According to the Sports Business Journal, Roger Federer and his long-time agent Tony Godsick have both left the folds of the sports agency IMG amidst unclear reasons.
Although it seems that the world number 3’s contract with the international management agency has simply expired, reasons are still unclear as to why Godsick – who is also a close friend of the Swiss tennis ace – has left the company. Numerous rumours have also been reported in the SBJ, the most prevalent being that Godsick and IMG were unable to agree on a contract and that Godsick was hoping to switch agencies despite the no-compete clause in his contract with IMG.
When asked, Federer was remaining hush-hush about the situation claiming that details were confidential. This is not the first time that Federer has left IMG, however he re-signed with the agency in 2005 thanks to his close relationships with both Godsick and the agency’s late owner – Ted Forstmann. For a brief period his management was taken over by his wife, Mirka (also a close friend of Godsick and his partner US Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez), a lawyer from Switzerland and his mother Lynette. Validating this to reporters, Federer went on to say that “This is not the first time. So obviously its first days of the new months. Obviously this is when contracts sometimes do run out, and that’s been the situation in my case”.
Whether Federer will re-sign with the agency remains to be seen, but with its current for-sale situation and the loss of Forstmann who was instrumental in recruiting Federer to the agency, chances are slim. Federer himself admits that “I don’t know at this moment what’s gonna happen next. But I’m relaxed, which is important at this very moment.” It’s also incredibly likely that both the high-powered sports agent and the high-powered tennis superstar will remain together, and are finalising details before confirming their new arrangement.
With the biggest tennis event of the decade starting in just 7 weeks, it’s clear that Federer’s mind is more on his game that his management. Currently making around $52 million a year from his various endorsements and winnings, he’s certainly a lucrative signing for the next agency that snaps him up, however IMG will still receive fees from Federer’s existing endorsement deals at present.