SW19 WARM-UP

Wimbledon hope­fuls put through their paces at Stoke Park

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

News of the can­cel­la­tion of Septem­ber’s Ladies’ Euro­pean Masters in Ger­many prompted spec­u­la­tion that LET is fac­ing a fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

A re­port in the Times news­pa­per on Fri­day claimed the Tour lost £1 mil- lion in 2014 and 2015 with cash re­serves slid­ing from £1.05m in 2013 to just £72,000 at the end of De­cem­ber.

A state­ment re­leased by the LET said: “The LET strongly re­jects the re­cent neg­a­tive spec­u­la­tion in the press about its fu­ture.

“The tour has made sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments over the last few years to raise its brand pro­file and tele­vi­sion foot­print, which [have] al­ready led to the in­tro­duc­tion of a num­ber of new tour­na­ments.

“As with any in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion, the LET is al­ways sub­ject to po­lit­i­cal and com­mer­cial dis­rup­tion around the world and it deeply re- grets that a num­ber of un­re­lated events have led to tour­na­ments in the first half of this year’s sched­ule not com­ing to fruition as planned. We fully un­der­stand the frus­tra­tions that our mem­bers have with the tour­na­ment can­cel­la­tions and are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion.”

When asked to out­line the sep­a­rate ‘un­re­lated events’ that led to the can­cel­la­tion of the Masters – as well as the Buick Cham­pi­onship in Shang­hai, the Czech Open, the Turk­ish Ladies Open and a south­ern Euro­pean event pen­cilled in to be staged in Italy – LET re­fused to com­ment and re- ferred the Bucks Ad­ver­tiser to its ear­lier state­ment.

A tour of­fi­cial re­fused to con­firm the £72,000 fig­ure for the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s re­serves in De­cem­ber and to say how much it has in as­sets. The of­fi­cial re­fused to ex­plain why play­ers have re­port­edly been ad­vised not to book travel for the Qatar Ladies Open in Novem­ber, al­though the block­ade of the Gulf state by its neigh­bours for al­legedly fi­nanc­ing ter­ror­ism may be a fac­tor.

The Ad­ver­tiser tried to con­tact Dim­mock but she was un­avail­able for com­ment on the tour’s re­ported tra­vails at the time of go­ing to press.

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