Key play­ers in past decade at LTA

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport -

Roger Draper Chief ex­ec­u­tive 2006-13

The Lawn Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion as we know it was cre­ated by Draper, a smooth talker in a smart suit who su­per­vised the move into Roe­hamp­ton’s Na­tional Ten­nis Cen­tre in 2007. He set up an ex­pen­sive net­work of 20 high-per­for­mance cen­tres, which some felt to be ex­ces­sive, but the in­vest­ment re­sulted in a de­cent num­ber of top-100 play­ers.

David Gregson Chair­man 2013-18

There was so much en­thu­si­asm about the ap­point­ment of Gregson, a pri­vate- equity mogul, but to many ob­servers his chair­man­ship was a dis­ap­point­ment. Over­saw a turbulent pe­riod that fea­tured two new chief ex­ec­u­tives – each fol­lowed by the in­evitable clear-out of staff – and the de­com­mis­sion­ing of Draper’s high­per­for­mance cen­tres. Favoured eye-catch­ing hires, of­ten from out­side ten­nis, which led to high lev­els of churn.

Michael Downey Chief ex­ec­u­tive 2014-2017

By re­cruit­ing the chief of Ten­nis Canada, Gregson prob­a­bly hoped to start a sim­i­lar rev­o­lu­tion to the one that made Canada a ten­nis su­per­power. In­stead, Downey brought in Bob Brett, Boris Becker’s for­mer coach, who promptly ripped up Draper’s per­for­mance strat­egy. As­ton­ish­ingly, noth­ing co­her­ent was put in its place un­til the sum­mer of 2018. Although Downey is re­mem­bered as a warm and sym­pa­thetic char­ac­ter, he never quite found his feet in Bri­tain. As he once told The Daily

Tele­graph: “In this coun­try I am for­ever go­ing, ‘Where’s that again?’ ”

Scott Lloyd Chief ex­ec­u­tive 2018-present

Lloyd’s regime made sev­eral gaffes last year. One low point in­volved the res­ig­na­tion of Martin Cor­rie as the as­so­ci­a­tion’s pres­i­dent in Septem­ber, af­ter he had ac­cepted re­spon­si­bil­ity for safe­guard­ing fail­ings in the late Nineties. The LTA promptly nom­i­nated Cor­rie to a prom­i­nent role on the In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion board, ar­gu­ing that “the lessons learned from this process will [make him] a pas­sion­ate am­bas­sador for safe­guard­ing within ten­nis”. Then, in De­cem­ber, The Tele­graph re­ported on the com­pen­sa­tion paid to an Al­ge­rian post-room em­ployee who was a prac­tis­ing Mus­lim but still found him­self de­scribed as a “Moroc­can porn star” at his own leav­ing drinks. Crit­ics say that Lloyd’s LTA comes across as an old boys’ club; he needs to demon­strate that it can be a more di­verse and in­clu­sive body.

Mervyn Davies Chair­man 2018-present

An­other pri­va­tee­quity mil­lion­aire, Davies kept a far lower pro­file than Gregson, his pre­de­ces­sor. De­spite start­ing his term in Septem­ber 2018, Davies was not in­tro­duced to the me­dia un­til a series of off-the-record Zoom calls in May and June, dur­ing which he in­sisted that every­thing at the LTA was go­ing swim­mingly.

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