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European Tour agrees to players demands

The European Tour has said that it will respond ‘positively’ to players’ demands to have its financial books examined by an independent auditor.

Mitchell Platts, the European Tour’s director of communications and public relations, said a letter had been received from Severiano Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Jose Maria Olazabal.

"We responded positively to this request by seeking not only the identity of the independent auditor but also a suitable date for a meeting," Platts said.

"We categorically deny...that we gave any indication that we would deny reasonable access to the books."

Olazabal said on Tuesday: "I think it's a very simple issue. We just want to know where the money is going.

"We don't have any information. It was not any certain player who started this - the feeling was there and we just talked to each other.

"This is a big company now. We are not trying to find anything special and we're not trying to see if there is any misconduct at all. It has just not been detailed."

As a member of the tour's tournament committee, Colin Montgomerie did not sign the letter. His manager Guy Kinnings was quoted as saying: "Colin feels that if he has any issues to raise he does it through the committee."

Darren Clarke, who could be crowned Montgomerie’s successor as European number one on Sunday, said that the names of other major players on the Tour persuaded him to add his.

"But for that I probably would have thought very carefully about not signing, but they have been around for a lot longer than I have and I thought it the right thing to do," said the Ulsterman.

"I am not aware of anything wrong but I think the guys just want the books audited to see what the result is.

"People are not saying that money is going missing or anything like that. At the end of the day I am trying to play golf and leave the running of the tour to people who know what they are doing."

Olazabal said: "I don't know how much the TV contract for the Ryder Cup was. We just don't know the numbers precisely, so that's what we're asking for.

"I don't know what Ken Schofield earns. This is a company. Why shouldn't we know? It's simple."




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