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SBD Global/September 30, 2013/Finance

Lawn Tennis Association Freezes Grants To Tennis Clubs Despite Murray's Success

The Lawn Tennis Association "is set to announce a two-year funding freeze for grassroots projects just as clubs are bursting at the seams and desperate to capitalise on Andy Murray's Wimbledon triumph," according to Paul Gallagher of the London INDEPENDENT. As LTA CEO Roger Draper steps down from his £640,000 ($1M)-a-year post on Monday at the end of a controversial five-year reign at the top of the game's governing body, "documents circulated earlier this month warn that the highly contentious move is on its way." Instead of awarding capital grants to clubs around the country, the LTA "will announce that any club wanting to expand or improve its infrastructure will receive only an interest-free loan." Coaches and club chairmen said that "the move was incomprehensible at a time when interest in tennis was unprecedented." Sources said that the LTA "is prioritising the elite game over grassroots tennis." The source said, "There is only a certain amount of money at the LTA and something has to give, but it will be a shame if grassroots projects are being hit at a time when we all want to capitalise on the interest around the U.K. after Andy's fantastic year" (INDEPENDENT, 9/29).
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