ANGRY members of a prestigious Hong Kong fitness club yesterday threatened to sue the owners over the centre's pending closure. Members of the City Club in Central, owned by health and beauty experts Phillip Wain International Ltd, are angry at the way they have been treated over the planned closure early next month. More than 70 people signed a petition at an emergency meeting complaining about their treatment. It was then handed to one of the owners, Eddie Phillips. But after failing to iron out the problems, 12 members, who claim they are owed $144,000, said they would sue the company for breach of contract and misrepresentation. ''We wanted either a pro rata refund on our membership or the suspension of our membership if Phillip Wain is to open another club in Central,'' said member Ceri Roderick. ''At the meeting we were not given a guarantee on either option.'' The club, on the fifth floor of the New World Tower, closes on November 5. Mr Phillips has told members he cannot afford the new lease and denies being unreasonable. ''It was not until the beginning of the month that a letter went up on the notice board saying the place would close,'' said Ms Roderick, a property lawyer. ''The letter said we could transfer our membership to one of the three other Phillip Wain clubs in Causeway Bay, Taikoo Shing or Harbour City. I joined the club because of its convenient location. ''One woman has just signed a life membership with the club for $80,000.'' Mr Phillips denied he was being unfair: ''I would have accepted a 50 per cent increase in rent, but the landlords wanted a 100 per cent rise which I could not afford.'' Mr Phillips, whose successful health and fitness enterprise started in Hong Kong 17 years ago, promised a replacement for the City Club, but refused to give a location. ''There will be a replacement and it will be in the vicinity of the City Club. ''We have a number of other clubs members can use. We have even offered to suspend their membership until a new club opens, but we cannot refund their membership; it is not part of the agreements. ''These women making a large issue out of this represent one per cent of our membership at the City Club.'' Emma Day was less than a month into her new membership when she learned of the closure. ''I was told by a member of staff that the club would not close until the end of the year and members would move straight into a new club in Central. ''But at the meeting there was no mention of a replacement club in Central,'' said the lawyer, who claims she is owed almost $9,000.