in discussions over recent months with the Irish Greyhound Board in order to secure the future of Newbridge Greyhound Stadium. In a statement released to the Leinster Leader it said that “over the last couple of years, the consequences of the economic downturn have resulted in reduced attendances, lower sponsorship and a reduction in business activity generally at the stadium”.
Newbridge Mayor, Paddy Kennedy described the news of the closure as “very sad news” while Breda McHale of Newbridge Chamber said they were hopeful that somebody new would take over as it is a “fantastic facility to have in the town”. Local greyhound owner Eugene Price said “it is great for the area and if it closes it will be a sad day. The ordinary person that has one or two greyhounds will probably sell them on. I’m very confident it will re-open again and it will go from the strength to strength.”
Rathangan based trainer, John O’Loughlin said “hopefully they can sort out something. It’s a great local facility.”
According to the Newbridge Greyhound Racing Company Limited’s most recent published balance sheet dated September, 30 2009 the fixed assets for the company amounted to E2,600,670. This was offset however by what it owed to its creditors which came in slightly higher at E2,914,201. The profit and loss account in the balance sheet would suggest that the company made a loss of E91,31.
The balance sheet also makes reference to an agreement between the company and the Irish Greyhound Bord or Bord Na gCon in which the stadium received grants to the value of E2.5 million. It states that ‘the company has a contingent liability to repay in whole or in part grants received amounting to E2,565,290 if certain circumstances set out in the agreement occur within ten years of the agreement.’
The Irish Greyhound Board declined to comment on the exact details of the agreement nor would they confirm or deny the rumours that they are in negotiations with an investment group to take over the stadium.
The stadium, which was first opened in the 1940s by the Coxes, employs four full time staff, but management have made no comment on redundancies.
The directors of the company as of 2009 were Dermot Cox (who had the majority of the shares at 51 percent), J Kearns, O Lawler, T Deasey, T Cox, and David Cox.