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Discussion Starter #1
I don't have the link, because I found this on worldcrossing. If I come up with a link for it, I'll let you know.




Rebels target Hewitt
By John Thirsk and Leo Schlink February 19, 2003



WORLD No.1 LLeyton Hewitt has become a prime target for a players breakaway group.

Hewitt - target for splinter group.

Called the International Men's Tennis Association, the splinter group fired off their first salvo at the Australian Open.

The IMTA is led by former world No.6 and last month's Australian Open quarter-finalist Wayne Ferreira, who claims many players are dissatisfied with how the Association of Tennis Professionals is running the game.

During the grand slam championship at Melbourne Park, he said many players voiced their disapproval over the issue.

The 31-year-old South African who bases himself in San Francisco said: "The ATP was a players organisation (formed in 1973) with the idea of being a players tour.

"But I think it has moved away from that (more of a business conglomerate).

"It is not run that way (as a players organisation) and players don't have as much say as they are supposed to have."

Wimbledon champion Hewitt would be number one on the IMTA hit list because of his ongoing dispute with the ATP over a $200,000 fine in Cincinnatti last August, due to an apparent refusal to do a television interview with host broadcaster ESPN.

Six months on, legal drama over the issue with the ATP continues and this situation will only accelerate Hewitt joining the new group.

Now a New York law firm has started wielding the racquet and, along with several players, is forming a group with the view to speaking out on behalf of the players.

Issues which have annoyed the players include:


The now defunct ISL group which failed financially with a $2billion deal as the ATP's marketing arm which had the ATP walking a money tightrope.

The ATP attempting to control players' individual licensing (wearing the ATP logo on clothing) with players getting no benefit from the arrangement.

An out-of-court settlement over the rescheduling of two lead-up events before the US Open in August.

Although there are three player representatives on the ATP board of directors and another 11 including Australia's Todd Woodbridge on a players council, players believe they are just puppets for the ATP and have no real say in the overall running of the game.
A letter distributed at the Australian Open from the new group said: "Men's professional tennis players are concerned that men's tennis is one of the only major professional sports that does not have a players-only organisation to represent the best interests of the players."

The letter also said players "were frustrated by poor information from the ATP regarding the business of tennis including prizemoney and pension issues" and complained about "poor promotion of the sport".

The new group is also concerned about:


The income of ATP chief executive Mark Miles, who earned almost $2million in salary, benefits and other items two years ago according to the group's most recent available tax returns.

The high salaries of other top ATP officials.

The elimination of bonus money and drastic cutbacks in doubles prizemoney.

Untenable rules directing players interaction with the media.
Player agents and manufacturers oppose any ATP control over their players individual licensing and sponsorship deals.

An ATP spokesperson said that, with a large number of players, occasionally there would be some who were unhappy with certain areas.

"These guys have gone a step further, but the ATP is not quite sure what they are trying to achieve," the spokesman said.

"Miles (CEO Mark Miles) has seen it (the letter), but he has got bigger fish to fry and is focusing on working with the players and tournaments to address other issues".

A spokesperson at the New York law firm handling the players' new group said they were getting close to getting a "critical" group of players together.
 

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WOOHOOO!!!

TAKE THE ATP DOWN!!!:bounce: :bounce:

Or at least make them change their ways.:bounce: :bounce:

Now for the USTA....
 

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this is huge. go Wayne!!!! :D :)
 

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I think these people are a bit behind. I posted an article at LLL a couple of days back about Lleyton and ATP settling the dispute.

Here it is....

ATP, Hewitt mysteriously close case of fine and appeal

By Matthew Cronin
tennisreporters.net

FROM THE SIEBEL OPEN IN SAN JOSE, CALIF. – An ATP Tour Appeals Committee has concluded its finding regarding No. 1-ranked Lleyton Hewitt's appeal of a $103,000 fine he was given in Cincinnati in August 2002 for refusing to participate in an interview with host broadcasters ESPN.

However, what was resolved is still a mystery, since neither side will speak in depth about it.

"The matter is now concluded," the Hewitt and the ATP said in a joint statement. "The ATP and Hewitt do not plan to release any further information regarding this internal matter, consistent with past practices regarding STARS program appeals. With the committee's decision behind us, we look forward to focusing on the 2003 season."

Last summer, Hewitt accused the ATP of lying about the matter and said he might reduce his schedule this year.

"When things happen like in Cincinnati, when you think about the way everything has been run, it's just not much fun," said Hewitt last summer. He who added that he might not follow the rules about how many tournaments a player is obliged to compete in and could ignore the importance of the No. 1 ranking. "There are times when you feel like (walking away) ... it is a great sport if the ATP would just get out of the way."

Hewitt hasn't played a regular tour event since losing in the fourth round of the Australian Open to Younes El Aynaoui and isn't scheduled to play again until March 10, when he attempts to defend his title at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, Calif.

Last summer, ATP CEO Mark Miles implied that Hewitt's fine would probably will be reduced on appeal.

"Everyone takes Lleyton's comments in context that he's angry at the tour right now, but hopefully he won't be as mad once the dust settles," said Miles last summer. "The interview needed to get done. Sports is a very competitive marketplace and we need our players to be accessible to the public through the media. The tour has a set of expectations we expect to be met. The STARS program rule that passed by the player's council was designed by the players because most players believe it is their responsibility to promote the sport."
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think these people are a bit behind. I posted an article at LLL a couple of days back about Lleyton and ATP settling the dispute.
If you had posted it out here, then we would have known.

Regardless, the bit about the IMTA is still news.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Right right... I was just saying, it would have been informative to us out here, seeing as the topic has been dicussed in great detail before in GM. But whatever, it's not worth losing hair over.

As for the article I posted, I think that wether or not that issue is resolved is totally irrelevant to their cause.
 

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I think this article bears reposting.

Missing The Mission: The ATP Is Spinning More Than The Ball

By Mark Winters
tennisweek
11/13/2002

"The ATP is a dangerous subject and I don’t want to sound critical, but it appears that they have lost their path," lamented Hall of Famer Jack Kramer, the first executive director of the ATP. "What they are doing is not what we had in mind," he said, carefully picking his words.

A well-respected coach has a harsher assessment: “The ATP has turned from being a player’s union to being the governing body of the tour. It has become what we ran away from—the Men’s International Professional Tennis Council."

The ATP Mission statement proudly boasts, “As the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuit, the ATP is committed to creatively and professionally leading the worldwide growth of the game.” Mission statements usually are eloquent, grandiose and often exasperatingly exaggerated. Achieving stated ends is never as easy as coming up with lofty words.

“The ATP was founded to release players from the bondage of national tennis associations who, in the days of amateur tennis, treated them like serfs,” remembers John Barrett, Financial Times tennis correspondent and one of the original Board members. “Although Open tennis arrived in 1968, attitudes had still not changed. The initial goals were: to unify the players and provide a voice for them in the forum of world tennis; to eliminate guarantees and have all funds channeled into prize money and to start a pension fund for the protection of players in later life. The first and last were soon realized but guarantees have never been eliminated. Now they are even allowed under the rules for tournaments outside the Masters Series.” In addition, “other topics soon became important, like a ranking system, control of the calendar, a code of conduct, road managers, entries being handled by the ATP instead of by individuals, etc.”

A line has been crossed. According to the coach quoted earlier, “There is no longer anyone representing the interests of the players. Before the inception of the new ATP, the tour representatives were supposed to be at tournaments helping the players. They were player advocates. Now, they are policing players. That’s why the players need a union of their own.”

The ATP Board of Directors is composed of player representatives (Tomas Carbonell, Gary Muller and Harold Solomon) and tournament representatives (Patrice Dominguez, Charlie Pasarell and Graham Pearce). CEO Mark Miles has the tie-breaking vote (a vote he has yet to cast despite 12 years in office). The system should work. It is also balanced by a Player Council, headed by President Todd Martin, with representation from every level and a Tournament Council composed of five European, four international and four American tournament directors.

As democratic as this system appears to be, many players feel that instead of a “partnership between the tournament directors and players,” the balance is skewed in favor of the former. Not surprisingly, the tournament directors disagree.

Kramer remembers, "In 1975, there were 20 tournaments, including the Grand Slams, with operating experience. The idea was to get all the players to play every event. They had to play to be part of the Grand Prix and participate in the Bonus Pool. Now many of those 20 tournaments have disappeared. While it may be progress, there are now people with money involved in the game and the plan for the Super Nine (Masters Series) has knocked most of the other tournaments out of the box."

According to Barrett, “In the early days the players, still competing themselves, were actively engaged in day-to-day decisions. The change from ATP—the players’ union‚ to ATP—the commercial entity‚ was accompanied inevitably by the emergence of a strong management team of paid executives who run the show like a business and report to the players several times a year. The tournament directors are the ones who make or break the company by providing the funds that keep the roundabout spinning on its merry way. Accordingly, there is constant tension between the two groups. The ATP, like Oliver Twist, is always asking for more to justify its existence and the tournament directors resist those demands and lean ever more heavily on sponsors to provide the funds. Not surprisingly, many sponsors have collapsed."

Sponsor support, or more appropriately, the lack thereof, is high among the concerns of the ATP. A flat economy has constricted the Tennis Masters Series and their poor cousins, the 60 odd other worldwide tournaments. The situation for sponsors is even more precarious when fan reaction to escalating costs of attending tournaments is added to the equation. Last fall, the situation was of such concern that Miles hired accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to analyze the Tennis Masters Series. Its report helped form the basis for the singles prize money restructuring that was announced in October. Larry Scott, COO and president of ATP Properties, announced: “The independent review by PricewaterhouseCoopers has been conducted and is undergoing review by the ATP Board.” He sees it as part of the ATP process. “From time to time, we have reviewed prize money levels and always tried to look at whatever objective information is available."

The sponsors, players and fans do not seem to be on the same side of the net. Prior to the creation of the Masters Series, the majors were the biggest games in tennis. Win just one and a player earned a place in tennis history. Now there are the four majors and the extra special Masters Series events. “If you win the other tournaments it’s an unbelievably nice feeling, but for the public, there are only the big tournaments, the Grand Slams and the Masters that count," admitted Alex Corretja, twice a Roland Garros finalist.

Naturally, in-fighting among player interests is not helping settle matters. In fact, often-times the players are their own worst enemies. Corretja, who once served as Player Council president, admitted with a smile, “The players are terrible. You have to be a politician because you have to defend all the positions. It’s not easy because you talk to the Spanish guys and they want more clay court tournaments. If you talk to the American guys, they would like to see everything on hard courts. You have to try to find a good balance for everybody, which is never easy because somebody’s always going to complain."

When talk turns to prize money, doubles is immediately a discussion point. It has become the sacrificial lamb when it comes to improving tournaments and their bottom line. Though both ATP officials and public pronouncements stress how much the game needs doubles, it seems that with the advent of the tie break instead of the third set, draw size reduction and, of course, the prize money for 2003, doubles is on its way to relegation as little more than exhibition.

“Save for a short honeymoon period, there has been friction between the tournament directors and players regarding the state of doubles,” said Jack Waite, a former Player Council member. “Up to that point, there were not many players who specialized in playing doubles because there wasn’t enough money. That changed in the early ’90s with increases in tournament prize money overall and with a higher percentage of the total purse going to doubles. By 2000, nearly 67 percent of the doubles entries were players who were not in the singles draw. The tournament directors asked for relief and the Player Board tried to find a way to integrate more singles players into doubles. In this newfound spirit of cooperation, both sides hammered out an agreement at the 2001 Australian Open that, in short, would allow singles players to enter the doubles with their singles rankings by 2003.

For a very short time, détente ruled. Within months of the 2001 agreement, the tour’s global sponsor, ISL went bankrupt and the world economy faltered. Then came September 11th and tournament directors insisted that financial aid should come from the doubles.” Waite’s suggestion: “As a doubles advocate, I feel that any cut in prize money should be across the board so that all parties equally feel the economic crunch."

Former Player Council President Todd Woodbridge added, “I am happy with what was attempted. I am unhappy with what the tournament directors did afterwards."

Aside from the doubles flap, both European players and tournament directors believe the ATP is too concerned with American issues. Dominguez said European tournament directors are not happy with the prize money distribution and the proposed tour schedule changes including separating the Tennis Masters Series Indian Wells from Miami by a week, thus compromising the European clay court season. The other side of the Atlantic isn’t contented either. Washington and Indianapolis were so unhappy with the “new look,” they sued the ATP over their assigned calendar dates.

Scott responds to these concerns: “Scheduling of tournaments is a routine part of our business, and obviously a sensitive one, but the lively debate is not out of the ordinary at this time. Regarding prize money, the Board asked us to review all of our tournaments to better understand their financial situations so we can determine if the current levies are appropriate.” He added, “Because the legal issues with Washington and Indianapolis are unresolved. I can’t discuss the substantive issues at this time."

The players add to the clamor. Their hot button topics include what they see as unrealistic but “required” participation in all Tennis Masters Series events. They also decry the “Race” versus “Ranking” (entry system position) issue that, along with the Masters Series and “New Balls Please” ad campaign, became the backbone of tour promotional efforts when ISL was providing the big money.

At Roland Garros, the International Tennis Writers Association, looking to increase readers’ understanding—such as a player being No. 15 in the Race, yet having to play the qualifying because his ESP was so low—recommended notifying the ATP that journalists would only refer to the ESP as the real ranking. When Scott was asked if lack of media support for the Race would alter the ATP’s steadfast adherence to the concept, he denied there is a lack of media support saying, “We continue to believe that it adds value and clarity to the game.” Despite the demise of ISL and lack of support by the tennis media, the ATP has placed the Race in an untouchable category.

Waite said, “The Race‚ and the Master Series decisions were agreed upon by both players and tournaments.” The reality, however, is that the players never really considered the ramifications of the elimination of real rankings. Moreover, decisions regarding the tournament schedule have been delegated to the CEO. Both sides have input, but Miles makes the schedule, and his decision is final unless two player Board reps and two tournament directors veto it.

Last year, Marat Safin physically broke down attempting to fulfill the requirement of playing all nine Tennis Masters Series events and thus qualify for the year-end bonus pool. “I thought it was the right thing to play all these tournaments,” he said. “If you are playing a lot of tournaments, it’s difficult to do well in all of them. The quality of your game goes down because your fitness is not good after playing three weeks in a row. It’s not good for the spectators. It’s not good for me. Basically, I spoiled my whole year."

Tiger Woods addressed a similar situation in his sport when he said in Golf World this spring: “It’s our tour? When I hear that, it makes me chuckle. If we’re so-called independent contractors, why do we have to play a certain number of tournaments? Why do we need releases to play elsewhere?"

Though ripe for harvesting, the situation with ISL has been allowed to die on the vine. How the 10-year, $1.2 billion agreement collapsed, in less than two years, deserves closer analysis to begin to make sense of what issues the ATP faces today and how everyone can learn from its mistakes for the future.

IMG Founder and Chairman Mark McCormack candidly discussed the ATP’s involvement with ISL in SportsBusiness Journal. “They are useless. A bunch of people afraid to lose their jobs. I don’t know if Mark Miles and Larry Scott signed the ISL deal to increase their salaries or for the good of tennis, but I really think it was the first option. I don’t think the players know how much of a disaster the ISL deal was and will be for the tour."

The idea that “there is no free lunch” proved true through the failure of the ATP’s partnership with ISL. It isn’t necessary to be a math major to understand that no dollar commitment will be realized by a company that, once the introductory bravado is out of the way, doesn’t have the goods to market men’s pro tennis. “I was a bit on the sidelines, but I feel there were a few key problems not recognized going in,” said Tom O’Neal, who was working with sponsors at Butch Buchholtz’s Key Biscayne tournament when ISL came into the picture.

“Number one, ISL personnel had little knowledge of the Byzantine workings of the tennis industry; very little knowledge of how tournaments are run to make money and how tough tennis sponsor sales are. They thought it would be like soccer. Number two, there was no economic justification for the basic concept that the whole tour was worth more than the sum of its parts. It did make sense for Mercedes to have a year-round schedule and the main locations fit with their car sales. [Note: Mercedes pays more per tournament than it would if it contracted with each event on its own because the ATP keeps a significant portion of the Mercedes-Benz overall tour sponsorship before turning over below-market car category fees to individual tournaments.] Few other major global companies have that sort of fit and so it just was not worth the money that ISL was trying to get. Number three, [the ATP and ISL] eliminated the title sponsor at each of the Masters Series events, except for [the Nasdaq-100] which Butch kept thanks to having already signed the contract. The title sponsor pays the prize money and the title is the biggest single exposure value at any event. A tournament without a title sponsor is not economically viable. By eliminating the key revenue generator for tournaments, ISL pulled the rug out from under itself. The so-called branding of the Masters Series is a helpful consumer idea, but generates no funds [for the tournaments themselves]."

O’Neal continued, “On the Nasdaq, the effect is not much because Buchholtz kept most of the sponsors he had. It hurt Pasarell’s tournament in California until he was able to get Pacific Life as a title sponsor."

Asked if the ISL fallout can ever be fully measured, Scott said, “While it’s difficult to quantify the tangible and intangible effects, we’re pleased with the transition over the last 12 months and some of the recent agreements with Mercedes-Benz, Houston, Lotto and various tournament agreements arranged during this difficult economic time suggest a very bright future."

Scott rationalized the reduction in status of the “non-nine” with near-convincing spin. “By positioning the elite status of the Masters Series, it makes sense for the sport—and that includes all ATP tournaments. The bigger the Masters Series and Grand Slams for that matter, the better for everyone involved in tennis."

Individual players are more cautious when discussing the ATP. Should a player be openly critical (which falls under ATP rules discussing “conduct contrary to the integrity of the game”), he can be fined up to $100,000 or stripped of his ATP membership. The result is a looking over-the-shoulder, safe response campaign to journalists’ more probing questions. “The whole thing about fines to punish speaking out just goes to show how the ATP is trying to control and manipulate the tour and players,” one anonymity-requesting insider offered.

In the thirteen years of the ATP’s administration of the men’s tour, a dozen facelifts have been applied to make the men’s game more appealing to fans. Whether replacing “Ranking” with “Race”, upgrading nine Masters Series events (at the expense of other tournaments) or unfolding an ad campaign featuring young stars are bold enough initiatives to overcome all the challenges is a nagging question. While some see this as rudderless stewardship, the ATP Board claims that its rule by consensus—no tie votes from a board which is balanced between groups with at least occasionally antagonistic goals—has resulted in substantial growth in spectator attendance over the past five years.

Manufacturers are among those who disagree with that rosy assessment. They point to flat participation and falling revenues. In a highly unusual move, industry leaders Wilson, Prince and Head are taking the extraordinary step of putting aside their own competition and issuing a joint response to what they see as threats to the industry.

An insurgency may even be internal. Many hope Todd Martin, the new Player Council president, will help move the men’s game into the 21st century. As someone with a reputation for honesty and candor, they count on him to make sure the wide range of challenges presently sequestered in the ATP’s closet sees the light of day and face open critique.

But whether internal or external, change had better come soon or ATP may not spell the future of men’s tennis much longer. In a piece entitled “Welcome to the Dog Day of Men’s Tennis” that appeared this summer, Los Angeles Times sports editor Bill Dwyre, himself an avid recreational player and true tennis fan, assessed the men’s game with brutal honesty. “If Gertrude Stein were a tennis fan, she would sum up the state of the men’s game quite easily: There’s no there there…It is currently a sport of baseline bangers, devoid of drama and purged of personality. It is a tour of young, nice-looking athletes who mostly handle their nomadic existence like robots and exude the same kind of charisma. If R2D2 would take up the game, he’d fit right in. Plus, he might be a better interview."
 

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Woodbridge denies player revolt (BBC)

Players' representative Todd Woodbridge has refuted Wayne Ferreira's claims that the majority of the men's ATP Tour are about to form a breakaway tennis union.

Australian Open semi-finalist Ferreira claimed many players were unhappy with the way the sport's governing body was running the game.

But Woodbridge, the ATP's player council vice president, said: "Nobody that I know of has agreed to sign to another organisation.

"I've spoken to about 90% of the field here [at the World Indoor Tournament] and none of those players are backing Wayne's idea. There are no factions internally.

"All you would be doing is taking the same players to go and run what's already in place with the ATP. So he would be crazy."

I've spoken to almost every player from pretty much every nation in the world and they all feel exactly the same way

Wayne Ferreira

Ferreira' s group is thought to be trying to recruit world number one Lleyton Hewitt, who has been vocal in his criticism of the ATP, which represents male tennis players.

And it aims to set up a rival body called the International Men's Tennis Association in March.

A letter from Ferreira was distributed to players at the Australian Open outlining concerns that the ATP was not representing the best interests of men's tennis.

The letter said players "were frustrated by poor information from the ATP regarding the business of tennis including prize money and pension issues."

Unrest among the players increased in 2001 with the collapse of sports marketing group ISL, with whom the ATP had entered into a £750m deal.

"It's been a slow process, gradually getting worse and obviously ISL really affected it quite a lot," said Ferriera.

"There seem to be a lot more issues each year. The players all have stuff they're unhappy about, and everybody goes to the ATP and tells them their problems.

"But they kind of get pushed underneath the carpet straightaway. It has got to the stage where everybody's sort of annoyed.

"We need to get something together where all the players can be in a group and work together and get these issues resolved."

Incensed

Ferreira has been working with Laurence Tielman of Belgium and lawyers Jeff Weingart and Rob Freeman to set up the International Men's Tennis Association.

The group is planning an official launch during the Miami Masters Series event in March and Ferreira claims to have found support from a number of players.

"I've spoken to almost every player from pretty much every nation in the world and they all feel exactly the same way," Ferreira said.

"There's nobody that has turned around and said to me, 'I don't believe what you're doing is a good thing. I believe the ATP is doing a good job. You're wasting your time.'"

Wimbledon champion Hewitt was incensed by the ATP's decision to fine him £125,000 in 2002 when he failed to carry out a contractual interview in Cincinnati.



"There are people at the ATP who don't treat you the way they should," Hewitt said in November.

"I wouldn't say we were on the greatest of terms."
 

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UPDATE! :eek:

Woodbridge rejects claims of breakaway union

2003-02-20 16:26:47 GMT (Reuters)
By Pritha Sarkar

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, Feb 20 (Reuters) - The ATP's player council vice president Todd Woodbridge has dismissed the idea that a breakaway men's union is about to be formed by a group of disgruntled players.

Australian Open semi-finalist Wayne Ferreira claimed many players were unhappy with the way the ATP, the governing body in men's tennis, was running the sport and wanted to take control of their own interests.

But in an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Woodbridge said: "Nobody that I know of has agreed to sign to another organisation.

"I've spoken to about 90 percent of the field here (at the World Indoor Tournament) and none of those players are backing Wayne's idea...there are no factions internally.

"We have an organisation which is in place and to go and start a new one would go and defeat the purpose of what we have done before.

"All you would be doing is taking the same players to go and run what's already in place with the ATP...so he would be crazy."

Ferreira wants to recruit world number one Lleyton Hewitt, who has had several run-in with tennis authorities over the years, to his rival body called the International Men's Tennis Association.


HEWITT DISPUTE

Until recently, Hewitt was involved in a long-running dispute with the ATP over a $200,000 fine imposed at the Cincinnati Masters last August after he refused to be interviewed by the event's host broadcaster.

The issue has been resolved although the outcome was never made public.

"Lleyton is a very intricate character in that he has had misdealings with all the bodies of tennis," said Woodbridge.

"He has not been happy with ATP, he has not been happy with the ITF and he has had incidents with grand slams so he's probably the most difficult of the players to get to a table to discuss political issues.

"The way that the Cincinnati incident was handled... perhaps not everybody's work was done correctly.

"Perhaps Lleyton didn't respond correctly and then maybe the Tour didn't, but they've worked out what they think is the right conclusion to that story."

A letter from Ferreira was distributed to players at last month's Australian Open outlining concerns that the ATP was not representing the best interests of men's tennis.

The letter said players were "frustrated by poor information from the ATP regarding the business of tennis including prize money".

"What interests me is that Wayne was a council member and had those doors open to him and then once he chose to leave the council he decided to take a new approach," said Woodbridge.

"The doors and avenues are already open for the discussion Wayne would like to have."


ECONOMIC CONCERNS

Referring to the collapse of a $1.2 billion marketing deal with now bankrupt sports marketing group ISL, Woodbridge added: "I think he just feels that it's time for tennis to take off.

"We've been through a difficult period in terms of economy in the game, loss of money, loss of sponsors and I think he's trying to put it in the right direction.

"But I don't think he's using the right resources to get to that direction."

The new group also voiced concerns about the income of the ATP's chief executive, Mark Miles, who earned almost $2 million in salary and benefits two years ago.

However, Woodbridge said: "Those decisions were made by the council and the board and Wayne's been part of that so he has been privy to all of that information.

"I think that's a bit more of a personal vendetta than based on fact. To have a leader you've got to pay for those positions ...if you want the best, you have to pay for the best.

"The previous board and council decided what that position was worth so for me that's a none issue.

"If you breakaway from the tour and from other players....the players then lose power.

"It's important that all the players see at this stage that they must stay together otherwise you cause factions which will be detriment of the players' voice.

"The game can't happen without the strength of the players and if we are one body and one group, then we have power to dictate what terms we want."
 

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And now things get interesting. Official denials, cover-ups hmmmm.... Interesting how the ATP moved quickly to settle with LLeyton. I think they were afraid he might indeed start talking up the breakaway group. Anyway since neither party has talked about the settlement, I'll leave that alone.

As to the political aspect of this skirmish, the ATP might be better served if they at least pretend to address some of the members complaints.
 
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