In an interview to CNN Money the Vice President of Swiss Indoors in Basel, Daniel Chambon, spoke about what it takes to bring in Roger Federer in an ATP 500 tournament. The Swiss player gets a lucrative appearance fee every year from the event.
The 37-year-old has a special connection with Basel, he was a ballboy there as a kid and now holds eight singles titles. But it’s still mostly about money. ‘Roger Federer is one of the biggest stars in sports today and to have him playing in the tournament we have to negotiate with his management company‘, Chambon said.
Federer argued with the Tournament Director Roger Brennwald in 2013 during the negotiations stage, then they clarified each other and in February 2017 it was announced that Federer signed a new three-year contract to play in Basel until 2019 included.
‘Some three years ago I started to negotiate with Roger’s company and it took some time to figure how best we could involve Roger in the tournament for the long-term’, Chambon admitted. ‘And when you are 34 years old, long-term is a difficult thing.
Roger did not really know how much he would play, he had some back issues at the time and we found the solution that we could bring him up to the Swiss Indoors for three years and obviously if he was not fit or healthy to play, he could have just pulled out.
I went to Australia to conclude the negotiation with his manager Tony Godsick, and Roger basically doesn’t talk about business. Roger is interested in tennis and he tells it to his management people. It took some time, a lot of energy, we cleaned up whatever happened in the past and we have got a fantastic relationship.
This is Roger’s favourite tournament maybe besides Wimbledon, he is so happy to come here and he said many times, I’d wish I could ride my bike from my parents’ home to the St. Jacksobshalle. Obviously, he cannot do it for several reasons but that’s his dream.’ ALSO READ: Roger Federer: ‘It’s clear the RF logo will be returned to me one day‘ .