AITA has terminated the Champions Tennis League commercial rights contract with Vijay Amritraj’s company. The decision comes just a day after reports of International Premier Tennis League running into trouble.
The nine-year CTL organization and commercial contract, which came into force in 2014, with the Vijay Amritaj-owned company is reportedly terminated for breach to pay the annual license fee. AITA has accused Second Serve Private Limited, the company led by former tennis star Amritraj, of not paying the Rs 30 lakh annual fee for the 2016 season. The league was not conducted last year. There will be no CTL this year. AITA will invite fresh bids for next year. Amritraj is a director in the company.
The company, however, is not barred from bidding whenever AITA will initiate a fresh tender process. “We have told them they can apply next year, we won’t stop them. We will give them preference,” said AITA secretary general Hiranmoy Chatterjee, who also accused the company of breach of contract.
“The contract that was signed in September 2014 originally stated that Amritraj and his team will host the tournament for nine years consecutively. However, in 2016, they said that they will be unable to conduct the tournament because of demonetisation,” Chatterjee has been reported as saying.
“They did not conduct league last year and the contract was to have it for nine years without any break. They did not pay the fixed fee of Rs 30 lakh. We had given them a chance to conduct it this year to which they initially agreed,” Chatterjee added. “But later on, they said that the franchises would not agree to have it for just 2017 season. They insisted that we allow them to conduct it for nine years as per the agreement but our Executive Committee rejected it (the demand).”
The franchisee-based league, conducted across six Indian cities, has featured the likes of Leander Paes, Martina Hingis, Feliciano Lopez, Ivo Karlovic and Jelena Jankovic in the 2014 and 2015 editions. However, citing demonetization, the SSPL had decline to conduct the league in 2016.
AITA has reportedly informed Amritraj about its move to terminate the contract and invite fresh bids in July this year.
“We had a meeting where we agreed that we will be terminating his (Amritraj’s) contract with AITA since he had breached the agreement by not hosting the tournament in 2016. We told him that we will float fresh tenders where he can also participate once he cleared his dues and that he would get a preference over others,” Chatterjee is quoted as saying by the Times of India.