September 19, 2016
Australian Turf Club Chairman Michael Crismale today announced he will retire from the Board at the end of his current term on 1 February, 2017. As such, he has stepped down as Chairman.
Mr Crismale has been ATC Chairman for almost three years, during nine years of service on Sydney thoroughbred racing clubs at the ATC and the Sydney Turf Club.
Mr Crismale said he had achieved the goals he had set himself in racing administration, and now wanted to focus more time on his family, as well as his personal business interests.
He said the ATC had delivered on all of the objectives set at the time of merger, and Sydney racing was in its best position in many years.
“I am incredibly grateful for the amazing Board members and management I have worked with over the past nine years to help make the ATC and Sydney racing the frontrunner in this country,’’ Mr Crismale said.
“Having achieved the objectives set at merger with the recent completion of the wonderful Rosehill Gardens refurbishment, and the record prizemoney announcement, I believe it is the perfect time for me to hand over the reins and allow the ATC to move on to the next phase of its growth and development.
“I am particularly grateful for the unity of our Board during my time as Chairman and their understanding in accepting my decision to stand down.
“There have been many highlights and achievements but I am especially proud of the new facilities we have now built.
“At my very first meeting as a director nine years ago, two of the items on the agenda were the outbreak of equine influenza and building the Grand Pavilion at Rosehill Gardens.
“Since then much has been achieved in NSW racing, including racefields legislation, the merger of the two clubs, The Championships, major improvements to the Autumn and Spring Racing Carnivals, light rail around Royal Randwick and hopefully soon Rosehill Gardens, the successful sale of our broadcast and digital rights and most recently record increases to Sydney prizemoney, which is fully funded and is sustainable.
“I want to pay tribute to the working relationship the ATC has established with Racing NSW and I thank its Chairman John Messara and CEO Peter V’Landys for the trust and support they have shown in me and the Club.
“Our achievements show that a racing club and regulator can work strongly together for the betterment of all in the sport.
“I’d also like to thank the NSW Government and in particular personally thank our Racing Minister Troy Grant for his support of the ATC and racing.’’
Mr Crismale said the Australian Turf Club was perfectly positioned to continue to make Sydney racing the strongest in Australia, and a world leader.
The Club’s financial position would allow it to continue to invest in racing infrastructure as well as added benefits for ATC Members and the wider racing public.
“The future of racing in Sydney and the ATC is incredibly bright, and strategies are now being devised for the ATC’s success for the next 20 years,’’ Mr Crismale said.
“I was due to stand down as Chairman in 2018 and then the Board in 2019 so I think now is the time to allow others to continue to plan for the long-term and implement the many strategies that will require leadership and oversight well beyond my term.
“Since the merger, the ATC has achieved a $50 million reduction in debt and has delivered continuous improvement in its financial performance.
“Our Chief Executive Officer Darren Pearce deserves special mention for the management team and staff he has set up to get us to this point.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to Darren, and as a Chairman I have always believed in the importance of good governance and risk management in allowing the Executive and staff to do their jobs.
“I am proud and honoured to have served our Members, staff, sponsors and industry participants, amongst some of the best racing in the world.’’
Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Officer Darren Pearce said: “The ATC Board accepted Michael’s decision with regret, acknowledging his many achievements over nine years, and were grateful that he would remain on the Board as part of an orderly transition.’’
The ATC will announce its future Chairman and Vice-Chairman at 9am tomorrow.
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