Tuesday, October 26, 2010

PSA Called 'Predatory,' and Now There's a Petition To Sign

As I presumed it might, the PSA vs PST dispute is now headed for the courts. The core legal issue is whether the PSA engaged in predatory behavior by singling out PST events over other, similar leagues and tournaments. 

And now there is a petition to sign. For those who feel strongly about the PST, signing the petition is a no-brainer. But even those who think the idea of 'no-let' squash is nuts should consider signing if they want to support innovation in the sport of squash and open up the game to new thinking. To my mind the PSA acted imperiously, without consulting its membership in a significant way. The link is here. It would be nice if these two organizations could have a meeting and work this out. Perhaps decide this on a squash court, maybe a best-of-7 match? Limit the lets, say, to 5??? 

Here is the complete PST release on the suit:

US Based Pro Squash Tour Files Suit to Defend Itself and Its Players
from UK Based Professional Squash Association Ban

Natick, MA (October 26, 2010) — On Monday, lawyers representing the US-based Pro Squash Tour (PST) filed suit in New York state court against the UK-based Professional Squash Association (PSA) and two other defendants for allegedly improperly restricting competition in the United States, including New York State.

The suit is in response to the PSA’s unilateral ban on October 14, 2010, barring its members, under threat of expulsion, from participating in any PST event. PST is challenging this anti-competitive ban to protect players’ rights and to defend itself against this egregious move.  The ban’s unfairness is clearly illustrated by the fact that the UK-based management is solely targeting U.S.-based PST events while allowing its members to participate in any other league, tournament or exhibition match in the world.

“The management in England singled out our successful and growing American tour,” said PST Commissioner Joseph McManus. “And they appeared to have made this decision in darkness without discussing the idea first with their full membership.”

The six-count suit includes allegations that the PSA engaged in improper and anti-competitive conduct by interfering with PST player agreements and business relationships. The suit further alleges that the predatory behavior is being conducted with the specific intent to exclude competition and achieve monopoly power.

PST Commissioner Joseph M. McManus said he wants the players to be free to compete, if they so choose. “The irony is that we are now put in the position of defending players and their rights against the very organization that should be protecting them in the first place.”

More than 150 years old and played by more than 20 million people in 185 countries, including 885,000 in the U.S., squash has shown sustained growth in the US. in recent years. The US based Pro Squash Tour was founded in 2009 and coordinates a tour with stops across the United States. The season begins in September and runs through April.

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