(Reuters) – The PGA Tour has threatened the world’s top golfers with instant suspension and a lifetime ban if they join a break-up world tour plan promising multi-million dollar deals, reported the British daily Daily Telegraph and other media.
The controversy echoes last month’s unsuccessful attempt by 12 European football clubs to create a breakaway European Super League, prompting backlash from fans, players and politicians.
The Telegraph said the players were offered contracts ranging between $ 30 million and $ 100 million to participate, but the PGA warned of serious consequences during a meeting before the Wells Fargo Championship.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monagan warned future rebels on Tuesday night that they risk instant suspension and a lifetime ban. The obligatory players gathered here at Quail Hollow fell silent as the public took responsibility for the consequences. seismic, ”the Telegraph said.
The PGA Tour and European Tours did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
The UK-based World Golf Group had publicly unveiled its plan in 2020 for a new world tour – the Premier Golf League (PGL) – comprising 18 annual events featuring 48 players. Each tournament would have a cash prize of $ 10 million.
The PGL had said they wanted to work with established tours rather than as a split circuit, but the PGA and European Tours were dismissive of the circuit which had planned to launch in 2022.
Former world No.1 Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy had also rejected the idea, saying he wanted autonomy over his career choices.
But media have said the latest attempted separation tour – renamed the Super Golf League – was backed by Saudi money and that a team of negotiators has set up a camp in South Florida, where several players reside. high level golf.
The Telegraph said the Saudi team believed the PGA Tour could not kick the members out and would face a legal battle if they did. It’s unclear who or what groups in Saudi Arabia might be involved.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)