LIV Golf Loses Yet Another High-Profile Executive As Season Two Approaches

Communications chief Jonathan Grella the latest high-profile departure from LIV Golf just ahead of second season

LIV Golf banner behind the green
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Another week and another LIV Golf executive reportedly leaving their post with Jonathan Grella leaving his role as chief communications officer.

Golfweek confirmed a report from Golf Digest that Grella, who had been in his role since last June, had left LIV Golf just before the start of their second season in February.

It’s the fourth departure of a senior figure inside LIV Golf as Grella follows the likes of Majed Al Sorour, who left his role but remains on the board, chief operating officer Atul Khosla and franchise president Matt Goodman in leaving the organisation.

“As LIV begins our second year, we are grateful to the team that helped get us off the ground and launch such a successful start-up,” said LIV Golf via a statement.

“We have a group of hard-working, dedicated staffers and we understand from time to time personnel will move on or decide to pursue other endeavours. In all cases, we are appreciative and will continue to assemble a world-class team to guide us through our second year.”

The Saudi Arabia-backed operation will become the LIV Golf League for their second season with 14 events worldwide being played in the team model Greg Norman hopes will be the foundation for their success.

Grella, who worked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL, was said to have been brought in to help with LIV Golf’s image and also with lobbying politicians in Washington against the PGA Tour.

Greg Norman at the 2022 LIV Golf Team Championship at Trump National Doral

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A meeting with the Republican Party did not go so well with their claims against the PGA Tour brushed aside, and Norman publicly criticised by one politician, Chip Roy of Texas, who told him: “Don’t come in here and act like you’re doing some great thing while you’re pimping a billion dollars of Saudi Arabian money.”

And speaking of Norman, all these high-level departures will reportedly pile more responsibility onto the Australian’s shoulders, giving him an even stronger say on the direction of LIV Golf and how it operates.

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods have both called Norman’s running of LIV Golf into question, and if he’s given an even stronger hand it may deepen the divide in golf even further given his relationship and perceived vendetta against the PGA Tour.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.