The Tennis Integrity Unit – we can call it the “British Tennis Integrity Unit” – has named the “independent chair” for the new supervisory board being set up to monitor it.
Jennie Price, a career sports administrator formerly the CEO of Sport England, will be the woman in charge.
Price was selected “following an extensive international search carried out by external specialists.”
The Independent Review Panel listed a new supervisory board as one of its recommendations.
The IRP released its final report last December, after nearly three years of study.
Nine people replacing four
The new supervisory board is replacing the 11-year-old Tennis Integrity Board. That was made up of ATP CEO Chris Kermode, WTA CEO Steve Simon, ITF president David Haggerty and Wimbledon chairman Philip Brook.
All of those men, we’d imagine, had many other issues on their plate.
That’s why the IRP included this observation in its report.
“The TIU has not been subject to adequate supervision or strategic direction from the Tennis Integrity Board (“TIB”), which was established by the International Governing Bodies to oversee the TIU. This has principally arisen as a consequence of the TIB’s deference to the independence of the TIU.”
Strong on sports participation
Price’s resumé lists the attracting of “1.6 million more people to participate regularly in sport” and “her leadership of the multi-award winning This Girl Can campaign which significantly increased activity among women and girls” as highlights of her time with Sport England.
A lawyer by profession, she was Chief Executive at the UK national recycling body WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme). After that, she took on the Sport England job for a decade. She was private practice in the construction sector in Great Britain before that. And she also is a trustee of the Canal and River Trust.
Price has no previous background in tennis (or, we’d imagine, sports gambling). She will preside over a nine-person board. Representatives from the WTA, ATP, ITF and the Grand Slam Board will take up four of those spots. So, essentially, the old “Tennis Integrity Board”.
She will recruit four more “independent members” to join. The Board will “operate along the lines of a corporate board, providing strategic guidance and independent oversight of the unit.”
The Sportsradar conundrum
Hopefully their first order of business is to look at the relationship between the revenue earned from selling data/scoring rights.
The issue with Sportsradar and the lowest-level ITF tournaments was one of the keynote recommendations of the IRP. The report found that some 80 per cent of the betting took place at those levels.
So that seems to be the key issue. Let’s hope that it’s something that will be resolved by having nine people in a board room instead of four.