Charges and counter-charges are flying around tennis executive suites with the Davis Cup all but dead after Spanish organiser Kosmos pulled the plug on its participation in the century-old tournament.
Footballer Gerard Piqué’s venture into tennis ended in a financial disaster as predicted by many around the courts.
Disputes are now brewing over charges the organiser has not yet paid players who participated in November’s truncated version of the classic event staged in Spain,” France’s L’Equipe reported.
The villain in the latest administrative debacle overseen by well-paid tennis suits would appear to be American David Haggerty, who brokered what was hyped several years ago as a 25-year deal with his International Tennis Federation which promised a billion dollars in the coffers of the federation.
With the event now run by footballers, with the format abbreviated and the iconic home-and-away format abandoned, what could possibly go wrong?
The ill-fated experiment lasted for two seasons with Spain organising the entire affair as the popularity of the competition faded away.
This week, Spanish-run Kosmos reportedly ran out of money but insisted it had fulfilled all of its massive financial obligations.
The rookie move leaves the ITF a laughing stock and the future of the Davis Cup uncertain at best.
French federation boss Gilles Moretton was among those putting the boot into Haggerty, calling the entire tawdry affair “a colossal failure.”
“The ITF sold its soul for the benefit of money. They sold the soul of the Davis Cup without caring what it would become,” said Moretton.
“It is a disaster. Haggerty is no more in a position to offer ideas for the future.”
The Spanish port city of Valencia, which had been signed on as a David Cup finals venue, wants to keep hosting whatever is left of the event when the smoke clears.
It seems highly unlikely that Spanish interests will somehow be back in charge.
Spanish agency EFE Agency said the city’s tourism boss had put in a late plea to the ITF hoping to pick up the pieces of the shattered competition which once stood proudly in the tennis hierarchy.
“Yesterday the General Director of Tourism contacted the International Tennis Federation precisely to show our willingness to continue with the event, this was yesterday evening,” an official said.
“That is, our willingness to continue has already been shown and we are waiting to see the conditions, if they are maintained, but well yes, there is a will to continue.”