As this year's Wimbledon tennis championships get underway, a row is growing about prize money. The players want more, but the organisers are just as keen to retain their profits. This report from Harry Peart:
The Association of Tennis Professionals is the governing body of the men's game. It stunned the chairmen of the four Grand Slam championships with a demand for additional payments totalling 50 million dollars.
The largest portion would go into the players' pockets, but the package included payments into a players' pension account, better promotional activities, a bonus for players who compete in all four Grand Slams and a donation to selected charities. The ATP wants at least 30 percent of the profits in prize money.
The Grand Slam chairmen have rejected the demand and re-affirmed its rights to determine the levels of compensation. Most of the profits are used to promote tennis at the grass roots. The Grand Slam Committee can also point to the fact that the French Open paid almost 8 percent more in prize money this year for the men's singles event while the Wimbledon increase is almost 10 percent at a time when television revenues are falling.