Report: LIV Golf to summon influential business exec for peace talks with PGA

The news comes as LIV Golf were dealt a win in their legal battle with the PGA Tour. 

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 18 May 2023
Report: LIV Golf to summon influential business exec for peace talks with PGA

LIV Golf are going to ask Newcastle United director Amanda Staveley to reach out to the PGA Tour for peace talks, according to a report. 

Per The Mirror, it is said that the breakaway tour want to use Staveley as a go-between for the rival tours. 

Staveley is a 50-year-old British executive, known for her ties with businessmen from the Middle East. 

She helped broker the takeover of Premier League football club Newcastle United in October 2021. 

Related: Seven LIV players in top-50 highest paid athletes

That deal attracted a huge amount of criticism because the money emanates from the same source that is funding LIV Golf, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. 

Human rights campaigners have argued the Saudis are using sport to soften their reputation globally, in a practice known as sportswashing

Before the Newcastle takeover was completed, the Premier League were given 'legally binding' assurances that Saudi Arabia would not be controlling the club. 

At the time, Staveley claimed the PIF was "autonomous" and did not operate as part of the wider state. 

Court filings in LIV Golf's antitrust legal battle with the PGA and the subsequent countersuit have brought this claim into question.

Attorneys for the PGA Tour want to question the PIF chairman and supposed LIV 'mastermind' Yasir Al-Rummayan but lawyers for the breakaway tour have argued that if the businessman were to be questioned under oath it would be an 'extraordinary infringement' on the sovereignty of a foreign state. 

"The order is an extraordinary infringement on the sovereignty of a foreign state that is far from justified here. The PIF and His Excellency Yasir Othman Al Rumayyan are not ordinary third parties subject to basic discovery relevance standards.
"They are a sovereign instrumentality of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a sitting minister of the Saudi government, and they cannot be compelled to provide testimony and documents in a US proceeding unless their conduct, not LIV's or anyone else's, is truly the 'gravamen' of the case." - LIV attorneys in a court filing

The news that Staveley is reportedly going to be brought in as a peacemaker comes after the PGA were dealt a legal blow. 

Golf Channel reporter Rex Hoggard was first to break the news that a U.S. judge denied requests by PGA attorneys to 'stay' all discovery. 

The judge stated that a 'full halt of discovery' would harm the litigation process. 

There's a full case management hearing scheduled for 22 May. 

Before the 2023 PGA Championship, it was confirmed that Bryson DeChambeau had withdrawn himself from the litigation. 

As many as 11 players - including chief plaintiff Phil Mickelson - were suspended by the tour but every player has now withdrawn from the action

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