Today, the World Padel Tour could be on the verge of at least losing its monopoly on the professional circuit of padel. The players' association padel as the International Federation of Padel no longer wantabuse” of the reference professional circuit, they explain.

Irreparable damage?

The damage is already significant: in the event that the circuit continues respecting the 2022 calendar, how could it continue to operate normally when it has been very heavily criticized and questioned by many players?

How can we forget this revolt of the players, how can we do without the aura of the FIP and certain strong players in the padel ? Did the players really like the World Padel Tour until there ? When we read the words of Ale Galan, the President of the PPA, we understand that this malaise dates back several years.

How could this circuit continue to develop, when obviously its end already seems scheduled for 2024 at best?

How could it be so attractive for players, sponsors and especially stage organizers when there should be at least one other professional circuit in parallel, not to mention the APT Padel Tower that continues to develop?

How the World Padel Tour could he even continue his activity normally when the International Federation of Padel denounces its practices to the International Olympic Committee?

Uncertain legal consequences for the WPT

The consequences on the World Padel Tour are a priori already recorded: it is the end of its exclusivity on professional players in the short term. Could the WPT then go on the offensive judicially?

In France, according to the Ministry of the Economy, theAbuse of a dominant position consists, for a company present on a market, or a group of companies, in adopting behavior aimed at eliminating, constraining or even dissuading any competitor from entering or remaining on this market or a related market, thereby distorting competition. 

A definition of abuse that aligns with that of the European Commission's Competition Department.

However, we can consider that prohibiting players from participating in other circuits is an abusive clause and therefore contrary to European rules. Indeed, the World Padel Tour could be sanctioned for having precisely “behavior aimed at eliminating, coercing, or dissuading any competitor from entering” in the professional circuit market.

In reality, the WPT could first say goodbye to its repair requests if the players looked elsewhere. Worse: a fine could be imposed on it for abusing its dominant position. Obviously, for that there would have to be a trial first, and we are not there yet.

The WPT letter, an opposite effect?

La open letter from World Padel Tour addressed to the players has in no way calmed the desires of some people elsewhere. It might even have had the opposite effect for those who were still close to the circuit.

This letter from the WPT comes in a way to reinforce the letter from the International Federation of Padel addressed to the International Olympic Committee concerning the practices of the current professional circuit of reference.

Indeed, if the WPT recalls the contractual obligations of the players, the fact remains that these clauses could in fact be considered abusive and attacked by the players. The WPT would adopt “behaviour which aims to eliminate any competition contrary to the policy pursued by the Directorate of the Commission of the European Commission”. 

Moreover, the positioning of the current world number one in padel and President of the Association of Professional Players, Ale Galan, clearly aligns with that of the FIP:

“The communication and behavior of the WPT over the past few days is totally consistent with its insincere, exclusively self-serving, and tending to belittle our sport and athletes for so many years. (…) The WPT's latest proposal responds only to its own interests”

The players' association could even initiate proceedings.

A legal action by the players against the World Padel Tour ?

Going back seems almost impossible. And the consequences already seem very / too heavy for the WPT.

A deafening silence

Despite the attacks, the initiatives of many institutions, the words of the International Federation of Padel, the sling of a part of the players, the WPT remains silent officially.

True, he sent an open letter to the players. But that's all. The WPT is adopting a very risky strategy: silence. And he acts as if nothing had happened. Except that the ecosystem padel is boiling. And the silence of the WPT does not reassure. Especially since the best players in the world have already signed with QSI / FIP.

Behind the scenes, WPT lawyers are trying to stop the bleeding. Will this be enough to repair the irreparable: the loss of trustworthy ?

How to build a step of the World Padel Tour so costly for the organisers, if the circuit does not react to put out the fire?

Does the WPT really have a choice? In any case, this silence is already costing him dearly since his integrity with the organizers, players and fans is already very heavily compromised.

A repeating situation?

What is certain is that there will be a before and after this period. the World Padel Tour will never be the same again, unless there is a big turnaround. A situation that looks a bit like that of 2018, which had finally benefited the WPT.

Already four years ago, the World Padel Tour had been questioned. The professional circuit born in 2013 was somewhat in the hot seat at the end of his first term. Indeed, many players seemed ready to join the ranks of the International Padel Turn if the World Padel Tour didn't do more for the players.

International Padel Tour had already won over some players like Ale Galan, Paquito Navarro, Juan Lebron and others who seemed to want something other than the World Padel Tour.

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The WPT now seems to be facing an even bigger problem: this circuit which has gave undeniable visibility to our sport faces a loss of love from a large part of the players.

L'International Padel Tour could have been this new circuit from 2019. We will not rewrite history. The WPT had finally succeeded in renewing its agreements with professional players. But one can easily conclude that the WPT got very hot and the foundations remained very unstable, ready to collapse at any moment.

Can the WPT still save itself and resume as if nothing had happened? The sequel seems very compromised, especially for 2024.

Team Padel May

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