The professional association of paddle tennis players (Professional Padel Association) criticized this Wednesday the series of irregularities and breaches of contract that, in his opinion, includes the new 2023 calendar of the World Padel Tour (WPT) circuit.

“Both the content and the form of the official calendar fail to comply with various essential clauses contained in the contracts that, individually, were signed by professional paddle tennis players, both for those who usually participate directly in the final draw, and for those who start their participation in the qualifying phases,” they said in a statement.

The PPA regrets the inclusion “unilaterally” by the WPT of a fourth type of tournament, since the previous Open are now Open 1000 and Open 500, in addition to the Master tournaments and the Final Master.

“The Player will have the right and obligation to participate in paddle tennis tournaments and other activities that make up the WPT Circuit under the terms and conditions established in this contract.” Based on this clause, players with a current contract have requested that WPT clarify which of the Opens is newly incorporated and therefore be released from the obligation to participate in them.

They also insist that the official calendar presented by WPT for the 2023 season does not comply with the provisions of the contracts with the players, in relation to the period to be met between the official communication of said calendar and the first tournament of the season. “The start of it will be on February 10 and therefore a period of one month will not have elapsed from the announcement of said calendar and the official start of the season,” they lamented.

“This is a manifest breach of the contract by the WPT, so players with a current contract have no commitment to participate in those tournaments in which, manifestly, the minimum period established between the announcement of the official calendar and the beginning of the competition in question”, defend the players.

On the other hand, the players assure that WPT will detail the technical regulations and regulations at the start of the season, which will be approved with the season started. “From the PPA we want to remember that the contract establishes that the regulatory framework must be approved before the start of the season, adding that any subsequent modification will only take effect in the following season,” they recalled.

“We must remember that, as of today, the WPT maintains its decision to discriminate, separate and restrict the right to participate in its tests to those players who did not have their relationship with the WPT formalized by contract, and who, as is known, have come playing historically without a contract and without any problem.
As we have denounced on previous occasions, this unilateral decision is of unparalleled gravity, not only in the history of sports in Spain, but in any country considered democratic,” they argued.

The PPA requests, given the relevance of what has been found, the mediation and help of sports and public institutions. In particular, the Higher Sports Council (CSD), understanding that the interests and unilateral decisions of a private organization such as the WPT cannot “violate fundamental rights”, in particular the constitutional obligation of public powers to promote physical education and the sport.

“From the PPA we want to remind all WPT event promoters, sponsors, partners or suppliers that these unilateral decisions by the WPT are adulterating the competition by preventing all players from competing on equal terms. As a consequence, the competition in the that all of them have an interest and finance, it will not meet all the requirements that a sports event must meet, in particular, equal treatment for all athletes,” they denounced.

“We advocate that all of them help to ensure that those players that the private promoter understands are hindering their private business decisions and that have nothing to do with the interests of the sport of paddle tennis are not discriminated against and are expelled from the WPT,” the statement continues.

In this sense, the PPA warned that, if these decisions adopted “unilaterally” are not modified, they will warn the WPT, event organizers, sponsors, partners or providers that all professional players affiliated with the PPA will show their “absolute discrepancy and discomfort” by the situation.

“Additionally we want to remember that the PPA will study all legal measures, however serious they may be, that our legal system or that of third countries provides, always with the aim of defending our colleagues in particular and the sport of paddle tennis in general”, concluded the release.