Lawmakers have stepped up their interest in the “framework” agreement between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund with Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) scheduling a July 11 hearing to review the deal.
Tour Commissioner Guy Monahan, Public Investment Fund Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan and LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman have been asked to attend the hearing.
To assist in the subcommittee’s review, please be prepared to discuss the terms and conditions of the planned agreement between the PGA Tour and the PIF, how any new entities will be structured by the planned agreement, the expected impact on PGA Tour and LIV Golf players, and the expected role of the PIF in the game. American Professional Golf,” the letter to Monahan reads.
The agreement ends the ongoing legal battle between the Tour and PIF, which owns 93% of LIV Golf, and will create an entity that includes the for-profit assets of the Tour, LIV Golf and DP World Tour. Al-Rumayyan will be chairman of the board of directors of the entity, which has been temporarily named NewCo internally, and Monahan will serve as CEO.
“We look forward to appearing before the Senate Subcommittee to answer their questions about the framework agreement that we believe sustains the PGA Tour as a leader for the future of professional golf and benefits our players, our fans, and our sport. Indeed, the first phase of this framework has led to the end of costly litigation with LIV Golf,” As stated in the tour statement. “As we enter the next phase, we look forward to continuing the productive conversations we had last night with our players, listening to their feedback, and working towards negotiating a final agreement that is in their best interest and ensures that the tour leads any new ventures.
“Any agreement that emerges from these negotiations must be approved by the full PGA Tour Council, including our player managers.”
Monahan, who is recovering from a “medical condition,” did not attend Tuesday’s player meeting at the Travelers Championship and it is unknown if he will be well enough to attend the hearing in Washington, DC.
According to Jodi S. Balsam, professor of clinical law at Brooklyn Law School, the motion from Blumenthal and Johnson is not as legally binding as a subpoena “but Optometry strongly recommends that it [attend]. The tour could also negotiate the time and place Monahan will testify to accommodate his condition.
“Our goal is to uncover the facts about what the PGA Tour deal with the Saudi Public Investment Fund reached and what the Saudi acquisition means for the future of this cherished American institution and our national interest,” said Blumenthal, the Senate president. Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Americans deserve to know what the structure and governance of this new entity will be. The key players in the deal are best positioned to provide this information, and they owe it to Congress – and the American people – for answers in a public setting.”
The DOJ expanded its ongoing review of the round and potential antitrust concerns after announcing the “framework” agreement.
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