Thanks to reader John for the sad, sad news that Vijay Singh will not be lending his name to a pair of former IMG Design Services masterpieces in his native land.
IMG Worldwide Inc, the manager of Fiji's star golfer, last week cancelled its design contract for the championship golf course at Natadola Resort.A show of integrity from IMG? Eh...
In a statement today, Renee Lal, legal representative for IMG, says the Natadola Bay Resort Ltd (NBRL), a subsidiary of the Fiji National Provident Fund will no longer have the right to use Vijay Singh's name to promote the course.
No comments could be obtained immediately from NBRL's chairman Felix Anthony.
Last month, the FNPF, the financiers of the multi million dollar project, had said it had cancelled the Natadola project manager's, Asia Pacific Resort International (APRIL's) contract after Anthony claimed that Interpol reports showed that APRIL chief executive Gerard Saliot had a criminal record, which he did not disclose when obtaining a work permit.
APRIL, which is the founder of the Natadola scheme, says its contract is still in force and has not been legally terminated.Well...let's not get carried away here.
Golfer Singh had said he would withdraw from the Natadola Golf Course project in Fiji if APRIL and Saliot are removed.
"I thought that (the statement) was a bit irresponsible," Anthony had later said in a press conference.
Lal says Singh has indicated publicly his trust and confidence in APRIL and Saliot, its chief executive.
Singh in association with IMG, has been personally involved in the design and development of the course.
Lal says she received a message from Singh through IMG expressing his concern at the circumstances that led to the contract cancellation.
"His actual words were that what had happened 'has caused great disappointment to me as my dream is now altogether gone to provide this masterpiece for the people of Fiji'.
"I have been instructed to say that criticisms of Singh by FNPF and NBRL board member, Felix Anthony, are completely false," Lal says.
She claimed that they were made without as much as a "phone call to Mr Singh or an offer of discussion".
Lal says that any suggestion that Singh does not fully understand the situation between the FNPF and APRIL is untrue.
"He is well informed and is in regular contact," she said.
Lal claims FNPF's contractual default has led to a new crisis.
She said IMG had exercised its right to terminate the course design agreement with immediate effect and that the NBRL was informed about this late last week.
Lal claims that despite repeated requests, the NBRL had failed to pay outstanding sums of about $103,000 to IMG.
She claims that there was a clear and unequivocal breach of the design agreement.
Lal says that IMG may proceed without further notice to take legal action against NBRL to recover the full amount due, together with costs and interest.
According to her, the IMG is also making a demand for payment of sums due under a separate management agreement which she said at March end totaled about $275,000.
In IMG's view, the NBRL's failure to pay these amounts was also a clear breach of agreement, Lal says.
She said that although the design agreement had been terminated, it was still possible to negotiate a new agreement.
"The option is still there if matters can be resolved."
Lal who also represents APRIL says it was estimated that the interruption of the golf course contract alone could involve additional expenditure of some $5 million.
She claims the FNPF is now exposed to a number of legal problems with potentially far-reaching consequences.
Well if you can make sense of that, please feel free to explain in the comments section.