ANDRA’s misguided decision to buy out its Drag Ltd partners in August 2011 and the money wasting administration process after was nothing short of outrageous.
With a mere $16,075.99 cost for Drag Ltd, it is hard to see how such fabrications can be justified when comparing the accumulated cash flow losses of the past four years and the on-going reduction in ANDRA equity since the Drag Ltd buyout.
ANDRA’s board and management were responsible for the enormous administrative costs incurred, unnecessarily tearing up almost $200,000 in Drag Ltd’s funds, and potential future revenue.
In taking over Drag Ltd, ANDRA said it would commence in-house management of “the marketing and funding of our sport” but in four years under ANDRA’s administration professional drag racing in Australia has stalled and commercial activity has dried up.
Fotheringham indicated in the 6 June 2015 meeting with the big three that ANDRA’s sponsorship efforts had raised approximately $250,000, but under its former management, Drag Ltd pulled in between $1.0 – 1.2 million per year.
Television coverage of drag racing’s premier categories is mired in a low rating program on the country’s fifth-ranked FTA network, jammed in amongst jet boats and HQ Holdens and providing little if any value whatsoever, while unless there is a major, life-threatening accident to grab media headlines it does not register on the sporting landscape.
But for successful track-owned events like the Fuchs Winternationals and Westernationals, Australian drag racing is nowhere.
Unfortunately there are trust issues between the tracks and the sport’s governing body, not surprising since senior ANDRA representatives have inappropriately approached track landlords (private and government) with no consultation with the track managements whatsoever.
Is this responsible action for ANDRA to take?
Was it also responsible for ANDRA to takeover Drag Ltd in an upheaval just as it was starting to deliver commercially for the benefit of the sport.
Has it also been responsible for senior ANDRA representatives to perpetrate a story over the next four years that ANDRA had to “take the full brunt” of Drag Ltd when it has no basis in fact?
If ANDRA is to be held to its constitutional objectives of assisting in the progressive and honest promotion of drag racing, and to protect the sport from unfair or dishonest promotion, then the answers are that ANDRA actions should be questioned.
Serious questions now have to be asked by ANDRA’s members of it management and the conduct of its senior representatives.
ANDRA’s members have not been told the full truth in the Drag Ltd saga and the sport has suffered, while the members and the big three, together as the sport’s biggest stakeholders, deserve far better.
- Gerald McDornan