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Leading sports figure says anyone slamming Cam Smith for taking LIV golf series deal is a HYPOCRITE

Legendary sports manager James Erskine believes anyone who doubts Cameron Smith’s likely departure to Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed LIV Golf series is a hypocrite.

Erskine, who has led the likes of Shane Warne, Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali, pointed out that a contract for Smith — reportedly worth $143 million — wouldn’t be hard for anyone to turn down.

He also rejected constant criticism of Saudi Arabia, despite the country’s dubious human rights record.

“So many people do business with Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, where they have very different rules and regulations and a different respect for women,” Erskine told the paper. Sydney Morning Herald.

“But you can name just about any company and they will probably have some connection with Saudi Arabia, (be it) Rolex, Range Rover, Rolls Royce, Ferrari.

“Everyone does business with them, so I think it’s very unfair to turn around and say you shouldn’t do business with Saudi Arabia because you’re a professional golfer.”

Legendary sports manager James Erskine (pictured, with late cricket great Shane Warne) believes anyone who doubts Cameron Smith's likely defection to Greg Norman's Saudi-backed LIV Golf series is a hypocrite

Legendary sports manager James Erskine (pictured, with late cricket great Shane Warne) believes anyone who doubts Cameron Smith’s likely defection to Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed LIV Golf series is a hypocrite

Cameron Smith's highly publicized departure from the LIV Rebel series has been a hot topic of conversation in golf circles for weeks.

Cameron Smith's highly publicized departure from the LIV Rebel series has been a hot topic of conversation in golf circles for weeks.

Cameron Smith’s highly publicized departure from the LIV Rebel series has been a hot topic of conversation in golf circles for weeks.

Erskine compared the rebellious LIV tour to World Series cricket in the 1970s and the Rugby League Super League war in the late 1990s.

With Australian golf legend Greg Norman as the CEO, Erskine’s eyes are about taking control of the PGA tour.

The monumental money on offer entices many professional golfers, and British Open champion Smith is no different.

And if the Queenslander is motivated by money, he will sign up to play on the LIV tour.

Erskine hopes the end result of the sporting tug-of-war will turn the PGA into an actual world tour, rather than just focusing on events in the US.

He is adamant that more tournaments should be organized in Australia, New Zealand and in Asia.

1660202553 784 Leading sports figure says anyone slamming Cam Smith for taking

1660202553 784 Leading sports figure says anyone slamming Cam Smith for taking

Australian golf legend Greg Norman is the CEO of LIV Golf and is desperate for Cameron Smith to join the villain tour

Earlier this week, Smith slammed fellow Australian golfer Cameron Percy after revealing the 28-year-old has joined the rebellious LIV tour.

On Tuesday, Percy – who plays on the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour – stated on RSN Radio that Smith would be playing about the controversial Saudi-backed series starring compatriot Marc Leishman.

Many golf insiders agree that the deal is already done.

“Yeah, unfortunately they’re gone,” Percy said.

When questioned on Tuesday about Percy’s comments ahead of the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs, Smith reacted angrily.

“I am a man of my word and when you (media) want to know something, it will be said by me,” he said.

“If I have to say anything about the PGA Tour or LIV, it’s from Cameron Smith, not Cameron Percy.”

Smith’s defection to the LIV Rebel series has been a hot topic of conversation for weeks.

He was frustrated when asked what his next move was, not long after his epic one-off win over St Andrews last month.

‘I just won the British Open and that’s what you’re asking? I think that’s pretty . . . not so good,” Smith said.

Former big winner Ian Baker-Finch called on Smith in July to ignore LIV golf’s dazzling cash offer and create a legacy by staying on the PGA Tour.

“I know they (LIV) are talking to him and many others,” Baker-Finch, who won the coveted Claret Jug in 1991, told SEN radio.

“I hope he doesn’t leave because I think he can win (more) big championships and become the best player in the world.

“I don’t think he needs the money. “He will now be a man of $100 million or more. Does he want to win more majors or does he want the money?

“I hope he stays and leaves a legacy like a Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy… which he could do.”

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