Keith Pelley Admits Talks With Saudis Before Announcing New Deal With PGA Tour
DP WORLD TOUR chief executive Keith Pelley has admitted for the first time that talks did take place about a possible collaboration with the Saudis who are funding the LIV Series.
A meeting took place in Malta last year and a presentation was later made to the DP World Tour’s board in September.
Pelley said: "Out of respect for all parties involved I'm not going to go into detail about the figures, but you have to trust myself and the board that materially this was not a good deal for the European Tour and its members.
“It was nowhere near the figures being bandied about in the media and in the players lounge over the past couple of months. We have had no further conversation with them.
"We have been totally focused on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour coming together. This has required a tremendous amount of resolve, unwavering commitment and work with our respective teams. That has been our primary and our only focus and I'm proud of where we've gotten to today."
And where are they today? Pelley has announced a 13-year joint venture partnership as part of an extension of the 'Strategic Alliance' between the two Tours.
The partnership, running through to 2035, is an expansion of the deal unveiled in November 2020 that saw a number of tournaments co-sanctioned by both tours.
The PGA Tour will increase its existing stake in European Tour Productions from 15 per cent to 40 per cent, while utilising the DP World Tour’s international credentials to build a worldwide schedule.
The DP World Tour will guarantee growth in annual prize funds to its membership for the next five years.
Players from the Sunshine Tour and ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia now enjoy a formal pathway to the DP World Tour, while the leading 10 players on the end-of-season DP World Tour Rankings - in addition to those already exempt - will earn PGA Tour cards for the following season from 2023.
Pelley said: "Building on the success of the existing Strategic Alliance between ourselves and the PGA Tour will significantly enhance the meritocracy that has successfully served the professional game on both sides of the Atlantic for more than 50 years.
"It is a natural extension and progression of what we have been doing over the past few years and I passionately believe that this move is the right thing for our players, our Tour, our fans, and the game of golf in general.
"Our two tours have drawn closer over the past few years and this strengthens both Tours for the betterment of both memberships."
The Genesis Scottish Open, the Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship are already co-sanctioned between the two Tours.
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