Court rules against Asian Tour in restraint of trade case
Court rules against Asian Tour in restraint of trade case
Australians Terry Pilkadaris and Matthew Griffin, Manila-based Dutchman Guido van der Valk and Malaysian Anis Helmi Hassan brought the case against the Asian Tour after being suspended for refusal to pay $5,000 fines imposed for playing events on the rival OneAsia circuit.
The players argued that the penalty was unfair and they should be allowed to play elsewhere if the Asian Tour did not stage a tournament the same week.
Pilkadaris said in a statement he was delighted with the verdict and felt vindicated in his stance.
“This situation was simply unfair. Even when the Asian Tour didn’t have a tournament, we were being prevented from playing on OneAsia — and as a professional golfer this clearly is an infringement of trade,” he said.
“I was a very loyal Asian Tour member. Even when I was on the European Tour, I used to come back to Asia to play their events, so to be accused of disloyalty was not very nice. “I earned the right to play on the Asian Tour — and OneAsia — and so I am glad that this has been resolved.”
In the High Court ruling yesterday, the judge wrote that the Asian Tour’s regulations regarding the release of players to take part in events on other tours was “unenforceable and null and void for being an unreasonable restraint of trade.”
The ruling ordered the Tour to repay the fines levied on players and pay their costs.
The Asian Tour, which has accused OneAsia of stealing events, had said it was simply following its rules and regulations in suspending the quartet for failing to pay.
Other Tour members had agreed to pay the fines and gone on to play rival events, it had said.
A statement from the Asian Tour yesterday said: “Our lawyers are reviewing the court judgment and we will make further comments at an appropriate time.”
Sang Y Chun, chairman and commissioner of OneAsia, said it had been “illogical” for the Asian Tour to stop its players from competing in other competitions, particularly when there was no conflict of dates.
“We have always had a much more open policy — if you are qualified to play, you should be allowed to play,” he said in a statement.
“OneAsia wants to see the best golfers in Asia competing for the richest purses and we hope this ruling opens the way for more players to take part in our events without fear of punitive fines or banning.”
While the Asian Tour has been keen to help its players on to the bigger European and PGA Tours, it has been concerned about the growth of the rival OneAsia circuit and introduced fines to deter members from playing on it.
OneAsia launched its first season in 2009, promising $1 million events with full fields of Asian players. It now has 10 full-field stroke play events this year after starting with five in its first year.
Van der Valk incurred a $5,000 fine for playing in OneAsia events in 2010 but the world No. 600 told Reuters earlier this month that he could no longer afford to take the risk of paying them as he has no guarantees of making money from competing.
Griffin played in the Chengdu Open, Maekyung Open, SK Telekom Open and Indonesian Open on the OneAsia Tour between April and July 2010, with Pilkadaris playing in three of the events, Van der Valk two and Anis just in Indonesia.
Pilkadaris, Griffin and Anis have dropped their membership of the Asian Tour.
Liverpool's Andrew Robertson ready for Roma Champions League test
- Young Scottish star was very impressive during Liverpool's 5-1 aggregate destruction of Man City in last-eight clash.
- Robertson refuses to take Roma lightly after their shock victory over Barcelona in the last round.
LIVERPOOL: With a desire stoked in the stands of Parkhead, Andrew Robertson is now fired up to fulfil a childhood dream.
While following the fortunes of Celtic, the defender’s first Champions League final memory was when Zinedine Zidane volleyed Real Madrid to success in 2002 as the contest was staged in Robertson’s home city of Glasgow. He was just eight years old.
While Robertson was deemed too small to play for his boyhood idols, released at 15 with a future uncertain, he has grown to prove his worth on Europe’s biggest club stage with Liverpool.
Now, with a semifinal encounter against AS Roma after beating Premier League champions Manchester City in the last eight, he wants to emulate those Reds heroes who lifted the trophy five times before.
“I was a big Celtic fan growing up and my heroes were Henrik Larsson and Co,” Robertson told Arab News ahead of tonight’s first-leg clash at Anfield.
“But these heroes who have won the European Cup and Champions League for Liverpool, you have to look up to them — and we want to emulate them and hopefully get a winner’s medal too.
“The club’s won it five times and the history of the club has always been this, the Champions League, where the fans create a special atmosphere and the club challenges for the trophy. It would be unbelievable to be a part of that history.
“This is the highlight for me so far and an incredible feeling, but it just makes you hungry for more. I don’t want it to end.
“As a kid, you sit back and watch how great it would be to play in this competition, let alone in the final.
“I always used to go to Celtic and we didn’t progress very far in the Champions League, but the occasions at Parkhead were always unbelievable.
“The fans at Celtic are incredible, world renowned, but Anfield was unbelievable against Man City and we have another chance for them to create that same atmosphere and hopefully we can put in another great performance.” Having beaten Pep Guardiola’s City so convincingly, 5-1 over two gripping games, Liverpool will start favorites against Roma.
That is despite the Italians upsetting Barcelona in the previous round with an epic 3-0 win in the second leg after a 4-1 loss at the Nou Camp.
But Robertson will take nothing for granted against a Roma side who last reached the final in 1984 where they were beaten by Liverpool in a penalty shootout at their Stadio Olimpico home.
“Barca are an unbelievable team,” added the Scotland left-back, 24. “But let’s not kid ourselves. For Roma to score three goals against Barcelona, that’s special.
“They’ve been unbelievable this season too in the Champions League and deserve to be in the semifinals. It will definitely not be an easy game.
“But once you get to the semis, the fear of who you are playing has gone because you know how good the teams are.
“It’s like you look forward to the possibility of playing in the final, that’s what drives you forward. We will have fire in our bellies because we are so close to getting there.”
Jurgen Klopp’s men will no doubt be looking to Mohamed Salah to conjure more magic against the club he left in the summer for £36.9 million ($51.5 million). But Robertson insisted Liverpool are no one-man team and the Egyptian, crowned PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night after scoring 41 goals in an unforgettable campaign, epitomizes a team united and ambitious in their quest for glory. “He’s just unbelievable,” said Robertson of the frontman.
“In the first half (of the second leg) against Man City we struggled to get him in the game and he wasn’t quite at it. But the second half he was different class and pops up with a goal to help us win it. That’s what he does.
“His goals have been incredible and long may that continue. He’s a great guy, so humble, and for someone who has done so much this season he’s so down to Earth.
“That’s credit to our squad because we don’t let anyone get ahead of themselves.
“Mo is no different, he’s a lovely person and stands for what we are as a team.”
HEART OF GOLD
Five years ago Andrew Robertson was playing in the fourth tier of Scottish football with Queen’s Park and earning extra money by selling concert tickets in the corporate offices at Hampden Park.
Last summer he suffered relegation from the Premier League with Hull City before Liverpool signed him for £10 million ($13.9 million).
In a career fraught with setbacks and hardships, he has been grateful, supporting foodbanks that help those in need.
“It’s all about giving something back to the less fortunate,” said Robertson.
“I’m in a fortunate position where I do a job I love and get paid well and it’s nice to give something back, especially in my hometown. I’ll always do that.
“It’s been a great journey for me in my career, and I’ve enjoyed every minute. But I don’t forget where I came from. Maybe it is rare, but a lot more people are doing it now and I hope even more will.”