ATP Board Meeting To Focus On CEO Position, Prize-Money Increases For Top Events
ATP board members meeting this weekend in London are scheduled to address several weighty issues, not the least of which is choosing a new CEO. That race is down to Chief Media Officer, Chief Legal Officer & ATP Americas CEO Mark Young and Commercial Dir & ATP Europe CEO Laurent Delanney to replace Brad Drewett, who died earlier this year. Delanney is seen as having the edge because of the Tour’s tilt toward Europe. Young is American and based in Florida; Delanney is European. He also is seen as closer to players than Young. But several others issues also are set to be front and center. The players, after winning dramatic prize-money increases from the Grand Slams, are seeking increases from the top ATP events, known as 1000s. However, unlike the Slam prize-money issue (where the ATP presented a unified force), the board here is likely to be split, with three board members representing players and three representing tournaments. Also on the agenda is the subject of player commitments to the 500s, the tournaments the next level down. The only 500-level event in the U.S. is in DC. The five-year agreement between players and tournaments that saw the sport’s top competitors agree to play four 500s annually expires at the end of this year. Gerard Tsobanian, the tournament director in Madrid, wrote in an e-mail he did not think the prize-money issue would get settled right away and, instead, would have to wait until a later meeting, after the new CEO has been chosen. That new CEO could then theoretically act as a tie-breaking vote between the three player reps and three tournament reps.