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Old 06-25-2015, 11:00 PM   #1
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Default TA funding...

The war of words between Rafter and John Tomic continues in the media today, including proposed funding cuts to 23 year old players players in the offing: http://www.foxsports.com.au/tennis/w...-1227415603787

Some interesting comments from both sides, worth a look. Here are a couple of key extracts and a few comments.

1. Higher ranked players losing funding?

Was the current spat in fact triggered by funding cuts to Bernie? The article, with the claim that he was being 'pushed out' of the Davis Cup, kind of implies that even though Tomic is publicly making it about Sarah:

Quote:
“But I think it’s our role to help a player get to the level that they can and then they’re sort of on their own.

“If we keep funding these top guys that can afford to fund themselves, that stops our ability to fund the lower ones.”
As I understand it, the higher ranked players get some funding support for coaching on the basis of DC team membership/availability. Personally I actually do support that - unless they are in the top 30 group or have a slam to their name and consequent sponsorship dollars, the costs of a proper team are pretty high. Moreover a tennis players income is extremely uncertain due to injury etc. Whereas TA is making a lot of money off the back of their performances, and thence funding the large salaries their bureaucrats collect regardless of performance...

2. Older players will lose funding.

Quote:
Rafter yesterday confirmed other players around the 23-24 age bracket, would be cut loose financially.

“At some stage a guy just can’t keep on getting funding and, with funding, you become a bit soft as well, if everything is paid for all of the time.

“There’s gonna be a few guys next year who are gonna have a rude awakening.

“They can’t coast any more. So they’ve either got to give it a real crack or give the game away...
If he's talking about players that age still ranked outside top 200 then I agree, didn't realise they were still being funded, there do have to be some sensible limits!

3. Criticise TA and you're out

Quote:
...“We’ve talked amongst our team and we have decided we are now not going to support kids whose parents are vocally against everything we’re trying to do,” Rafter said.

“Either nasty people or people who go online on Twitter and stuff all the time and are just being abusive.

“We’re making a stand on that.

“So we’re not funding Sara, which is a bit of a shame for Sara because I think she’s a great girl and she has a very good rapport with a lot of TA staff and she always comes across as friendly.
The case in relation to Tomic is perhaps understandable, but there are a lot of others who have been critical and had funding cut off as well - Santillan defecting to Japan being the biggest collateral damage...

4. Claims about TA featherbedding

Tomic commented:

Quote:
...“Why he did not cut TA administration (and) their high expenses overseas — hotels, first class flight tickets, food.“All of them taking wives and kids on TA expenses...
If true (and it probably is) then I agree with him that something needs to be done - the salaries and perks going to sports administrators in all sports is indeed scandalous, reason for the FIFA debacle.
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: TA funding...

The Oz adds a bit more to the story: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/spor...-1227415725187

Apparently Rafter did cut funding to Ebden:

Quote:
...Rafter warned that the Tomics wouldn’t be the only ones to suffer and lauded 27-year-old Matt Ebden — who has risen from 359th in the world in March to 148th to earn a Wimbledon wildcard — as the perfect example of how a player should respond to having their TA funding stopped.

“Obviously he wasn’t happy,” Rafter said.

“And I said: ‘What are you gonna do? Are you gonna to go to uni and study law like you’ve been talking or are you gonna go and work and play tennis?’ “He said: ‘No, I’m gonna give it a crack’ and that’s what you want to see and he’s given it a real crack.

“At some stage a guy just can’t keep on getting funding. With funding, you become a bit soft as well, if everything is paid for all of the time.

“There’s going to be a few guys next year who are going to have a rude awakening.

“They can’t coast any more.”
And he's hit back at claims that Tomic is being underpaid for DC:

Quote:
Disappointed that Bernard was threatening to skip the crucial tie with Kazakhstan, Rafter also insisted John Tomic’s claim that his son had been playing Davis Cup “for pittance” was “rubbish”. The former skipper said not only do the Australian players split 100 per cent of the Davis Cup prize pool, but top-25 stars like Tomic get bonuses and can earn “massive money”.

Rafter quit his position as Cup captain to take on his new role in February and is intent on changing the culture within Australian tennis and says “financially stable” elite players will no longer be funded.
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: TA funding...

And another one, this time on 7, saying the reason stepped back from the DC role was disputes with Tomic and Kyrgios....https://au.sports.yahoo.com/tennis/a...w/?cmp=twitter

Really not the fight you want to have a few days before Wimbledon starts...

Quote:
Pat Rafter admits it will be a shame if Bernard Tomic walks out on Australia's Davis Cup team, but says the 22-year-old is old enough to make his own decisions.

Responding to Tomic's decision to skip Australia's quarter-final against Kazakhstan next month over a dispute between Tennis Australia and Bernard's father John, Rafter revealed he stepped down from the captaincy this year partly because some of his young guns were doing his head in.

The former world No.1 and Australian of the Year hopes new captain Wally Masur will resolve the issue with Team Tomic, but says he is staying out of negotiations, especially now so the country's top-ranked player can focus on Wimbledon starting on Monday.

Rafter, though, has been dragged into the ugly feud due to his new role as TA's player performance director, with John Tomic furious that his daughter Sara, who won her first professional tournament last weekend in Egypt, receives no financial support from the governing body.

But Rafter won't budge and says it's time for Bernard and fellow boom youngster Nick Kyrgios to smarten up to ensure they maximise their immense potential.

"This whole thing with the Tomics has been going on pretty much since I got involved with Davis Cup," Rafter said in a no-holds-barred pre-Wimbledon interview.

"Because I've always tried to tell the boys exactly how I feel and this is how it is and if you keep going down these particular paths, these are the things that will happen.


"And I just feel like it's fallen on deaf ears for the last four or five years and so now I just take a step back and watch them unravel, or they just become their own men and deal with it or they mature in time.

"The problem with the young kids having such stardom at such a young age is that they're probably a little bit immature in lot of ways, and most people are.

"But some aren't. You look at someone like Rafa (Nadal), who had immediate success and was an incredible ambassador and he never had any problems or hiccups along the way.

"Whereas I look at these two boys, Tomic in particular, you could see it coming and I was just trying to protect him."

But with Tomic heavily influenced by his coach-father, Rafter felt he was beating his head against a brick wall so he accepted his new job.

The result is no funding for Sara Tomic, who Rafter says he feels for, because TA can't tolerate John Tomic's behaviour.

Now Bernard - and Australia's Davis Cup team - has been compromised.

"So he's gone about things his way with his father and his family," Rafter said.

"So I've told both the Tomics exactly how I've felt in Davis Cup arenas and outside of that and just trying to get them to realise that there are implications for behaviour and not playing hard tennis or giving yourself the best opportunity.


"So this has been coming to a head for a little while."

Rafter said "it would be a shame" if Tomic went ahead with his Davis Cup boycott.

"But there's not much we can do about it. If he doesn't want to play, he doesn't want to play," he said.

"Bernie's played ever since I was captain, so he's into his fifth year. There's been issues along the way; I kicked him out of one tie.

"I can't speak for how each individual is and I can't say 'I can't believe you don't see it the way I see it.' It's just the way it is.

"So you've got to be your own person and if that's what makes you happy, then that's what you've got to do."

While he's had issues with Tomic and Kyrgios, Rafter described their 19-year-old teammate Thanasi Kokkinakis as the "role model" for Australian tennis youngsters.
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: TA funding...

Not sure why players who earn mega-bucks through sponsors and winnings need to get funding from Tennis Australia. JT is just a money-grubber it seems.
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Old 06-26-2015, 03:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: TA funding...

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Originally Posted by RustyOz View Post
Not sure why players who earn mega-bucks through sponsors and winnings need to get funding from Tennis Australia. JT is just a money-grubber it seems.
Yes but aside from Hewitt, how many of our players are really earning mega-bucks after costs of coaching, travel etc taken into account?

Don't mind them cutting funding to someone like Ebden - clearly is counter-productive if it allows a player to just keep on losing. I certainly don't see why any of the 22+ year plus players who aren't going anywhere should get anything. And Bernie has won $539,000 so far this year, so clearly isn't doing too badly, but presumably lost most of his sponsorship when IMG gave him the boot last year.

But a lot of them are still getting on their feet and building coaching teams around themselves etc, won't have any reserves to fall back on if out injured.

And why shouldn't they get a share of the revenue TA is making off their rise? Interest in tennis is rising rapidly in Oz off the back of their DC and Tour exploits, with flow throughs for tv rights values, AO attendance etc - they should surely get a decent share of it with the rest invested in the next potential set of players?
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: TA funding...

This debate seems set to continue for a while - News report today that Bernie and John are just waiting until after Wimbledon to really unleash hell. Oh dear.

Have to admit I wondered why TA supported the change to the rules that prevents tennis players changing countries given that we have benefitted from it so much on the women's side, but does mean that if Bernie does defect, he can't play at Olympics or represent Croatia in DC...

Meanwhile, couple of other media items of note. One quite nice piece in the Roar on TA/Rafter's amateurism in inability to deal with difficult parents/players or those who don't fit the narrow model he prefers: http://www.theroar.com.au/2015/06/27...ia-to-grow-up/ Perhaps a little tough to expect anyone to be able to deal wiht someone quite like John Tomic, but still a reasonable point in my view.

And also a nice comment in Fairfax today on 'the Rafter effect', in an article on Kyrgios' issues:

Quote:
There's also the Rafter Effect.

Rafter and Kyrgios once stood back to back in Bonds undies for a photoshoot, but they could not be any different. Notwithstanding the generations of Australian men's players who were - seemingly - nothing but gentlemen, Rafter set an unrealistic bar in terms of what we want from our next tennis champion: the boy-next-door who belonged on the front of a cereal box who said, "Sorry mate" whenever he stuffed up a ball toss.

Australia has a new version of Rafter. His name is Thanasi Kokkinakis, who is already being touted as a "role model" even though he's just 19. "That's our Australian tennis pin-up boy right there," says Rafter. No. No pressure at all. The comment was as much a smackdown of Kyrgios as a warm acknowledgement of Kokkinakis.

Kyrgios is the antithesis of Rafter....
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: TA funding...

They should cut all funding to Nick.
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Old 06-29-2015, 06:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: TA funding...

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Originally Posted by azza View Post
They should cut all funding to Nick.
What, so he will defect or refuse to play DC too?

Time enough for that when he has gotten past this growing phase (physical and mental) and settled into a proper full tour regime.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: TA funding...

well done john tomic.
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: TA funding...

I'm obviously Team Tomic. The Tennis Australia establishment is toxic. The have TONS of money, and cut funding to certain players but keep the flow open for others (Hewitt, Guccione). Not only that, but they seem intent on creating division and setting up some players to thrive and others to fail. You CANNOT deny they've had a HUGE HAND in the public perception of Tomic - like they did with Dokic, like they did with Philippoussis - and they're still doing it this Wimbledon. Asking EVERYONE there opinion on Tomic skipping Davis Cup. Like, focus on the positives for once - we actually have heaps of positives to look at - the huge amount of Aussies in the draw, a number of them qualifying - but no let's focus on the negative and paint someone bad so others look better. They're even beginning to praise Kokkinakis over Kyrgios in attitude. Molik that stupid mole said Kokkinakis would be the last Australian standing! They asked her which players outside the seeds should we look out for and she couldn't mention a non-seed! She said to look out for Safarova These people have no clue! Tennis Australia is an evil organisation who thrive on chaos and making enemies.
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:38 AM   #11
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Default Re: TA funding...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitry Verdasco View Post
I'm obviously Team Tomic. The Tennis Australia establishment is toxic. The have TONS of money, and cut funding to certain players but keep the flow open for others (Hewitt, Guccione). Not only that, but they seem intent on creating division and setting up some players to thrive and others to fail. You CANNOT deny they've had a HUGE HAND in the public perception of Tomic - like they did with Dokic, like they did with Philippoussis - and they're still doing it this Wimbledon. Asking EVERYONE there opinion on Tomic skipping Davis Cup. Like, focus on the positives for once - we actually have heaps of positives to look at - the huge amount of Aussies in the draw, a number of them qualifying - but no let's focus on the negative and paint someone bad so others look better. They're even beginning to praise Kokkinakis over Kyrgios in attitude. Molik that stupid mole said Kokkinakis would be the last Australian standing! They asked her which players outside the seeds should we look out for and she couldn't mention a non-seed! She said to look out for Safarova These people have no clue! Tennis Australia is an evil organisation who thrive on chaos and making enemies.
I'm certainly not team Tomic, but the praise to Kokk by way of a public slapdown for Tomic and Kyrgios was clumsy and stupid and unfair to all three of them.

And it isn't a one off, they keep on saying stupid inflammatory things at regular intervals.

It certainly doesn't suggest any finesse or professionalism for their private dealings.

I think they'd be a lot better off cutting Tomic off at the knees by being a lot more transparent about who is getting funding and why - announce the list of grants/assistance in kind each year or something.

That said, I think you're overplaying their role on DC - any top player in any sport who publicly states they aren't available to play for Australia is inevitably going to cop a lot of flack.

Anyway, the latest is that John Tomic has denied that the dispute has anything to do with Bernie's funding, and Bernie has said he will explain his reasons for not playing after Wimbledon:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/...-1227420660797
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: TA funding...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kateoz View Post
I'm certainly not team Tomic, but the praise to Kokk by way of a public slapdown for Tomic and Kyrgios was clumsy and stupid and unfair to all three of them.

And it isn't a one off, they keep on saying stupid inflammatory things at regular intervals.

It certainly doesn't suggest any finesse or professionalism for their private dealings.

I think they'd be a lot better off cutting Tomic off at the knees by being a lot more transparent about who is getting funding and why - announce the list of grants/assistance in kind each year or something.

That said, I think you're overplaying their role on DC - any top player in any sport who publicly states they aren't available to play for Australia is inevitably going to cop a lot of flack.

Anyway, the latest is that John Tomic has denied that the dispute has anything to do with Bernie's funding, and Bernie has said he will explain his reasons for not playing after Wimbledon:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/...-1227420660797
The bold will NEVER happen. EVER. It's way too biased.

I just don't know what Tennis Australia is thinking - we're headed into Wimbledon in our best position collectively as a nation in over a decade - and Tomic v TA/Davis Cup is the hot topic. Terrible image management and PR.

If they'd said that Tomic isn't playing because he wants to focus on his ranking then there would be no issue. That's ALL they had to say. That's it.

Federer doesn't play DC much, his image is intact. No one cares about Davis Cup tbh, not the GP anyway. Tennis Australia made it this issue.
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Old 06-30-2015, 06:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: TA funding...

We've got 5 top 100 players, with Millman soon to join. TA should let it go, Kazakhstan have one good and two borderline top 100 players, none of them are for grass either.

Looks like one of you two hound go and fix the problem
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Old 06-30-2015, 06:25 AM   #14
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Default Re: TA funding...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitry Verdasco View Post
...If they'd said that Tomic isn't playing because he wants to focus on his ranking then there would be no issue. That's ALL they had to say. That's it.

Federer doesn't play DC much, his image is intact. No one cares about Davis Cup tbh, not the GP anyway. Tennis Australia made it this issue.
Not up to them to say that, Bernard should have done that himself if that is the reason. But it clearly isn't.

And Australians do care about DC I think.

In reality Fed has copped a lot of flack in Switzerland even though in reality he's played a lot of ties. But he can get away with it because he's won so much for the country including the thing itself. Tomic hasn't.

But I agree having this stoush right now is madness.
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Old 06-30-2015, 06:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: TA funding...

^^ The TA boys club are the ones that said Tomic is skipping because of funding issues with his dad.
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