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Five-time PGA Tour policy board member Davis Love III has huge doubts that the framework agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) will be ratified before the self-imposed December 31 deadline.
The PGA Tour and the PIF sovereign wealth fund bankrolling LIV Golf have until the end of the year to reach a deal that would see the sport’s warring factions unite as one new commercial entity.
And Love, who wrote an open letter calling for patience after the prospective merger was announced in June, cannot envisage a deal being wrapped up in the next eight weeks.
“The only thing I do know is nothing is going to happen really fast,” Love has told Golfweek.
When asked about the prospects of the alliance being concluded before December 31, he added: “I don’t see any way.”
And while Love believes the deal will eventually be “incredible for our business”, the 59-year-old hinted at reluctance to negotiate from the PIF side as a possible reason for the delay in making it happen.
“We made an offer,” he said, referencing the PGA Tour. “And if you don’t ever communicate, we can’t make another offer. It’s bizarre what’s going on. It’s a long way from anything. The sharks are circling. Now everyone wants to invest in the PGA Tour.”
The framework agreement with the PGA Tour has given PIF “right of first refusal on capital”, but while a deal is still not in place, there are reports that the US circuit are looking elsewhere for strategic partners.
According to Sportico, the PGA Tour recently turned down a $25million-per-year commercial deal with Endeavor, a US talent and entertainment group that owns and operates both the UFC and WWE.
And with rumours rife that other investors are queuing up to partner with the PGA Tour, Love remains satisfied that the circuit is in a strong players to deliver for players, sponsors and fans alike.
“We don’t need money, that’s the beautiful thing,” he added. “One very smart business person said, ‘You may think you’re in a mess but I buy distressed companies and try to fix them to make money.
“Your company isn’t in trouble, you make a lot of money. It’s perfectly fine the way it is. All you’re trying to do is make it better. You’re in a great position.’”
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