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Prizemoney - Does GRV or the Minister care - it seems not - wider action is needed

09/05/2021 5:00 PM | Anonymous

We have suffered this long enough.  

Actions - actions - suggest Greyhound Racing Victoria, and the Racing Minister, hold almost no interest in:

  • Victorian greyhound racing participants sharing fairly in the fruits of their own increasing labour; or
  • braking the most bloated, inefficient public sports administration in Australian racing (maybe Australian sport?).

The problem is this:  Victorian participants receive less average per meeting prizemoney now than they did 6 years ago, despite industry income being almost $30m higher annually. Victoria pays the 4th or 5th highest average per race prizemoney in Australia while working participants harder than anywhere else, and we are straining, and failing, under the weight of increased costs in all areas.

We expect that in 20/21 GRV will return the lowest % of its income to Victorian greyhound racing participants this century It slides ever lower.

This is shameful. Other jurisdictions must laugh at us, while we are sat on by bureaucracy for whom increasing this year's salary / stipend seems to matter more than improving, in real terms, the lot of those who work in the sport and actually bear all its risks and burdens.

The problem is GRV management

In GRV, you have Australia's biggest but still highest cost - excluding prizemoney - provider of greyhound racing.  Numbers don't lie.  The GRV equivalent cost of running greyhound racing in several other States is half of that in Victoria.   

GRV may be one of Australia's only sports administrations that INCREASED administration costs in the first year of COVID - but under CEO Alan Clayton it has never done anything else.  

As to attitude, GRV works to the future soundbite, not future substance. 

Its most recent sleight of hand is to keep expanding the size of the racing calendar, against any medium term rationale (particularly adoption scope, on GRV's own figures) to do it, to lay claim to paying 'record [overall]  prizemoney', while reducing average per race returns to participants. 

This financial year GRV is projected to raise overall participant returns by 12%, but only by increasing the number of race meetings by 13%. This is tired, but very standard GRV chicanery, burdening participants with the work while in reducing returns.  GRV will of course, mention the former figure only in its headlines. 

It's the equivalent of requiring a full extra day's work and paying ONLY participants less than proper rate for it (not stewards or administrators - they get full rates).  If this was tried in the public service...

Whether in letters, meetings, faux consultative groups - whatever - we just don't see any evidence that GRV management gets that continually driving down participant 'per kennel' returns, despite massive participant cost increases, is terrible for people and greyhounds alike.  

Being more realistic about it, this administration, and we include the GRV board here based on its actions alone, probably just does not care - the focus on a board report line item at the expense of the real costs of real people is a travesty.   

How does GRV do this? 

GRV cares about the Minister and the media.  Nothing else. 

GRV does what it gets away with doing.  

In the Racing Minister, we have an overseer who we have plenty of time for, but who on this issue - prizemoney and administration - seemingly doesn't apply a telescope to GRV and its board, let alone the microscope required.  

We show this below.

GOTBA Vic 2020 correspondence to the Minister and 2021 response

In 2020, after the horror show 2020 GRV Annual Report - 30% senior executive salary cost increases in a pandemic are ok at GRV! - we wrote to the Minister, highlighting GRV's apparently misleading statements to both GOTBA Vic and the Minister, its poor financial performance, and asking for his assistance.

The solution is clear: mandate or direct a minimum return to participants of 50% of GRV revenue.

Here is our correspondence to the Minister - GOTBA Vic -Letter Minister - GRV Annual Report 2020.pdf

Here's his response months later - Letter - GOTBA - Racing Minister.pdf

The Minister's response is a mishmash of GRV management talking points that avoids almost every key indicia of what we pointed out or asked.

It does not - because it cannot - deny that GRV runs Australia's most expensive (excl prizemoney) greyhound administration, its prizemoney performance is poor, and that GRV increased its admin and office spending during COVID despite telling the Minister and GOTBA Vic it was massively cutting it.

The response proposes nothing, not even in response to GRV's 'costs containment' initiative that, erm, resulted in increased costs. Well, unless by cost containment what was meant was prizemoney containment.

What does this mean?

The Racing Minister is content with the status quo or cares insufficiently to do anything about obvious problems. 

GRV current management is the status quo.

If you are a greyhound racing participant and know that you are being incredibly badly shafted by an administration that is content to feed at the trough at your expense, then you need to take matters into your own hands.

If we want change, it needs to come from our own hand and action. 

More to follow.

Lynton Hogan

President GOTBA Vic 

┬ęThe Greyhound Owners Trainers and Breeders Association of Victoria, Inc

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