Members, who have paid £70,000 to play at Brocket Hall for life, have had their membership cancelled. Here's the full story
Brocket Hall owners threaten to cancel membership
A certain faction of the membership at Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire are set to lose their playing rights in the fall out following the sale of the property.
Having previously gone into administration Brocket Hall was recently bought by a Chinese-backed business.
In echos of a similar recent development at Wentworth, it has since emerged that members of the club were told that their membership has now been annulled and they must reapply with the new prospective owners.
This has caused fury with the members, especially those who have paid up to £70,000 to play at Brocket Hall for life as they now face the prospect of losing their privileges to play there.
To add further damage, the owners previously assured the members that they would either retain their membership or receive a refund.
Lord Brocket, is the outright owner of Brocket Hall and he lived there before being convicted of fraud in the 1990s. Since then the trustees of the estate sold a leasehold to a German leisure mogul called Dieter Klostermann.
Last year however, the lease was put up for sale after the company had gone into administration.
According to The Times, the lease was then bought by Brocket Hall (UK) Ltd. This is also run by Klostermann but crucially, is backed by a wealthy Chinese businessman.
However, a letter to the members of Brocket Hall warned them that they would lose their membership at the course.
According to the Times, the letter stated: “The sale to the purchaser does not include the transfer of your membership and you will need to contact the purchaser directly to discuss the possibility of acquiring a new membership.”
Understandably, this has created disquiet amongt the membership some of whom seem in danger of losing their lifelong playing rights.
However, AlixPartners – the administrator which handled sale – stated in a report filed by the High Court five months ago, that members would be able to transfer their membership to the new owners, or be compensated if their membership had been cancelled.
The report said: “Following a successful sale of the business, members will have the option for their membership to be transferred to the new owner or for a refund of the unexpired portion of their membership.”
But today, a spokesman for AlixPartners said those with a long term membership would lose out; and only those who paid annually would qualify for a refund.
He said: “All annual members were informed on appointment by the administrators that in the event of a sale, their membership would either transfer to the new owners or they would receive a refund of the unexpired portion of their membership fee.”
He continued: “As the sales process did not include transfer of memberships the administrators are currently in the process of making these refunds,
“Members that had paid for long-term memberships in advance pre-administration as unsecured creditors regrettably will not receive a refund and we understand that the new owners will be contacting all members regarding ongoing use of the club.”