REVEALED: LIV Golf stars ‘will have to pay up to FOUR TIMES their signing fee if they decide to pull out of Saudi-backed series’… leaving some players facing potential fines of over $400M
If LIV Golf defectors have a change of heart and want to get out of their lucrative contracts there is a substantial cost, according to reports.
The Saudi-backed series has well and truly shaken up the world of golf as the controversial breakaway league rivals the traditional PGA Tour.
The rebel circuit has lured players like Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka to big-money deals with the former reportedly on a contract worth around $200million and the latter receiving a reported $100m.
But the LIV stars will have to pay up to four times their signing fee if they want to leave the breakaway tour, reports Sports Illustrated.
The report claims players will be penalized with an exit clause of either two, three or four times their signing bonus if they wish to depart before the deal ends following the 2025 season.
LIV Golf stars Phil Mickelson (L) and Brooks Koepka (R) reportedly have big exit clauses
The PGA Tour’s Rory McIlroy (C) and Tiger Woods (R) have been prominent critics of LIV Golf
Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau also made the switch for reported fees of more than $125m each.
The potential fines means some could be forced to pay over $400m should they want to depart.
The report also claims that players have to play between 10 and 14 events, team prize money goes back to the teams while the number of teams could increase from 12 to 15 next season as eight to 12 new players could appear with relegation in operation in its second season.
Bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), LIV Golf has relied on nine-figure sums to snatch some of the game’s brightest stars away from the PGA Tour.
The breakaway tour and the PGA have been at loggerheads since the former arrived onto the scene amid much fanfare and controversy last year.
Since its inception, the breakaway league has been accused of being a ‘sportswashing’ vehicle for Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
The players who have defected to LIV, meanwhile, have been vehemently criticized for trading the prestige of playing in prestigious tournaments such as the Ryder Cup for money.
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have been vocal and the most prominent critics of LIV.
The PGA Tour hit back by banning the defectors from its tournaments, although LIV players can still feature in the majors, if they meet they qualifying criteria.
Bryson DeChambeau (L) also defected to Greg Norman’s (R) LIV Series for a significant fee
LIV’s next event will be held in Orlando from Friday to Sunday this week, just a few days before The Masters – golf’s first major of the year – gets underway.
Since the emergence of the rebel league, the PGA Tour has had multiple changes to its pay structure and economic model.
The Tour expanded purses for 13 tournaments this season with an average size of $20m for each. The PGA Tour also guaranteed a minimum salary of $500,000 to rookies, which can be received up front, and lower-ranked players will get a $5,000 stipend for each missed cut.
Additionally, the top players have committed to playing at least 20 tournaments per year – which can include the four majors.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk