Robert Mendick, Chief Reporter for the Telegraph, says Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond has signaled an interest in trying to solve the row between members of Wentworth and its new owner, Reignwood Group.
Take that, John Kerry!
Mendick writes of Britain's most important foreign relations representative coming to the defense of Wentworth's members and includes a letter from Hammond outlining how he can help. There was also this:
Relations between Reignwood Group, which bought the club last year for £135 million, and its membership have sunk to an all-time low.
In a growing escalation in tensions, Wentworth’s Chinese owners are being accused of a lack of respect after the St George’s flag was lowered to half mast for victims of the Paris atrocity while the Chinese flag that also now stands outside the clubhouse was not.
Reignwood has countered with new membership categories.
In a statement, Wentworth Club has announced it plans to invest £20 million over the next two years “to significantly enhance and improve its three championship courses, facilities and service quality”.
It also insisted it was listening to members’ concerns and had “introduced two new [membership] categories with discounted rates as a result”.
It went on: “We lowered the St George’s flag at the entrance to the Club, along with the Union Flag on the roof of the club, as a mark of respect following the devastating terror attacks in Paris earlier this month.
“The inference that there was any disrespect as a result of the Chinese flag not being lowered is deeply upsetting. We are extremely disappointed to think that any of our members would construe this to be the case.”
New European Tour chief Keith Pelley also recently balked at the idea of Wentworth as host of the European Tour's "flagship" event while expressing reserved optimism for the upcoming changes.