By ALAN THATCHER
I am delighted to see that the PSA has finally offered employment to my Canary Wharf colleague, Tim Garner.
He has been appointed the PSA European Representative and will be keen to create new and exciting events, or enhance existing tournaments, to help the men’s world tour deliver increased prize money to its members and raise the profile of a sport desperate to gain a place in the Olympic Games.
Tim is an ideal candidate for the job. As he wound down his professional career, he founded Eventis Sports Management with former world champion Peter Nicol and Sussex county team-mate Angus Kirkland.
They learned the hard way with a pet project, the English Open, which was successfully staged at the iconic Sheffield venue, The Crucible Theatre, until a lack of sponsorship forced the event off the calendar.
I was happy to join forces with the Eventis team to launch the Canary Wharf Classic and earlier this year we completed our tenth consecutive tournament at the superb East Wintergarden venue.
For the past three years we have managed to sell every ticket, every day, with Tim as Tournament Director.
His understanding of match scheduling, with a focus on delivering an audience to sponsors in the trade village as well as providing entertainment for the paying customers, is an important part of that success story.
Tim is a hard task-master. That’s because, as an ex-pro, he understands all the tricks of the trade and knows how to run a tight ship.
He taught me a valuable lesson with one simple statement on how to deal with “friends” asking for free tickets.
He said: “If they were real friends, they would offer to support the tournament and buy their own tickets.”
It’s the kind of blunt, simple message that will ring bells with any tournament promoter and any squash contact trying to blag their way into a major event.
Staging top-class squash events costs money. Serious money. The prize fund, the glass court and event seating, the tournament hotel, TV fees and a host of other costs can soon swallow up all your sponsorship money and ticket revenue.
Keeping a close check on those figures is an art and Tim handles it well.
He already runs the BSPA and the Legends Series, and recently joined Peter Nicol on a mind-boggling trip around the world, playing seven matches in seven different continents, to promote the 2020 Olympic bid.
I look forward to the email asking me if I would like to boost the prize money in the SE Leisure PSA Kent Open at The Mote.