So where to now TBA???

SeanGothe

New Member
Bowling has some great people and some with the talent to match. The sport is still here after 60 years albeit with a significantly reduced membership from its peak.
BUT are we now a sport or solely a business??.
We now have what I consider non-bowling people in all of the most senior decision making positions within the TBA.
I am far from convinced this is the way to go. As an example I wonder what those non-bowling people think about String Bowling in leagues and tournaments? Do they have enough knowledge to even have an opinion on an issue such as this? I am sure that the BOWLERS have a well thought out opinion. Thankfully the bowlers on the Board will make the ultimate decision here.

I now just want to point out a couple of things from the last annual report - 2019.

Expenses
Employee benefits expense - $890,221 (up 47.4%)
Administration and Overheads - $100,582 (up 29.78%)
Governance and Meetings - $ 51,553 (up 358.28%)
Membership costs - $185,980 (down 17.07%)

Income
Registration Fees - $749,800 (up 24.18%)
Grants - $713,687 (up 122.85%)

5 years earlier in 2014 - Registrations were $603,777
Governance and Meetings $ 11,249
Employee benefits expense $570,310
Administration and Overheads $ 77,499
Grants $320,250
Membership Costs $224,284

A significant portion of our Registration fees and Grants received are used to cover the expenses outlined above.
The grants are keeping the TBA afloat.

I have today spoken with the Chair of the TBA - Jerome Joseph. He has informed me that all members of the Board are not remunerated. This is very pleasing. I have requested that the books now be thrown open to the last dollar. I do not know whether that will happen.

If you look at the finance report of a League or an Association such as the ATBSO you will see where every dollar goes and as members we should know where the TBA spends OUR money. It is not TBA money. It is similar to when governments say they are giving us something - they are simply giving us back some of the taxes we ourselves have already paid. I would never have accepted the role of Treasurer with the old ATBA or more recently with the ATBSOV if even $0.01 was going to be unaccounted for. YOU DISCLOSE EVERYTHING TO THE MEMBERS. IT IS THAT SIMPLE!!!!

Without members there is no TBA, no Board and definitely no grants. The TBA was and hopefully always will be a membership organisation.
Our sport used to be run by bowlers for bowlers. I wish OUR TBA well but full transparency with the books would be a damn good new beginning.
 
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steve jones

Active Member
Interesting, so the Chairman and Deputy Chairman [they look like men to me, at least by their pictures so don't give that PC rubbish about "Chair"] the two most influential positions on any board, at least that's the theory and an Appointed Director have zero bowling experience. I assume that to be the case given you can guarantee if they did they would have mentioned it in their personal summary on the TBA site....or perhaps the omission of their bowling backgrounds were simple oversights?

So how were these three selected - who nominated them and why, did they just fall out of the sky and appear miraculously to be nominated to the Board or did they put in years of spade work in and around the TBA to be seen as protentional candidates [that was the old fashioned method] - who voted for them and when and critically, who stood against them - or was there no opposition candidates?

Simple questions and easy to answer I would imagine. I ask simply out of interest as I'm a little out of touch.
 

steve jones

Active Member
Excuse the typing errors Sean typing is not something I do well not having to do much of it myself until more recently..and they are right when they say "you can't teach an old dog new tricks".
 

SeanGothe

New Member
I am waiting for these non-bowling TBA officials to articulate exactly what they are going to change about the game to grow membership. Have they set a membership projection to be held accountable to? I also have no idea how they were appointed. I want to know how employee benefits exceed registration fees which presumably means a portion of the 'grants' received is propping up employee benefits. As I keep saying the TBA is the sum of its membership. Open the books and explain every single dollar of spending. That is not much to ask. Some members have been with the ATBC/TBA for almost 60 years. They have far more right to the books than a Board member ''who fell out of the sky'' a few months or a year ago. Sorry Steve I borrowed your 'fell out of the sky' line. I wish I had thought of that one.
 

RobK300

New Member
Hi Sean,

I appreciate and share your sentiment. It's interesting to note, the TBA Constitution clause 17 states:

17. Inspection of books
A Member does not have the right to inspect any document of the Company (including registers kept by the Company) except as required by law.

https://www.tenpin.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/TBA_Constitution_v2.3_Final_May_2019.pdf

The excerpts from the accounts that you'll find in the Annual Report are those required to comply with the Corps Act.
 

SeanGothe

New Member
Hi Rob,

That is the problem. It is obviously difficult to force the TBA to open the books but it would be seen in a very positive light if they made voluntarily disclosure to the membership. There is something fundamentally wrong when GRANTS are used to supplement the employee benefits. Surely that in itself rings serious alarm bells. Only 5 years ago registration fees covered employee benefits by $33,467. In 2019 there was a shortfall of just over $140,421. With a new Manager - Industry and a new CEO coming on soon will that shortfall grow further? I expect that it will. We need to know where the money is being spent. The TBA cannot and should not rely on GRANTS. We are a small organisation - $890,000 seems to me to be a very significant spend on employee benefits. The appointment of a new Manager - Industry will hopefully assist in this area but we need to know where the TBA is now.
 
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RobK300

New Member
Agree in principle with the one qualifier being whether those grants are contingent on certain structures being in place, which necessitate the spend. In such case, whilst it looks odd on paper, the cost/benefit stacks up.

It would be bold and potentially dangerous play if there's a revised strategy that's throwing the kitchen sink at new membership acquisition by ramping up spending on employees. It could work, but would have to be viewed as risky in the covid climate.

It's also possible the 2020 report will show a dramatic increase in grant funding that we haven't factored. That certainly doesn't invalidate your point about being reliant on grants, but arguably makes the expenditure more justified.
 

SeanGothe

New Member
Annual Report 2017 Board of 6 - none are still there. (5 resignations in that year)
Annual Report 2018 Board of 6 - 3 are still there. (5 resignations in that year)
Annual Report 2019 Board of 7 - 5 are still there. (3 resignations in that year)
Since then 2 more have gone.

I make that 15 Board resignations since 27 May 2017.

15 in 42 months - One every 2.8 months. Let us see if the Chairman slows this rate of turnover down.
Revolving door comes to mind. No-one remaining from 2017 is frightening.

I have far more faith in "BOWLERS" Boness, Babic & Douglass sticking around for a while.
 
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steve jones

Active Member
So long as it's the right bowler who get's the job. Having bowling experience in both the industry and sport is preferred in my view - yet that individual still needs other qualities and qualifications. That goes without saying of course. So we shall see.
 

SeanGothe

New Member
I believe the new CEO will have a sporting background but no previous connection to bowling. I have walked around Westminster Abbey a couple of times and stood over the great Charles Darwin's grave. Maybe I could be the first evolutionist Archbishop of Canterbury? Who cares if my knowledge of religion wouldn't fill the back of a postage stamp?
 

steve jones

Active Member
Hello Strop hope all is well - as always you are a well meaning and fast thinking individual - yet I am - as they say, well past it and have become even more of an "expert" than I once was now that I am sitting on the sidelines. :)

Oh and I'm very sorry to have learned of the two recent loses in your neck of the woods, both men near impossible to replace. Smithy particularly I knew for a very long time - I bowled junior league on Saturday's where he was an instructor...............it makes me shudder a little when I think that was well over 50 years ago.
 

strop

Elite Athlete
All is as well as can be expected Steve...the usual ... mind is willing but the body isn't. Yeah been a tough year losing two of closes friends from the days that I consider to be the best times of bowling 70's ...80's and 90's . I still live in the past, although I do enjoy the ATBSO , great bunch of people.
Still hate the politics of the game. Anyway take care, also hi Sean, been a while, hope you are well. Cheers Tony Stoppel (has been that never was :) )
P.S. I do believe in accountability and have people there that know the game!
 

SeanGothe

New Member
Hello Tony and Steve, yes the 70's-90's were the golden years that I witnessed and from the stories I have heard over the years the 60's when everything began must be incredibly cherished memories for those around at that time. I am well but it has been an interesting few months living under communist rule. I have never quite understood how an Arts graduate came to be in charge of a state with a population of 6 million people. Glad that SA seems to be all good. The issue with non bowling people is that they are in and out of their roles before they acquire any knowledge and feel for the game. The 15 resignations from the Board in 42 months is a pretty telling statistic. It is even worse when you consider that no-one is there from 2017. I just can't see too many non-bowling people hanging around long enough to make a real difference. The non-bowlers on the Board could learn a lot by talking to members of the ATBSO.
 
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steve jones

Active Member
Sean this is from your post above..................................

I make that 15 Board resignations since 27 May 2017.

15 in 42 months - One every 2.8 months. Let us see if the Chairman slows this rate of turnover down.
Revolving door comes to mind. No-one remaining from 2017 is frightening.


There can really only be three explanations.

1. The numbers purely reflect the movement of honorary individuals due to their own personal circumstances and has nothing at all to do with the TBA and/or it's operations. It is - to put it bluntly - just the way it is and has been in recent years and these things do go in cycles.

2. There is a coordinated attempt by some members of the Board and/or employees to rid the TBA, as best they can, of experienced bowling people. The result being to remove as many opposition voices as possible so that the TBA is far more pliable to the demands and dictate of just a few.

3. There is a fundamental cancer of poor business practise and policy making in and around the TBA and many have simply found being unable or unwilling to change it so demoralising and debilitating they left.

...............there is of course always one more - and that being that the place just needed a good old fashioned clean out.

My natural optimism points, hopefully, to #1..... however if it's the last one then that is no bad thing either - at least on the surface of it.
 
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