APT´s General Manager criticises the tour conflict: ”It shouldn't exist”
The APT General Manager Thomas Johansson has had enough of the tour conflict between the World Padel Tour on one side and the International Padel Federation on the other. The former professional tennis player tells in an interview with Padel Alto's Swedish sister site, PadelDirekt.
— The fact that there is a war going on where the players are caught in the middle and nobody knows what is going on is not good.
This week sees the start of the Monaco Masters, kicking off the APT Padel Tours European Tour. The circuit has been able to work in the background due to the conflict between the World Padel Tour and the International Padel Federation and their new tour Premier Padel.
The Swedish former professional tennis player and the General Manager of the APT Padel Tour, Thomas Johansson, thinks that the conflict may be enough now and that it's time to start working together instead.
— It doesn't affect our tour at all, but I think it's sad what we see. It shouldn't exist. There are too many private interests in padel now. The fact that there is a war going on where the players are caught in the middle and nobody knows what is going on is not good, says Thomas Johansson to PadelDirekt.
At the moment there are no signs of the conflict cooling down. The World Padel Tour has demanded a total of €25 million from the contracted players who participated in Premier Padel's first event, the Qatar Major.
”There should only be one ranking”
The International Padel Federation, together with the Professional Players Association (PPA) and the partner Qatar Sports Investment, has gone to the European Commission claiming that the contracts signed by the players with the World Padel Tour are incompatible with EU law.
— How can we become an Olympic sport? We should all sit down and talk, says Johansson.
Do you have any dialogue with them?
— We talk to most of them and we don't close any doors, we are willing to cooperate with everyone. The most important thing for me is that there should only be one ranking.
This is your second year as General Manager of APT. What do you want to achieve?
— This is an important year. Last year, not many people knew about us. This year we want to cement APT among padel people. Everything is very turbulent, and nobody knows what is going to happen. Will more players come and play on our tour? It's very important for us now that all our competitions are good, that we manage to attract interest wherever we go.
— We want to be global and are going to South Africa this year, for example. We want to promote padel and get as many people as possible to watch and try padel. Then we also want to get more ladies on the tour.