The Italo-Aus Club in North Lismore.
The Italo-Aus Club in North Lismore.

Still 'early days' for takeover of Lismore Italo Club

UPDATE 1.25PM: IT'S still "early days" over discussions of a possible takeover of the Lismore Italo-Australian Club but both parties remain hopeful.

Club Marconi CEO Tony Zappia said it will take time to work through the legalities involved in the merger.

"Our board only resolved last night to commence discussions with the Lismore Club and the next move is a due diligence process, it is early days," he said.

"There's three steps involved, due diligence which means it needs to be presented to the members of the Italo Club, then to our members so it could take a little while.

"Then there's a formal process involving Liquor and Gaming in NSW."

Mr Zappia said Club Marconi were attracted to deal because of a "cultural connection."

"Obviously there's the cultural connection, being its an Italian-based club and the board wants to retain this Italian cultural aspect," he said.

"Now the process is to see how we can work on ensuring the club survives for the residents in and around Lismore.

"We intend to organise a visit in the next week or so and sit down with their board, it's still early days."


ORIGINAL STORY: "MARCONI have come good, we only need to pass this at our meeting tonight."

The Lismore Italo-Australian Club president, Americo Melchior  was jubilant about the amalgamation between the long established Lismore club and Club Marconi which is one of the strongest clubs in NSW.

"The board at Club Marconi passed this last night," Mr Melchior said.

"Club Marconi have come good, (CEO) Tony Zappia called me last night to tell me.

"So it is likely, very likely this will go through our club tonight."

Last week, The Northern Star reported on how the Italo Club's committee had pushed back a vote on the closure of the club in order to consider the "interesting" offers.

Sydney's Club Marconi is a heavy hitter in the NSW club landscape and it's portfolio includes Marconi Stadium, the home ground for Marconi Stallions, as well as regularly hosting matches for the Western Sydney Wanderers FC National Youth League and W-League teams,

Mr Melchior said the decision will be a lifeline for Lismore.

"You have a big sports and soccer club coming here, they will bring up chefs from Sydney so it's all looking pretty good, he (Tony Zappia) " he said.

"This decision has to be passed by our board at the meeting tonight but it is all looking good.

"So the three resolutions we were going to vote on tonight will not be needed, this meeting is still legal, we only need to have this decision passed by our board."

Earlier, several organisations had confirmed interest in taking over the club, including Tropical Fruits, Southern Cross Universities now troubled Liverpool Academy.

A Lismore institution, the club which has been run for 60 years, largely thanks to volunteers, has been closed for the past two months and Mr Melchior earlier admitted a serious cash injection was required so it could reopen.

Earlier this month a members-only meeting was called to discussion possible rescue options.

However, now these will not be needed, Mr Melchior said.

"But we can only have 50 people tonight at the meeting," he said.