Attorneys representing the PGA Tour are looking for so as to add Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and the fund’s governor, Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan, as defendants within the tour’s countersuit towards LIV Golf.
In a movement for go away filed to a U.S. District Court docket in Northern California on Tuesday, the PGA Tour’s attorneys argued that not too long ago produced paperwork from LIV Golf affirm that the PIF and Al-Rumayyan performed an lively position in inflicting golfers to breach their contracts with the PGA Tour by becoming a member of the LIV Golf circuit.
“As set forth in the existing counterclaim, LIV intentionally and knowingly caused these players to breach their contractual obligations to the TOUR by mispresenting TOUR contracts; inducing these breaches by offering highly lucrative contracts that make it impossible for players to comply with their TOUR contracts; and providing extensive indemnification and hundreds of millions of dollars to compensate LIV players for these breaches,” PGA Tour attorneys wrote within the movement. “Recently produced documents confirm that PIF and Mr. Al-Rumayyan played an active and central role in orchestrating these breaches for their own benefit and are equally liable for the harm caused to the TOUR.”
In August, a number of gamers who have been suspended by the PGA Tour for enjoying in LIV Golf tournaments with out conflicting-event releases filed a federal antitrust lawsuit towards the PGA Tour, alleging it was utilizing its monopoly energy to squash competitors and discouraged broadcasters and different distributors from working with LIV Golf. LIV Golf and three of its gamers are the remaining plaintiffs within the case.
The PGA Tour filed a countersuit, alleging LIV Golf interfered with its contracts with gamers.
The PGA Tour’s legal professionals wrote in Tuesday’s movement that LIV Golf, which is being funded by PIF, was the top results of a plan often called Venture Wedge, which was “designed to provide a roadmap to taking over professional golf as part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.” Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is reportedly price $620 billion.
The PGA Tour’s legal professionals allege that LIV Golf’s subscriptions and shareholders’ settlement, which they obtained via discovery in December, was the “lynchpin which demonstrated PIF and Mr. Al-Rumayyan’s total control over LIV and established that any LIV contract with a player requires authorization by PIF.”
“In addition to exercising near absolute authority over LIV, PIF and Mr. Al-Rumayyan have personally recruited TOUR players, played an active role in contract negotiations, and expressly approved each of the player contracts-all while knowing that these deals would interfere with the players’ TOUR contracts,” PGA Tour legal professionals wrote within the movement.
“In addition to approving player contracts that pledge to indemnify such players from breach of their contractual obligations to the TOUR, Mr. Al-Rumayyan himself has gone as far as to provide personal assurances to at least one player about his and PIF’s commitment to backing such player in any legal claims by the TOUR.”
In earlier motions, LIV Golf’s attorneys have argued that the PGA Tour is exaggerating the PIF’s management of the brand new circuit. In a sworn assertion, Al-Rumayyan stated the fund solely offered “high level oversight” of LIV.
Based on courtroom paperwork, the PIF owns not less than 93% of LIV Golf. Former LIV Golf COO and president Atul Khosla instructed ESPN in October that the circuit, which is being fronted by two-time Open winner Greg Norman, spent greater than $784 million in working bills throughout its inaugural season in 2022. Khosla resigned from his place in December.
The PGA Tour’s legal professionals have unsuccessfully sought paperwork from the PIF via discovery and to this point have been unable to depose Al-Rumayyan. The attorneys alleged within the courtroom submitting that the PIF and Al-Rumayyan consider “that no court in the United States has jurisdiction over them, they are immune from compulsory process, and they have no information or documents relevant to the case.”