At the KLPGA Board of Directors scheduled to be held on January 31st, it is expected that there will be sharp battles over Chairman Kim Jung-tae’s advance and withdrawal.
This is because members are complaining that Chairman Kim is doing damage to the association rather than developing the KLPGA. Such an atmosphere was detected at the board meeting held on the 16th.
Director K of the Association, who attended the meeting, said, “There was a debate about Chairman Kim’s method of operating the association, which is growing in controversy.” I see,” he said.
The dissatisfaction and distrust of Chairman Kim began with a series of events that occurred while he was concurrently serving as president of the KLPGA and the Asia Golf Leaders Forum (AGLF). In 2020, one year before taking office as the 14th KLPGA president in March 2021, Chairman Kim founded AGLF with the intention of contributing to the development of golf in Asia and assumed the position of chairman.
In his inaugural address as KLPGA chairman, Chairman Kim said, “I will sympathize with the KLPGA ‘Vision 2028’ and will serve as a priming water at the forefront,” and expressed his will to “pour my capabilities into becoming the world’s number one tour in 2028.” However, the members insist that Chairman Kim’s actions so far are completely contrary to his inauguration speech.
Director K raised his voice, saying, “As the Asia Pacific Golf Platform (APGP), a subsidiary of AGLF, was established last year, members began to look suspiciously at it.” APGP has the same personality as KLPGA’s subsidiary KLPGT, which oversees the KLPGA Tour.
And the case that confirmed that suspicion was the first AGLF competition, ‘Simone Asia Pacific Cup’ held in Jakarta, Indonesia last August. The tournament, which was held in the nature of a national competition, overlapped with the KLPGA Tour’s special event, the High1 Resort Women’s Open, and the following week, the major tournament, the Hanwha Classic, was held, so KLPGA Tour players were unable to participate due to schedule. Instead, players from the LPGA Tour, sponsored by Hana Financial Group, where Chairman Kim served as chairman, competed as national representatives.
Director K said, “I understand that the AGLF’s original promise was that the AGLF tournament be held overseas as much as possible off-season so as not to overlap with the KLPGA schedule. However, that promise was not kept,” he said. “The KLPGA head acting to divert attention from the association’s competition is no different from seriously damaging the KLPGA brand value. It is for this reason that the complaints of the members are fierce.” 안전놀이터
At the time, Chairman Kim stayed in Jakarta and led the way for the success of the Simone Competition. Chairman Kim’s plan to separately sell broadcasting rights for the AGLF competition was also on the cutting edge of public criticism. The directors argue that KLPGA should have the rights to broadcast events centered on KLPGA players, but AGLF’s possession is a clear violation of KLPGA’s rights. For reference, last year’s Jakarta tournament was broadcast by JTBC Golf.
For this reason, it seems clear that many members think that the possibility that Chairman Kim Jung-tae, while serving as KLPGA president, will incorporate the KLPGA tour tournament into the AGLF tournament or arbitrarily control the broadcasting rights cannot be ruled out. In fact, there are rumors that the KLPGA Celltrion Queens Masters, established in 2021, will be held as an AGLF competition in New Zealand.
Chairman Kim’s ignorance when the association was in trouble in relation to the contract for broadcasting rights is also a factor that fuels his distrust. JTBC Golf, which was eliminated from the host broadcasting company contract due to SBS Golf, filed a lawsuit against KLPGA, including provisional injunction for suspension of validity, provisional injunction for preservation of temporary status and suspension of bidding process, provisional injunction for suspension of contract signing process, and confirmation of invalidity of selection of preferred bidder.
Another director, Mr. C, who requested anonymity, said that the majority opinion of the directors is that in order to concentrate on the position of AGLF chairman, as Chairman Kim has done so far, he should seriously consider maintaining the position of KLPGA chairman at this point.
He said, “In order to avoid the suspicion that Chairman Kim is using the KLPGA presidency for the development of the AGLF, at this point we have to choose between the KLPGA president and the AGLF president.” However, KLPGA rights and interests should not be sacrificed for that,” he said.
If a member seriously undermines the dignity of the association or causes social controversy through unscrupulous behavior, the KLPGA conducts disciplinary actions such as warnings, fines, suspension of participation, suspension of qualifications, and expulsion according to the severity of the case through the Reward and Punishment Committee.
However, there are no disciplinary provisions for the case where the president acts to harm the association rather than the development of the association. Instead, if the matter is serious, we can discuss impeachment. Therefore, attention is paid to what conclusions will be drawn from this board meeting. In addition, it seems inevitable that KLPGT CEO Kang Chun-ja, senior vice chairman Kim Soon-mi, and vice chairman Lee Young-mi, who are the current executives, will also express their positions on the current situation.