Tennis share out

It was good to see Andy Murray advocating a more equable share-out of tennis prize money. His point is that while those at the top of the tree make a fabulous living from the sport, you don’t have to be too far down the rankings before its gets difficult to make ends meet.

Murray says too many talented pros leave the sport because they simply can’t make meagre prize money cover the costs of being on the circuit – even at a subsistence level.

That touches on something at the heart of sport. You have to have competition to create a spectacle and narrative and it is important to make sure that sport has strength in depth and not just at the top. In the early days of American football, owners of more successful franchises got together to keep their rivals financially afloat – not out of a sense of philanthropy but because it made sense to have strong and varied competition which would keep fans flocking to the stadiums. Murray and other leading pros have proved that they understand that fundamental point and that the overall health of the sport has to be prioritised.

“It is good to see Andy Murray advocating a more equable share-out of tennis prize money because outside the top group of players it is difficult to earn enough to survive on the circuit. He understand that sports enduring appeal lies in strength and depth of competition and that the overall health of the sport comes first.”

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