Scottish Open under threat without Barclays

 

The future of the Scottish Open has been thrown into jeopardy with yesterday's surprise announcement that Barclays are not renewing their sponsorship after a nine-year association. The bank cited "market forces" as the reason behind their withdrawal.

While the European Tour donned a brave face, they will be worried on a few fronts. The first is the very urgent concern of finding a replacement backer willing to stump up the £3m prize fund, and other significant expenses, to stage one of their calendar's most prestigious events. The other, longer-term cause for unease, will be what this will mean to other bank sponsorships, which form a significant chunk of the Tour's portfolio.

The Tour had been confident of striking anew deal with Barclays. The banking giants were supposedly pleased with the tournament's move to a new home – Castle Stuart in Inverness. After 15 years at Loch Lomond the switch to links was almost unanimously welcomed as appropriate for the event leading into the Open Championship. Boasting five of the world's top 10, this year's field was arguably the strongest in the Scottish Open's history.

Even the freak downpours which reduced the event to 54 holes could not dampen the optimism as the world No 1, Luke Donald, romped home. George O'Grady, the Tour's chief executive, then declared "the talks with Barclays are ongoing and everybody is very positive".

"Barclays have announced the Barclays Classic in the United States will continue until 2016," added O'Grady. "We will announce something as soon as we can but they are a very, very positive sponsor who know how golf works."

Two months on and what worked for Barclays in the US, plainly does not over here. That, no doubt, has plenty to do with the British backlash against banking institutions. But it also does not say much about the Scottish Open's standing, despite its venue and privileged place in the diary. Barclays will continue to be Phil Mickelson's main backer as well as carrying on sponsoring the Barclays Open in Singapore.

It will be embarrassing, and deeply foreboding, if the Tour cannot find a backer in the forthcoming months. It is also one of only two professional male tournaments, outside of the majors, which is broadcast on terrestrial TV. This year's Irish Open did not have a titled sponsor and was heavily bankrolled from the Tour's own coffers.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map