Bishop & Sewell

I’ve not yet written about golf in this column, but it appears the litigious relationship between professional golf’s three international tours may have come to an end with the extraordinary news they have agreed to merge, writes David Little, a Partner in our Commercial department who increasingly handles Sports Law cases too.

The players are understandably stunned too since it comes after two years’ of disruption to the men’s game following the launch of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit.

Famously players like Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods objected to former Ryder Club team mates playing on the LIV tour, which enabled them to amass huge appearance fees whilst playing fewer competitive rounds. That advantage was deemed unfair by the Professional Golf Association who banned famous stars such as Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia from selection in the Ryder Cup.

It appears the CEOs of the rival tours have just decided to drop all the ongoing litigation and merge into one entity. The PFA will have a majority voting interest on the new board whilst the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund will initially be the exclusive investor and have the right of refusal of any future capital to be invested.

Money talks, clearly.

The benefit of rich benefactors will also be on display this weekend as Manchester City take on Inter Milan in the Champions League, in Istanbul on Saturday.

The combined cost of Inter’s players is over £1 billion, Man City’s isn’t far behind with a player’s total valued at £960 million. Is it worth it?

If Man City win the final, and achieve a triple win of trophies this season, you try telling City fans there are better causes to slash out almost £1 billion on!

Contact our Sports Lawyer

David Little, is a Partner in the Corporate & Commercial team and also Head of Sports Law for the firm. If you would like to contact him please quote Ref CB400 on either 07968 027343 or 020 7631 4141 or email

The above is accurate as at 08 June 2023. The information above may be subject to change.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Category: Blog, News | Date: 8th Jun 2023

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