Colliers is marketing the two-storey building off High Lane and Cross Road as a “prime redevelopment opportunity” despite a long-running campaign from Friends of Chorlton Irish Club to save it.
The owners, a group of four trustees, stepped in to take over the day to day running of the club in April 2019 after the management committee at the time expressed a desire put the club up for sale.
Around the same time Friends of Chorlton Irish Club, a members group, successfully applied to Manchester Council for the club to become an asset of community value in the hope of halting any potential sale.
The four trustees took control of the club, apparently adopting a debt of around £140,000, in a move which was welcomed by members at the time.
Under the stewardship of the trustees, the club, which was founded in 1956, saw a spike in membership but last summer communication between the trustees and members stalled.
Friends of Chorlton Irish Club said it has sought unsuccessfully to engage in dialogue with the club’s trustees since June last year. An open letter to the trustees sent in December called for more transparency and clarity on the club’s financial situation.
Towards the end of 2019 it became clear that the trustees were looking to sell the premises after the members were made aware of what appeared to be a leaked sales poster advertising the sale of the club.
At the time a spokesperson for Colliers said the document was a mock-up of what a sales brochure might look like. They explained that the agent had been approached by one of the club’s trustees about selling the building.
A spokesperson for Friends of Chorlton Irish Club said that the timing of the announcement was “shocking” because, due to current social distancing advice, members are unable to meet to discuss their next course of action.
The spokesperson said that the legal obligation of the trustees toward the members is unclear because an important land registry document which details that relationship has been lost.
“Regardless of the legal position, from a moral standpoint to sell the club without reference to the members is shocking, especially in this current climate.”
He added: “There are a lot of members out there that these four trustees are supposed to be taking decisions on behalf of and this has all happened without any consultation with the members whatsoever.
Tom Lathwood, surveyor, residential, city and suburban development at Colliers International, said: “Located at the heart of one of south Manchester’s most prosperous and vibrant communities, Chorlton Irish Club represents a prime redevelopment opportunity.
“Despite these unique and difficult times, we expect a strong level of interest from a wide range of potential buyers.”