Concerns raised over Race To Dubai- 15 May 2009 00:00:00
The Dubai World Championship and final leg of the PGA European Tour, the Race to Dubai, could be in doubt after the firm behind its $150m sponsorship deal was taken over by the government.
The five-year sponsorship deal between the European Tour and Leisurecorp is allegedly now in danger after the sports and leisure investment company’s restructuring.
According to media reports, Leisurecorp’s takeover by state-owned Dubai company Nakheel has left a shaky financial foundation. Additionally, much of the properties that were predicted to be sold, have yet to be bought, due to the economic slump in Dubai.
However, European Tour Director George O’Grady has confirmed that the contract with Leisurecorp is ‘safe’ and there will be no renegotiations, caliming that they are financially secure.
The sponsorship deal was agreed upon in November 2007, with Leisurecorp putting up $10m per year for the European Tour Order of Merit to be renamed The Race to Dubai. It was also agreed that company would sponsor the Dubai World Championship, the world's richest tournament, for $20m per year.