Maccabi hit by an unpaid debt and deficit

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 9, 2011

Manchester Maccabi is facing legal action over an unpaid debt and is grappling to bring financial difficulties under control.

The sports and community club based in Prestwich, north Manchester, which has over 1,000 people using its facilities each week, will make six of its nine staff redundant by the end of the month. Accounts for 2011, currently being finalised, show a drop in income in excess of £50,000, which follows an operating deficit of £77,000 reported last year.

The club's leadership blame the crisis on the recession hitting its bistro business and venue hire. In 2010, the certified kosher restaurant and venue hire for weddings, parties and events made £70,000 for the club, down from £112,000 in 2009. Profits from 2011 have nose-dived further.

Last week, Manchester Maccabi refused to comment on legal action it faces from Bury Council over £10,000 the club owes the authority for public artwork it was obligated to fund as part of its planning deal to allow the construction of its club-house in 2003.

But, this week, club chairman Bradley Feld commented: "I wasn't involved in the pre-planning discussions. Once we get further correspondence from Bury Council we will be dealing with it."

At a club AGM last night (December 8), Mr Feld was due to stand down as chairman after four years. Earlier, he said his decision was unconnected to the financial situation.

"Like all charities, we are struggling. Any losses are serious because you can't continue making them. We need people to continue to support Maccabi through donations or by using the facilities."

He added: "There is no threat of closure but we will continue to keep everything monitored. If things develop, our members will be contacted first.

"We are keeping the bistro open through volunteers. We are speaking to the League of Jewish Women."

There are also plans to offer voluntary work placements to students of Manchester Jewish organisations Langdon College and Outreach which will help young people with special needs improve employability.

Last updated: 10:56am, December 9 2011