October 2020
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Hey Andy Murray, you (IMHO) selfish brat! How about giving your fans their money back?

I have (had?) huge respect for Andy Murray. OK, he’s got the charisma of a lump of seaweed. But he’s Scottish, so perhaps that’s to be expected. However, he has managed to become (briefly) the tennis world’s Number 2 and he and his family achieved his success through extraordinary hard work and determination and by completely bypassing the incompetent over-paid, over-pensioned bureaucrats running and ruining British tennis.

But Murray’s performance at the ATP championships in London last week was pathetic. He played quite well in his opening match when he beat David Ferrer. But in his next match against Nadal, he spent the whole time complaining and cursing and swearing instead of trying to play tennis. And it’s my understanding he threw similar childish tantrums while getting thrashed by Wawrinka.

If Mr Murray wants to behave like a spoilt 10-year-old, he should do that in the privacy of his own home. But when tens of thousands of fans have paid between £100 and £200 to see him play, he has a responsibility to make an effort. If Murray had an ounce of decency in his body, he would refund the money his fans paid to watch the Nadal and Wawrinka matches. How about it Andy?

Here’s Murray leaving the court after his meltdown against Wawrinka

murray racquet wawrinka

And here are a few more “Murray Meltdowns”

Murray racket

It’s odd that none of the other top players behave like spoilt brats. Perhaps Murray needs a course in anger management before the next time he expects fans to pay a lot of money to watch him play? Or perhaps he should take a few years off and only come back when he learns to control his temper?

As for the British Lawn Tennis Association ((LTA) – for seven years up to his departure at the end of 2013, The LTA was run by a certain Roger Draper whose final salary package was around £640,000 – about 4 times that of the Prime Minister. Draper received a basic wage of £394,000, a bonus of £201,000 and a pension contribution of £45,000. Under Draper’s extremely lucrative (for him) time in charge, if I have my facts correct the LTA didn’t produce a single player to consistently achieve a world ranking of above 100 (or even 200?). Yet countries with a tenth of the UK’s population and a fraction of the LTA’s massive budget can produce champion after champion.

Moreover, in the four years up to Murray’s Wimbledon victory the number of people participating in tennis declined. In fact the situation was so bad that in 2012 Sport England described the LTA’s plan to improve numbers playing the game as ‘simply not strong enough’ and threatened to cut the LTA’s funding by £10.3m a year (of our money) if it failed to increase participation.

Following Murray’s success, which was achieved without the help of the LTA, participation in tennis did increase. Hence, I suppose the £201,000 bonus for the lucky Mr Draper.

Many outsiders have wondered where the LTA’s annual £15.3m staffing costs and £17m spent on participation actually goes. I think they’ll find that executive salaries for the LTA’s many bosses and Five-Star, First-Class junkets to the world’s major tournaments for the bosses and their wives, mistresses and cronies eat up a considerable chunk of the LTA’s many millions leaving precious little for training the next generation of ‘champions’.

The LTA was criticised by Baroness Billingham, the chair of Parlaiment’s All-Party Tennis Group in December 2012. She said: “The LTA is one of the wealthiest sporting organisations in the country and it’s my honest and genuine opinion that they are useless.” Draper’s £640,000 salary package was also described by Billingham as “unthinkable”.

Like so many other organisations in today’s Bureaucrats’ Britain – the NHS, the military, the police, councils, many charities – the LTA has become a bloated sclerotic bureaucracy that seems to exist only to support the privileged lifestyles of its bosses.

In January 2014, Canadian Michael Downey took over as chief executive of the LTA. Downey was Tennis Canada’s president for nine years. Downey is paid a salary of £300,000 with a chance to earn up to 30% more in bonuses if he meets performance targets.

But will anything ever change at the preposterously poorly-performing, junketing bureaucrats’ paradise that is the LTA? Or will it just be more snouts in the trough?

I think I can guess

5 comments to Hey Andy Murray, you (IMHO) selfish brat! How about giving your fans their money back?

  • Trevor Peach

    Its not safe to congregate for Sporting Events anyway.

    Great Britain’s preparations for a first Davis Cup final since 1979 have suffered a setback after their journey to Belgium for this week’s showdown was delayed by the threat of terrorism.

    Andy Murray and team-mates had been due to travel to Ghent on Sunday but national chiefs the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) postponed the trip amid heightened security concerns in the country.

    The Belgian government kept Brussels on maximum alert, with the capital’s metro network closed and residents warned to avoid crowded areas, having raised the threat level on Saturday.

    “The safety of everyone in the British contingent, including our players and fans, remains our No1 priority,” said the LTA.

    Around 5,000 British fans are expected to travel to Ghent – 35 miles north-west of Brussels – for the three-day tie, which starts on Friday.

    The ITF has admitted it is concerned by the security situation but insists that, as it stands, the final is still set to go ahead.

  • right_writes

    I don’t know anything about tennis David… I don’t like it, never play it, never watch it.

    However, I used look after a London Bank’s computer systems, which occasionally required me to act as a nursemaid, until late in the evening when most of the staff had gone home.

    One such evening, I was chatting with one of the top-hatted bank messengers over a cup of coffee, and I asked him whether he had been to see Spurs at the previous weekend, I knew he was a supporter. I was surprised at the answer, which was…

    …No, I don’t go there anymore, I go and watch the amateurs playing on Wandsworth Flats…

    I said… Oh, why is that?

    He said, because the money from Sky has ruined football and what is known as professional football, and I do not want to see that crap. I would rather see a bunch of bloke who work as plumbers and whathaveyou during the week and turn up for a league based amateur game on a Saturday or Sunday…

    It was a good answer, I thought.

    Time has only made professional football ever less about football and more about money in the ensuing years.

    You make a good point David. Andy Murray’s behaviour is crap, and the reason is the money, not his skill or lack thereof, on the day.

  • Tony Potts

    I see that Tim Henman has pulled out of commentary of the Davis Cup meeting in Ghent , not going, cant blame him. Welcome to the new normal we have invited on ourselves by playing with fire.

    Britain’s travelling fans – of whom there will probably be around 1,500 – may find themselves in a trickier position. The latest Foreign Office advice on Belgium recommends that British nationals “avoid places where there is a high concentration of people, particularly in the Brussels region”.

  • MGJ

    I have a relation who worked at the LTA until recently. If he is to be believed then they are the most vicious bunch of back-stabbers, arse-coverers and incompetents imaginable. Hopelessly failed targets were rewarded with bonuses (sound familiar?) as they were ‘deserved’ and as for their new boss, well let’s say he does not sound like an improvement.

  • Dr R D Feltham

    David, I understand your wrath towards Murray, but have you considered that what he suffered in the Dunblane massacre has probably left a psychological scar on him for life. and this probably erupts from time-to-time? I think in these circumstance it is quite amazing that he has been able to achieve what he has done, particularly without the help of the LTA.

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