British tennis at all-time low says report

The image of Britain's Lawn Tennis Association is at an all-time low according to a report produced by a group of senior politicians.

Britain's lowly standing in the sport has long been a source of embarrassment and the All-Party Parliamentary Tennis Group has spent three weeks gathering evidence to try and find out where it is all going wrong.



The three-page report sent to Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe on Monday by Baroness Billingham of Banbury, the group's chairman, did not make pleasant reading for LTA chief executive Roger Draper, still reeling from this month's humiliating Davis Cup defeat by Lithuania.



"Given the remarkable level of expenditure, in excess of 60 million pounds ($90 million) annually, it should be possible to deliver better outcomes than at present," the report stated.



Despite a huge budget compared to most countries, Britain only has one man and one woman in the top 100 of the rankings. Even Andy Murray, the world number three, cannot be deemed a home-grown success as he trained in Spain as a junior.



"We feel that the LTA should address its lack of public support and build relations, not only within the sport, but with the general public as well.



"Esteem for the LTA seems to be at an all time low. As a consequence, much of the good work of the LTA tends to be overlooked."



As well as funds generated by the Wimbledon Championships British tennis is a year into a four-year 28 million pound government funding package. The report questioned whether money was being spent in the right areas, namely grassroots tennis.



"We feel it is crucial that the LTA should be more transparent and accountable in the setting of their priorities and the use of their funds," it said.



"The LTA should be asked for costed plans for all of their initiatives, which should reflect priorities arrived at following meaningful consultation with everyone involved.



"It is crucial that grassroots tennis, whether involving very young players or others, that hitherto had no access to the sport, ought to be at the top of the LTA's priorities."



The LTA responded vigorously to suggestions in the report that public funding was being used to fund LTA staff bonuses.



"No public money goes into the payment of bonuses at the LTA, which are determined by strict measures of performance, and overseen by a remuneration committee of the LTA Main Board, including a non-executive member of the Board," the LTA said in a statement.



PROMOTED VIDEO
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.

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee