07/30/2006 11:00PM

Manley's first goal: Trim expenses


The first priority of the Jockeys' Guild under its new national manager, the coin dealer and former sports agent Dwight Manley, will be to stabilize the guild's revenue and cut expenses, Manley said on Monday.

Manley, whose employment contract was approved by the guild's board late on Friday, said the guild is spending more money than it takes in, threatening the organization's long-term stability. Because the guild will find it difficult to immediately identify new revenue sources, Manley said he expects to trim the organization's expenses considerably in order to bring the guild into the black.

Manley, 40, did not offer specifics on the expenses that would be pared, citing an ongoing review of the guild's finances. Manley also said that he had hired outside consultants to review the guild's health insurance coverage and its payments to disabled riders in order to determine whether the policies "are adequate."

The guild had been without permanent leadership since the organization's board voted last November to fire its chief executive, L. Wayne Gertmenian, and his management company. During Gertmenian's controversial five-year tenure, the guild's revenues sharply declined.

Gertmenian drew a $165,000 salary from the guild, and his management company was paid approximately $335,000 a year, according to guild financial statements.

Manley said that he will receive no salary from the guild, and that his compensation will be tied entirely to new revenue he develops for the guild. Manley would not identify possible sources for the new revenues, but said that he would be more forthcoming after the guild had been stabilized.

"I can't do part B without first doing part A," Manley said. "Expenses and revenues are a bigger issue right now."

The majority of the guild's revenues are drawn from membership dues. The guild charges riders $4 a mount to become a member. For an additional $3 a mount, a member qualifies for the guild's health-insurance plan, which covers members and their families, though not for accidents at racetracks.

Manley has made millions in the rare-coin market and from his prior representation of the professional basketball stars Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone. He said he receives money from his real estate investments in Southern California, and remains active in the rare-coin trade.

"I'm fortunate enough to be able to do this without drawing a salary and not have it affect my lifestyle," Manley said.

Manley said that the guild will attempt to mend its sometimes sensitive relationship with other industry organizations as it explores new revenue sources.

"This isn't going to be jockeys walking around with their hands out and pointing fingers," Manley said. "I want to meet with industry people and share their ideas. It's going to be collaborative for everybody."