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SBD Global/June 5, 2013/Facilities

Severe Debt Forces Australian Turf Club CEO Darren Pearce To Lay Off 35

In a bid to clear A$60M ($57.8M) of debt -- including $35M worth of "inherited debt" from the Rosehill Grand Pavilion and stable upgrades -- Australian Turf Club CEO Darren Pearce laid off 18 full-time staff, "and failed to renew deals with eight employees on fixed-term contracts," according to Christian Nicolussi of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Another nine positions already vacated "also won't be replaced." Pearce elected to dump his entire communications department, "with specialist PR and media staff to now be 'outsourced' during carnival time." The "savage job cuts come in the same week" the ATC will meet with the New South Wales Trainers' Association to "discuss increased stable and track fees, and a performance criteria that will force trainers to leave the city if they don't have provide enough runners and winners." Pearce: "I'd be lying if I said it's been easy. Obviously people are disappointed, and people are sad to see their colleagues go. But they also understand the economy is tight and the club has to ride out this challenge" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 6/4).

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