ACT News


Christos Kyrgios says failed Gold's Gym venture causes $300,000 losses

The brother of rising Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios, Christos Kyrgios, and the owner of three gyms in Canberra, Leigh Taylforth, are locked in a dispute.

Several other Canberrans, and franchisees elsewhere in Australia are caught up in the dispute, which centres on Mr Taylforth's relationship with Gold's Gym parent company in the United States.

The company issued a statement last week saying it had parted company with Mr Taylforth.

Canberra builder Zoran Sever is involved in legal action with Mr Taylforth,  a Gold's Gym gymnasium fit-out in Townsville, but is not commenting. Mr Taylforth disputes the claim.

Mr Kyrgios says he is owed about $300,000.

After announcing Gold Gym's opening in Fyshwick in 2013 Mr Kyrgios, then general manager of the new enterprise. He says that he was given the right to open one himself in Brisbane, a claim that is denied by Mr Taylforth.


A protracted legal battle ensued with Mr Taylforth which remains unresolved. "It has been tough, to be honest, to say the least," Mr Kyrgios said. 

"I bought into the story as much as anyone else did. I was one, I thought they would be managed, and operated a whole different way," he said.

He said after the relationship soured he opened an independent gym, Oasis Health Club, in Brisbane.

"I still have the rights to open a Gold's Gym in Brisbane, on the value they were being sold at, that was an asset worth $200,000, which no one is willing to take responsibility for," Mr Kyrgios said.

"It would be nice to close off everything that happened with that former employer. In addition to that franchise, not being compensated for in any way, I also have about $125,000 worth of superannuation, annual leave, unpaid wages, commissions still owing from Mr Taylforth as well."

Mr Kyrgios said legal action to recover money had achieved a settlement, but no money as yet had been paid. 

Mr Taylforth says he cannot comment on Mr Kyrgios's comments because of a confidentiality clause in a deed of agreement.

Mr Taylforth employs more than 100 full-time and part-time employees at Fyshwick, Gungahlin and Tuggeranong gyms, and says while Gold's Gym is proposing to terminate the agreement with him, which began in 2013, he does not know why.

"They hold ultimate discretion over that brand. I didn't see it coming in a million years, they always retain the right to do that sort of thing."

A Canberran with business degrees from the ANU, Mr Taylforth says he sold 23 franchises, including the three he bought in Canberra and one in Bondi Beach. "I am in the same boat as other gyms," he said.

Mr Taylforth says Gold's Gym awarded him international master franchise holder of the year in 2015. He is trying to resolve the dispute with the parent company.

"We have to see how that plays out. I'm still passionate, I poured my heart and soul into the brand," he said. He said his three Canberra's gyms combined had 2500 members.

In a statement on July 14 Gold's Gym parent company said it was expanding in Australia, and had parted ways with Mr Taylforth. The statement says: "Effective Thursday, July 14, the following gym locations will no longer be affiliated with the Gold's Gym brand: Fyshwick, Gunghalin, Tuggeranong, Bondi Beach, and Townsville."

Comment is being sought from Gold's Gym in the United States.