One Queen’s Birthday gong that has
surprised many in the Sydney business community is the AM given to
veteran accountant and liquidator, Ian Ferrier. But the award isn’t for
Ferrier’s role in company receiverships, liquidations and
administrations – it’s for services to “the administration of rugby
union football through financial management roles, restructuring and
business development.”

Ferrier was part of the group that took
control of the NSW rugby union after the abortive Waratah Park project
at suburban Concord failed with losses in the millions of dollars.

But there’s some irony in that because, as this story from the SMH
earlier this year shows, one of Ferrier’s biggest regrets is a $3
million sponsorship deal of the NSW rugby team that fell over when the
sponsorship collapsed. Some business development role.

failure he raises was the sponsorship of NSW rugby union by TravelFree
Pty Ltd, a travel-based corporate loyalty scheme, under which the
company was supposed to provide a minimum of $3 million. The firm went
into liquidation in 1998, imposing a financial squeeze on NSW rugby

He’s 65 this year. Perhaps the gong was for him
personally, but the reason given was for his role in rugby union rather
than his life’s work. Curious to say the least, but not surprising to
some in Sydney business.