AITA will not waive off ‘royalty’ of around USD 40,000 on the Chennai Open unless Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) proves that it was a loss making venture and also made it clear that constitutional provisions are binding on all its members.
Snubbing the All India Tennis Association,TNTA got the government clearance for hosting one of the season-openers on the ATP tour on its own,and has also refused to pay the royalty,which is 10 percent of the total prize money.
TNTA’s view is that since they do not get any help and voting rights from AITA for hosting this event starting December 30,they will not pay the royalty,which they have been paying all these years.
Chennai Open is a good tournament. We have to support it and it should be conducted in the best possible manner. We have written to them (TNTA) that if you can prove that you are making loss,we can think of it (waiving of royalty), AITA Secretary General Bharat Oza said.
If they have valid reason,we can not only waive it off but we can pay (to them as help) on top of it, the official added.
When asked why AITA insists on royalty when it is being done without their help,Oza,That is there view. They have to follow constitutional rules. It is constitutional provision. There is nothing new. Constitution is there,and we don’t have explain it to media. it is our right to waive it,reduce it or subsidise it. AITA is made of all state association,all members have to follow the rules.
If TNTA sticks to its stand,the issue will be discussed in AITA’s next Executive Committee meeting. After being snubbed,the AITA has now asked the government to entertain applications through authorised signatories of the AITA. The government has not withdrawn the NOC given to TNTA but has agreed to accept AITA’s request in future.
A TNTA official said,AITA never had an issue with us writing to various sponsors over the years through which we raised significant amounts for AITA. So why this question of about us writing now?.
Another senior AITA official said all this is happening due to difference of opinion. IMG (which owns the event) has been paying for the last 17 years. Today there is difference of opinion so they want to stop. We will discuss in that Executive Committee, he said. Asked what the differences are,the AITA official said they basically want to rule the federation. They want to have the last say on all decisions.
The fighting between the state association and AITA has reached such a level that TNTA has even withdrawn its members from the AITA’s selection committees. Sai Jayalakshmi has withdrawn from senior selection committee while TNTA Secretary General CBN Reddy has withdrawn from the chairmanship of the junior selection committee.
AITA though does not consider it to be a problem. There is no dispute whatsoever. if they think,it is up to them but as per AITA,there is no dispute.
A TNTA official though made their grievances clear. No one from TNTA has been accommodated in any key executive position of AITA since late 80’s. TNTA is by far the most active State Federation. Since we are not given our due,we have withdrawn from all committees, the official said.