RAC­ING CHIEF QUITS

Chair­man joins ex­o­dus

Sunday Herald Sun - - Front Page - MATT STE­WART matthew.ste­wart@news.com.au

“I’m mind­ful that re­cent events could lead to per­cep­tions of ten­sion be­tween my role at the club and my pro­fes­sional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as a banker.” OUT­GO­ING VRC CHAIR­MAN MICHAEL BURN

JUST days af­ter the sen­sa­tional de­par­ture of Rac­ing Vic­to­ria chair­man David Moodie, his coun­ter­part at Vic­to­ria’s most pow­er­ful and pres­ti­gious race club has also re­signed.

Mac­quarie Group ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Michael Burn yes­ter­day an­nounced his de­par­ture as Vic­to­ria Rac­ing Club chair­man, with a per­ceived con­flict in re­la­tion to busi­ness deal­ings in­flu­enc­ing his de­ci­sion.

Burn is part of a $7 bil­lion Pa­cific Con­sor­tium of­fer launched in the past week to take over the Tatts Group, mak­ing it a ri­val to Tab­corp, the wager­ing operator that earns mil­lions in rev­enue from gam­bling on tracks such as VRC head­quar­ters Flem­ing­ton.

Burn said the “in­ter­pre­ta­tion’’ of his per­ceived con­flict con­trib­uted to his de­ci­sion, but said “not re­ally’’ when asked if it was the sole rea­son.

Amanda El­liott, a former wife of ex-Carl­ton Foot­ball Club pres­i­dent John El­liott, will be in­terim chair­man un­til the VRC board chooses a re­place­ment early next year.

If Ms El­liott re­tains the po­si­tion, she will be­come the first fe­male to have that job at a metropoli­tan Mel­bourne race club.

Burn’s de­par­ture con­tin­ues an era of great change and dis­rup­tion in the most pow­er­ful roles in Vic­to­rian rac­ing.

Moodie re­signed on Thurs­day af­ter in­tegrity com­mis­sioner Sal Perna re­vealed the now former boss had tipped off trainer Peter Moody re­gard­ing cobalt pos­i­tives of fel­low train­ers Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh in Jan­uary 2015.

Perna also de­ter­mined Moodie “know­ingly pro­vided mis­lead­ing and/or in­com­plete in­for­ma­tion to the RVL In­tegrity Coun­cil and/or the RVL Board re­gard­ing his dis­clo­sures in that role”.

RV chief ex­ec­u­tive Bernard Saun­dry fin­ishes up at the end of this month, with a suc­ces­sor not likely to be found un­til well into the new year.

Burn had been VRC chair­man for al­most six years af­ter serv­ing three years as deputy.

He had been a board mem­ber for 13 years, in­clud­ing his time in those top po­si­tions.

“Given my lengthy ten­ure in the role, I have been con­tem­plat­ing for some months when would be the right time to step down,” Burn said

“I thought it was time to put the cue in the rack.

“I’m also mind­ful that re­cent events could lead to per­cep­tions of ten­sion be­tween my role at the club and my pro­fes­sional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as a banker.

“The VRC is in ter­rific shape to­day and de­serves its place among the coun­try’s pre­mier sport­ing bod­ies.

“I am proud of the out­stand­ing progress the club’s board and man­age­ment have been able to achieve dur­ing my ten­ure.”

El­liott, who has been vicechair­man since 2011, said Burn had been out­stand­ing in the job.

“Michael suc­cess­fully ne­go­ti­ated favourable me­dia rights for the VRC and con­trib­uted strongly to the evolution of the rac­ing pro­gram at Flem­ing­ton,” she said.

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