UCI cuts bosses’ pay, furloughs workers in wave of new economic measures

Governing body introduces series of economic measures to confront the sporting and financial consequences of the coronavirus crisis.

Photo: Corbis via Getty Images

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Cycling’s governing body has announced a series of economic measures to confront the effects of coronavirus on the cycling season.

The UCI released a statement, Thursday, outlining a series of moves to manage budgets and limit outgoings. These include reducing the salaries and allowance of its leaders, a full or partial furloughing of its 130 employees, and the revision of projects planned for the following years.

“Our International Federation is going through a crisis that we haven’t experienced since the Second World War,”  said David Lappartient, President of the UCI.

“Inactivity is hitting athletes, teams, organizers, partners and the large majority of people and organizations that contribute to the vitality of our sport, across all its disciplines. The UCI, cycling’s governing body, has not been spared, far from it.”

Teams and sponsors have already been feeling the pinch resulting from the shutdown of the cycling season, which is currently scheduled to resume June 1. While teams have had to cut rider pay and lay off self-employed staffers, team backers are considering asking for compensation.

The UCI’s statement revealed that they had received more than 650 requests for the postponement or cancellation of events stretching through to August, representing 30 percent of their calendar. Among those is the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed to summer 2021.

With the loss of races comes the loss of revenues, and the UCI confirmed that “in solidarity and as part of the support measures put in place since the beginning of the crisis, the UCI will reimburse all calendar registration fees to organizers of canceled events due to take place in the period during which the holding of events is fully restricted.” The UCI is also bracing for the possible postponement of Olympic revenues initially expected through the back-half of this year.

In the wake of what the UCI describes as “a significant reduction of revenues,” it has introduced the following measures:

  • The UCI’s leaders (elected, and Senior Management) have decided to reduce their salaries or allowances.
  • Full or partial furlough – at different percentages – for all 130 employees of the UCI and UCI WCC.
  • Freezing of recruitment for an undefined period.
  • Total revision of projects and objectives that had been fixed for 2020 and the following years, and those in progress.
  • Resizing of solidarity projects for National Federations.
  • Generalization of virtual meetings for the Management Committee, UCI Commissions and seminars.
  • Examination (in progress) of contracts of service providers at events, consultants and general providers.

The UCI has already closed its Swiss headquarters to the public and put a halt on activities at its training complex, the World Cycling Center.

The statement closed out with a unifying call from Lappartient, who said:

“It is time for the cycling family to rally and, as one, prepare our sport to recover from this health and economic crisis that it has been hit by. Each of us is called on to be united, responsible and strong. That is why the UCI has taken some drastic action that should enable it to weather the storm. These choices are difficult but necessary if we wish to rebuild cycling post-COVID-19.”

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