The PGA Tour and LIV Golf have yet to enter into a stunning partnership deal just announced last week, but Washington’s pledge to delay or cancel the deal, or at least embarrass golf executives, has prompted the Senate. took shape when it launched an investigation on Monday. for arrangement.
Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, chairman of the House Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, called on both the PGA Tour and the Saudi-funded LIV on Monday to waive extensive documents and communications related to the deal. said. Blumenthal also requested records related to the PGA Tour’s non-profit status, suggesting his willingness to challenge the Tour’s tax-exempt status.
In a statement issued three days before the U.S. Open opened in Los Angeles, Blumenthal condemned Saudi Arabia’s “deeply concerning human rights record at home and abroad” and said the deal would “represent this effort and its contribution to the global community.” It raised concerns about the role of the Saudi government in influencing.” The risks posed by a foreign government agency controlling a significant US agency. “
The LIV declined to comment on Monday, and the PGA Tour did not immediately respond to inquiries. But executives have indicated they expect the deal to attract continued federal attention.
Congress cannot block the deal by only launching an investigation, and legislation that derails the deal is likely to be challenged in court if enacted. But the prospect of congressional scrutiny and possibly public hearings could tarnish the deal and make the next few months even more uncomfortable for professional golf leaders.
Blumenthal has shown interest in sparring with sports coaches. Recently, he sought information about sports betting partnerships with American colleges and has long lashed out at the NCAA leadership over conditions for college athletes.
Although the planned deal caused heartburn and saber clatter in the Capitol, Congress has shown no unanimous interest in lashing out at golf’s leaders over the deal. Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, the top minority member of the committee chaired by Blumenthal, said: said last week Congress should stay out of sports.
An agreement between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund (the LIV circuit debuted last year) means that rival tour deals will be passed on to the new company. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monaghan will take over as Chief Executive Officer, while Wealth Fund President Yasir Al-Rumayyan will become Chairman.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Saudi wealth fund will have exclusive rights to invest in the new company, giving it significant leverage over golf’s financial future. PGA Tour officials claim they are the ultimate decision-makers, widely questioned, as their allies will hold majority seats on the new company’s board I’ve been
Even before last week’s announcement, professional golf had been on the radar of Washington regulators. Justice Department antitrust agents spent months questioning the tour’s efforts to prevent players from defecting to the LIV, with top tour leaders calling on Masters tournament organizer Augusta National Golf Club. We’ve been investigating whether we’re getting too close to other prominent golf organizations like The Club.
The ministry has not made any public allegations of wrongdoing, nor has it commented on last week’s announcement of the deal. But antitrust experts warn the ministry will almost certainly scrutinize the bill and may even intervene to block it.
Tour officials have expressed confidence that the deal will withstand any legal challenge.