Marc Player's 'deteriorated' relationship with father, Gary Player Group proceeds with counter claim

Gary Player (Getty Images)
Gary Player (Getty Images)

Gary Player's son, Marc Player, has expressed sadness over what he considers a "deteriorated" relationship with his father. 

This follows last week's news that the legendary South African golfer would receive a settlement fee of $5 million (around R87 million) having entered into an arbitration dispute with the Gary Player Group - his company operated by Marc - over ownership and naming rights. 

Now, the Gary Player Group has confirmed that it will be seeking a counter claim beyond the resolved arbitration. 

"Marc Player, individually, was never part of the dispute," Darren Heitner, a representative of the Gary Player Group, said in a statement on Thursday. 

"No other corporate entity, including Black Knight International, was named a party in the action."

The statement added that the entire process and the awarding of the $5 million was consented to by both parties while it further confirmed that all ownership rights as laid out in a 2013 agreement between Gary Player and the Gary Player Group would revert back to Player. 

Heitner argued, though, that those rights did not include the assets held by the Black Knight Trust - another of Player's entities. 

"The Gary Player trademark portfolio has been managed, protected, registered, expanded, developed, enforced and commercialised by Mark Player and his teams, including via various entities in the group, for as long as 35 years," said Eugene Honey from Adams & Adams, Black Knight International's South African trademark attorneys. 

The statement added that the Gary Player Group was lodging a counter claim after the arbitration, but that it could not be considered by an American Arbitrator because certain financial information could not be obtained out of South Africa.

According to the statement, "Gary Player has thus far refused/declined to fully disclose his earnings in South Africa to enable a financial reconciliation of the respective amounts owed between the parties."

Marc Player then expressed sadness at how his relationship with his father had deteriorated. 

"It is with great sadness that both my personal and business relationship with my father has deteriorated to the extent that it has," he said.

"Anyone that really knows me would agree that I have always tried to help my parents with everything from the business to their personal lives.

"This has been a long, tiring, costly, emotional and tedious process pitting father against son. I have genuinely tried to reconcile with them and amicably resolve our dispute and it is a shame that we have not been able to do so due to their new advisor, Dave King and his malicious and continuous tortious interference in what should have been a private family matter." 

- Compiled by Sport24 staff 

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