Poulter reportedly offered £22 million to join Saudi-backed league

John Craven
|
|
Poulter reportedly offered £22 million to join Saudi-backed league

Ian Poulter (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

The Daily Telegraph has reported that Ian Poulter has been offered £22 million from the Saudi Arabian war chest to join a breakaway golf league.

The Super Golf League is said to be in the midst of a recruitment drive, hoping to lure some of the game’s established stars to pastures new as soon as possible.

Poulter, who’s ranked 59th in the world golf rankings, is 46 and has banked around £50 million over the course of his career, now has a decision to make: stay loyal to those who helped make his millions and enjoy a legacy that will undoubtedly see him become a Ryder Cup captain, or take the money and turn his back on golf’s PGA and DP World Tours.

It’s the same question that his good friend Henrik Stenson faces with the DP World Tour reportedly giving the Swede an ultimatum – either reject a breakaway league or walk away from future Ryder Cup captaincy.

With the rumour mill abound – it’s speculated Philanthropist Mickelson has been offered £100 million to join the Saudi-backed league – golf’s bidding war has suddenly ramped up and players are about to cash in.

Whether that will be Poulter and Stenson remains to be seen but with both players gladly accepting appearance money to compete at this week’s $5 million Bonesaw Invitational, it’s hard to imagine them turning down such seismic offers, especially with the best part of their careers well and truly behind them.

Then again, with the Saudis said to be handing out up to $15m in total appearance fees this week, it’s hard to see how any of the names on the Saudi hit-list will say no to such fortunes, regardless of how much money the game has gifted them already.

For what it’s worth, and I’d take it with a pinch of salt, Greg Norman, the shark spearheading the Saudi-backed Asian Tour through the company LIV Golf Investments, has criticised those speaking out against the Saudi involvement in golf, particularly in relation to accusations of sports-washing.

“It’s personally disappointing to see some of the attacks that have been taking place unwarrantedly. If you prejudge anybody without knowing the facts then shame on you,” Norman says, evidently overlooking many of the facts directly associated to Saudi’s “heinous” human rights record.

On the contrary, Norman is adamant that the Saudis’ one and only motivation for getting into golf is to grow the game, and has called out golf’s status quo for their ongoing reluctance to sit down and talk through the Super League proposal.

“Are you scared of something?” Norman asked from Royal Greens Golf Club.

“What is LIV Golf Investments doing that you’re scared of? We want to work together side by side. It’s for the betterment of the game.”

Author’s note – Greg Norman’s LIV Golf investments is a company backed by the Public Investment Fund, which operates on behalf of the Government of Saudi Arabia. If you’d like to learn more about why people might be hesitant to sit down at the negotiating table with Norman’s buddies, CLICK HERE


For more on the above, Listen to this week’s Irish Golfer Podcast

Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

One response to “Poulter reportedly offered £22 million to join Saudi-backed league”

  1. Ger Lodge avatar

    It looks like crazy money is trying to take over the golfing world specially the top 100 players in the world. At the moment it looks like a bidding game now.

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.

Latest Stories

Feature Interviews