Gilbert is never far from controversy

This time? Who is paying him…

Brad Gilbert has defended the Lawn Tennis Association’s decision to foot his £700,000 a year bill for coaching Andy Murray rather than have the player pick up the tab himself.

After the news on Friday that the British No 1 had signed a sponsorship deal which could see him earn as much as £80 million, the LTA’s generosity could come under fire again, not to mention their decision to sack 95 employees to help fund such expense.

“You guys pay other coaches,” Gilbert told The Sunday Telegraph. “France pay other coaches, the United States pay their coaches. I mean, when a federation coach works for the USTA he’s paid by the federation, not by the player. All the French coaches who go with them are paid by the federation. Wasn’t the soccer coach here, the Swedish guy…who was he paid by? And paid a lot more!”

Federation coaches, however, work exclusively for that body while they are being paid by them; Gilbert is only spending 15 weeks a year with other British players, otherwise he works exclusively for Murray. Many believe the LTA are setting a precedent by paying a player’s coaching bill; Gilbert was paid by Andy Roddick when he coached him.

The LTA have even been criticised from within by their decision. David Lloyd, who is being paid £500,000 over three years to run independent academies for the association, said: “It sets a dangerous precedent. Let’s say I am able to produce five youngsters in the top 50 in the world in five years’ time. Are the LTA then going to fork out £5m for specialist coaches at that stage? I’m not sure that is the right way forward. It’s fine paying him for the weeks he is doing for the LTA, but Andy Murray is now a multi-millionaire.” Telegraph

There are OTHER British players!?!? ;)

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