Gramercy Park Block Association - Neighborhood News #395
Now that we've finally had success at the National Arts Club, our neighbors have asked for us to update them on The Players.  Toward that end, we have just sent the e-mail below to The Players' Board of Directors, and several Committees.
Help Save The Players 
 
Lots of ideas, opinions, committees, a great new treasurer, a newsletter, a new drink, a few donations here and there ... all will be meaningless unless a drastic change in the management of the club is announced immediately, and a comprehensive business plan put into place.

 

  1. Remove Planco from presidency. To all who are sympathetic to him, give him another title and let others who are sympathetic to the survival of The Players step in and try to save it.
  2. Find a "big name" celebrity to replace him, and jump-start the beginning of a turnaround of the club - signaling a new era, igniting positive media attention and substantial financial support. 
  3. Require Planco (in the interim) to list all his "campaign promises" from the June 19th meeting, how much money each will bring in, give a timeline, document results and announce to members.
  4. Put a comprehensive business plan into place immediately, without one, there is no hope of attracting substantial financial support.
  5. Remove Fenniman from the Board of Directors. Under his financial leadership, The Players has come to near bankruptcy. Could it be possible that he heads the Finance Committee? Please say it isn't so.
  6. Hold accountable for their financial support all those who applauded Planco at the meeting, and the people who signed the letter of support for him.

 

"Bad press" or "Bad management" reported by the press

 

Some people are upset about "bad press" and have attacked the Financial Audit Committee. We should cheer both for reporting the dire facts to the world about how this treasure has fallen into $4 million in debt over a 9-year period, and "in imminent danger of closing" with very few people knowing about it.

 

It's the bad management team led by Planco that brought the club to this tragic state of affairs. They're the ones who everyone should be upset about, not the good people who (thank goodness) reported the details.  Be upset now at the people who insist on keeping bad management in place at the expense of saving the club.

 

Does anyone like these new headlines for the press?

 

Despite leading The Players into $4 million in debt, Planco runs his personal business out of the club, and remains its president.

 

Despite the fact that The Players is $4 million in debt, no one can answer the question of how many thousands more they are losing each month, and Planco remains president.

 

Despite the fact that Planco consistently answers questions about the debt with "I really don't know", The Players is on the brink of losing $1.25 million John Singer Sargent painting of Joseph Jefferson if $307,240 is not raised within a month to pay off a $350,000 borro.com loan, and he still remains president.

 

Despite Planco and the Executive Committee ignoring facts, recommendations, and refusing to address substantive questions raised in the FAC report, Planco remains president.

 

Despite the overwhelming majority of members in attendance of the March 14th meeting voting to remove Martello, Planco and the Executive Committee voted to keep him, and Planco remains president.

Despite a petition which called for a Special Meeting to remove Planco and Executive Committee, at the June 19th meeting Planco gave a "campaign speech for his own survival," then abruptly ended the meeting, and he remains president.

 

Despite Planco's long list of personal campaign plans for The Players' future survival, he has not been held accountable for achieving results, and he remains president.

 

Despite the fact that Planco, who claims to "love the club more than anyone else", elaborated his campaign plans, members did not question why he didn't pursue any of these ideas while The Players was sinking into $4 million in debt directly under his watch.

 

Despite the fact that Planco refuses to accept any responsibility for the financial disaster, and tells members "Let's forget about the past, let's just move on," he remains president. 

 

Despite the rest of the Executive Committee resigning, Planco remains president.
  
John Singer Sargent painting  - Three to One Returns? 

 

The treasurer writes, "We have one month left to raise the $307,240 needed to pay off the loan and recover the painting. If we do not recover the painting we stand to lose, for about $350,000, a painting appraised at $1.25 million. Try and think of this as a chance to make an investment that will pay better than three-fold for the club."  

Saving the painting from sale is a worthy goal, and it is beyond negligent that the club's "management" ever had to hock the painting to borro.com in the first place.  But the treasurer is exaggerating when he claims that this "investment" will pay "three-fold": Borro.com's own website states that if the loan is not repaid, the item will be sold and "if it sells for more than the amount you gained on the loan, borro will give you the surplus."  So if the painting is really worth $1.25 million, then the club will get all $1.25 million back, minus the amount it borrowed.

 

FYI - Our relationship of The Players

 

  • Brought in 196 neighbors as members to The Players, many of whom have left directly due to incompetent management and lack of services
  • Delivered many movie contracts to the club  (well over $150,000).
  • Our e-mails have resulted in gratitude from hundreds of people who were shocked to hear how close The Players has come to closing its doors without them knowing anything about it.
  • Worked with the press since the March 14th meeting, to bring to light the damage the previous management team (headed by Planco) has done to the club.
  • Succeeded in "outing" and exposing the culprits (Planco and Executive Committee).  The entire Executive Committee has resigned, but sadly for The Players' future, Planco remains president and Fenniman remains Chair of the Finance Committee.
  • In response to our e-mails, many have reached out to us to offer support of The Players. As a result, we have arranged meetings with Juilliard and Point One Percent (saved the London Dover Street Arts Club), which we've asked Lynne Lerner and Bob Cohn to follow up on.
  • In response to our e-mails, a friend who owns a facade restoration company contacted us to offer his help.
  • We met with Nancy Johnston and sent in her resume for the General Manager position. Johnson turned around a similar situation (as The Players) at The Morristown Club, the oldest social club in New Jersey.   
  • Forwarded many ideas i.e. Gene London e-mail, which people think are excellent.  
  • Explained to all above that they can't go near The Players until there is new management and a business plan in place to solve the debt.