“Staying away from golf bites, but the Saudi project is worth it”

Greg Norman is exceptional.  - GETTY IMAGES:

Greg Norman is exceptional. “To avoid golf bites, but the Saudi project is worth it” – GETTY IMAGES

If Greg Norman had any doubts about his new neck in the golf course, it was confirmed at last week’s Masters. “I usually get an invitation every January when they come out as a past major winner,” says Norman. “Not this time. Although they sent me a base ticket the night before the first round.”

Needless to say, 67-year-old Norman did not attend. If he did not want to fight those accumulations by buying their Masters Cups and trying to see the action, then the $ 225 million LIV Golf Invitational Series was an urgent need to get off the ground.

“Do not call it the Super Golf League, my friend,” the Australian said during a lengthy, sometimes passionate, conversation about the breakaway region of Saudi Arabia.

The great white shark will always have its fans, but for many it has become the ultimate predator in the last year.

Appointed CEO of LIV Golf Investments, Norman is committed to his Saudi paymaster mission of challenging the status quo of the elite men’s game, as he has always done with his clubs, with fire and enthusiasm. However, it is fair to say that this reputation has taken a hit, as he has been portrayed as a dirty champion, a ready-made champion of the Saudis. From swashbucklers to sneakers.

“Look, I’ll be honest with you, yes, the criticism stung a little, but I strongly believe that you can not run through a brick wall without bleeding,” he said. “I’m ready to run through this wall because I have great faith in growing golf on a global scale.”

The growth of the game is the central theme of the breakaway period, which will consist of eight events this year, starting with a $ 48 million $ 48 tournament in St. Albans in June. The obvious question for Norman is how we should reconcile GTG with the staggering amount of money being paid to LIV converts, especially Norman himself. Sources on the traditional tours claim that Norman could receive $ 50 million a year.

“Who told you that?” Norman asks with a wide smile. “Am I being paid?” Yes! Am I being paid a lot of money? What is the definition of wealth? Put this in perspective. I left as CEO of Greg Norman to take on this role. A big decision for me. To hand over the wheel of the company, which I personally started from scratch, to where it is today. I did not do this for my bank account. My account was just fine. I did it because I saw a lasting opportunity to break the monopoly of 53 years in power. “As a player, I was against it.”

In November 1994, Norman introduced his idea for a world golf tour. eight events for the top 30 of the ranking with $ 3 million wallets. It had legs until they were ruthlessly cut off by the PGA Tour. Injustice within Norman had been burning for decades when he witnessed what he called a “closed shop” linking supposedly independent contractors to strict regulations about where they might end up.

“I was once told I could not play in the Australian Open,” he said. “My open! That p —– is off to me. The hypocrisy was rotten. It is still so. If someone wants to raise millions for professionals to compete on a new exciting scale, why not do it? It’s the player’s choice, we give them another option. I’m very proud of that. “

“I understand how people like to call it ‘sports laundry’, but look at the bigger picture.”

However, how can you be proud of your wealth? Norman has previously spoken of his disgust with the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, which is “condemnable,” he said last month, but despite the fact that the journalist’s bones were cut and stuffed into bags even four years ago, Norman says it is time to move on.

“Every country has its cross,” he says. “My homeland is as guilty as everyone else. I’m the kind of person who looks to the future, not the past, to see what Saudi Arabia has done in a very short period of time to invest in the game.

I can understand how people like to call it “sports laundry”, but look at the bigger picture from a commercial point of view. It was good for the European tour when they went to play in Saudi Arabia, why is it good for women to play the Aramco Series in Saudi Arabia? It seems that there is no real logic with that position.

The PGA Tour does not directly say sportswashing, but they say people say it for themselves. However, it is good that they go to China with the Uyghurs. Seriously? Take it back և really good, honest, look carefully at the facts, then you will see. “Hey, Greg Norman, after all, he’s not that good. “Greg Norman and his team of world-class individuals.”

Greg Norman is exceptional.  - GETTY IMAGES:

Greg Norman is exceptional. “To avoid golf bites, but the Saudi project is worth it” – GETTY IMAGES

There is no doubt that Norman has amassed an impressive team of professionals, from tournament staging, promotion to TV personalities, sponsorship and advertising. They are many և highly skilled, but their work is done. Norman readily acknowledges that LIV has yet to decide how golf fans will watch the series, that moving forward “is a priority for television, be it the old egg or the new egg, or ideally both.” Norman, however, claims that he has “non-disclosure agreements with nine different broadcasters around the world.”

Of course, the biggest obstacle is coexistence. The Tours has promised to ban all players who register, ևthen և there is a problem with the entry of major professions և Ryder Cup eligibility. There seems to be no hope of reaching an agreement at this stage.

“I am 100 percent convinced that the PGA Tour can not ban players,” he said. “I am not a lawyer. But I have been sitting in legal meetings for the last seven to nine months. at least three a week. Players will begin to realize very, very quickly the strength of their position that they have every legal right as independent contractors. We have never created this alarm with any egg, egg or egg. “But if we have to defend our rights, we will defend them.”

In other words, “On tea. a messy legal battle. ” The charitable status of the PGA Tour will be in the spotlight, along with the restraint of the trader, և there will be all sorts of handcuffs և accusations. Norman expects the golf carts to bypass even more tightly.

“The only ones who agreed to call were the masters. I told their president, Fred Ridley: “I would like to sit down with you to let you understand what we are trying to do.” But he said: “Greg, I will not sit with you until you do well with other institutions.”

“It’s over, then. Ring-fenced. But we are not leaving. We have been here for a long time, for decades. The initial concept of the league of 14 annual events will run until 2024. We promised $ 300 million for the Asian tour, we will soon employ more than 200 people, և I assure you we have the investment to continue և to continue. In the meantime, I can accept the blows. “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.