Mike Davies, executive of World Championship Tennis (WCT), says he does not think WCT's out-of-court settlement last fall of a lawsuit it had filed against Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg constitutes an appearance guarantee for Borg to play in 1978 Grand Prix tournaments promoted by WCT, in contravention of Grand Prix rules.
In response to critics, Davies has acknowledged that the settlement of a suit for alleged breach of contract, filed after Borg withdrew from the 1977 WCT circuit, contained a provision that Borg would play "six or eight" of the tournaments promoted by WCT in 1978 as part of a new "Super Grand Prix" series. In return, WCT dropped its request for damages.
"I don't think that can be interpreted as a guarantee. We don't pay Borg one cent of appearance, expense or travel money," said Davies. "We thought this settlement was the best thing for the whole game, for Borg to be playing tournaments and for WCT to drop its lawsuit."
Payments of cash or "anything else of value" as appearance guarantees are forbidden by Grand Prix rules.
The Men's International Professional Tennis Council Prix, is expected to look into this matter and several other allegations that WCT has violated Grand Prix rules - which Davis denies as "absolutely, totally infounded" - at its meetings in Nice, France, next week.