It’s not just the players that are subject to LIV Golf rumours, with a new role for Greg Norman being reported ahead of the league’s second season
He’s been the fiery frontman of LIV from the very beginning, helping to lure in the likes of Cameron Smith and Dustin Johnson while generating the chaos and disruption the league was so intent on creating during its inaugural season.
But now, in a move which could prove pivotal for the future of the breakaway series, Greg Norman is reportedly set to be replaced as LIV Golf CEO and “moved upstairs” as the series gets set for a crucial second season.
As revealed by Telegraph Sport’s James Corrigan, LIV’s Saudi backers have been in discussion with former TaylorMade CEO Mark King over a potential deal to see him replace Norman as the league’s chief executive for 2023.
Per the report, the American attended several LIV Golf events throughout its inaugural season and has already met with Yasir Al-Rumayyan – Governor of the Saudi Public Investment (PIF) – over a potential deal.
An industry insider told Corrigan: “The Saudis have already committed more than $2 billion to this and clearly want the business plan to be defined and for it all to be seen as rather less chaotic. The fact it has been frenetic is completely understandable as they have had to do everything off the hoof and where they have got to off a standing start – albeit with an open chequebook – is impressive.”
President and CEO of TaylorMade for 12 years, King helped catapult the company’s sales from $300 million to $1.7 billion during his tenure before going on to lead Adidas and Taco Bell in recent years.
“There are a number of extremely professional executives already there, but a serious figure like King could be just what they are looking for to take the next step,” the insider continued. “Now it is time for calm heads and a clinical vision that someone like King could provide. If the PGA Tour and DP World Tour want to negotiate then King is a much less combative character than Norman.”
Majed Al-Sorour, LIV’s managing director, was quick to dismiss the claim, releasing a simple statement to say “any suggestion that changes are being made to Greg’s title or role is patently false”.
If the move does happen, it is not yet understood what Norman’s new role would ensue should King replace the two-time major winner, only that he would be “moved upstairs” if a deal materialises in the coming months.
The Aussie was appointed CEO of LIV Golf in October 2021. Since then, he has continued to cause controversy on a week by week basis, spearheading the series while helping lure in an abundance of major winners.
Next year, LIV will be expanding to a 14-event, $405 million series, with the outcome of the second season regarded as pivotal for the future of this much-maligned series.