International Padel

Padel Alto reveals: WPT lawyers responds the players in a letter — players can be fined up to € 500,000

Earlier this week, FIP President Luigi Carraro, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and the men´s players attacked the organization in the World Padel Tour. They want to create a new circuit to compete with WPT. Now the World Padel Tour's lawyers respond to the players in a letter that Padel Alto has taken part of.  
”WPT has fulfilled its contractual commitments, particularly with the players”, says the letter. 

It's been a turbulent week in the padel world. First, the players themselves, led by Alejandro Galan, went public and criticized the leading tour World Padel Tour with which the players are contracted until the end of 2023. 

Then FIP president Luigi Carraro also went public in a written letter attacking the World Padel Tour.  Today, Thursday, Nasser Al-Khelaifi and his company Bein Media Group sent an e-mail to Padel Alto regarding the conflict where he attacks the World Padel Tour. 

— QSI (Qatar Sports Investments) is exploring a few possible avenues in partnership with The Federation and the Players Association, they wrote in the e-mail. 

Now the World Padel Tour's lawyers have responded to the players of the World Padel Tour in a letter that Padel Alto has taken part of. 

Here is the letter (translated from Spanish)

”We represent as lawyers SETPOINT EVENTS S.A., owner of the "World Padel Tour" and we are contacting you in relation to several news and information that have relevance both for WPT and for you.

It has come to our attention that various entities are organizing a padel circuit that would initially operate in parallel to the WPT Circuit and that, according to information appearing in the press, would later aspire to succeed it, as of 1/1/2024.

In this regard, this party addresses you as it has signed, and in force, a contract of professional services with WPT. Logically, we have no objection to any of your actions as long as they are in accordance with the provisions of the contract, and as long as they are in accordance with the contractual obligations and commitments subscribed by you. The contract, as has been said, is fully in force and its breach will give rise to the corresponding legal responsibilities.

”Remind you of some of the essential obligations.”

In this regard, we would like to remind you that since its creation WPT has scrupulously fulfilled its contractual commitments, particularly with the players.

Therefore, we would also like to remind you of some of the essential obligations that you, by virtue of the contract, have assumed as a player towards SETPOINT EVENTS, S.A., holder of all the rights of the WPT circuit, in particular the following:

(a) If you are a player occupying a position in the WPT ranking between 1 and 20.

The obligation of exclusivity in your activity as a padel player, so that you will not be able to participate in any circuit, championship, tournament or sporting event, with the sole exception of those belonging to the categories expressly contemplated in your contract. It is clear that his participation in a parallel circuit would violate this obligation of exclusivity without being protected in any of these exceptions.

And in any case with a prohibition to play in any circuit, championship, tournament or event during seven days before and seven days after any WPT competition.

b) If you are a player who occupies a position in the WPT ranking from 21 inclusive.

You are free to participate in any padel circuit, tournaments, championships, or events as long as you do not do so during the seven days before and seven days after any WPT competition.

In any case, the authorizations mentioned must be complied with in accordance with and under the terms set forth in the contract.

”Legal actions in order to defend our rights”

In the event that you fail to comply with any of the mentioned obligations (or any other that the contract provides), we will have no choice but to initiate against you the corresponding legal actions in order to defend our rights and the value of the WPT circuit, as well as the interests of our sponsors and venues, including the claim for damages caused.

In relation to the above, we want to emphasize that the obligations that you freely assumed against SETPOINT EVENTS S.A. in relation to the WPT Circuit are not conditioned nor can be varied or suspended unilaterally by the parties, much less by a third party outside the contract, nor be subject to fraudulent or abusive interpretations aimed at emptying them of content.

Finally, I remind you that your contract contains a pre-emption clause, fully valid and enforceable in the event of non-renewal of the same and that the eventual violation of the same entitles SETPOINT to claim all damages, direct and indirect, caused by such conduct, in addition to specific penalties provided for in the case of simulation of an offer, between € 300,000 and € 500,000 for each defaulting player. The legality of pre-emption clauses in connection with contracts for the provision of professional services of a sporting nature has been confirmed by the courts”.

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