07/23/2006 11:00PM

Manley close to agreement with guild


The Jockeys' Guild's board of directors was expected to meet on Monday night to vote on an employment contract for Dwight Manley, the California coin dealer and sports agent who was elected as the guild's national manager last month, Manley said on Monday.

If the contract is ratified, Manley would become the first permanent national manager since the guild's former chief executive, L. Wayne Gertmenian, was fired last November. Manley, who made millions in the rare-coin trade and once represented the professional basketball players Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone, was unexpectedly introduced as a candidate for the position at a guild board meeting in late June in Louisville, Ky.

Members of the guild's board and the guild's counsel, Tom Kennedy, did not return phone calls on Monday. Representatives in the guild's office in California also did not return a call.

Manley was selected as national manager over several other candidates, including David Stevenson, a former jockey and racetrack executive, and the racing executive Terry Meyocks.

In an interview on Monday, Manley initially declined to provide details about his compensation but later said that he would receive no compensation based on existing revenue sources and that he would not receive any share of money that he is successful in collecting for the guild's receivable accounts. But he said he would receive a 20 percent share of revenue from additional sources that he develops for the guild. He declined to identify any potential sources of new revenue.

"This is not about going around and picking up acorns," Manley said. "This is about fixing this organization."

Possible sources of additional revenue for the guild include merchandising or advertising programs as well as an ambitious plan being considered by some guild members to press the industry for a direct share of simulcasting revenues. Jockeys currently share in simulcasting revenues throught their purse earnings. Under Gertmenian, the guild explored numerous ways in which jockeys would receive a direct cut of the fees received by racetracks for simulcast signals.

At the Louisville meeting, Manley was accompanied by Jesse Jackson, the founder of the Rainbow Push Coalition, a liberal political advocacy organization. Manley said on Monday that Jackson would serve as a special advisor to the guild but would draw no compensation.

"If I want to give him something personally" as compensation, Manley said, "then I can." Manley said the guild would rely on Jackson's connections with political and labor groups to press for benefits for jockeys.

Manley said that under his employment contract, if he resigns within two years of taking the guild position he would receive no compensation.

As part of the contract, Manley said, he will provide the guild with a $500,000 loan. The loan will bear no interest for a year and then will bear interest at the prime rate, Manley said.

Manley said he has not determined what his goals will be as the guild's national manager.

"I've been putting together the mandate the jockeys wanted, but I've only spoken with about 150 of our members, and there's 1,200 members, so a lot more discussion needs to take place," Manley said.