‘Breakaway league’ now reported as prepared to share some profits with UCI
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Monday, October 1, 2012

‘Breakaway league’ now reported as prepared to share some profits with UCI

by VeloNation Press at 12:13 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Could proposal see partial restructuring of sport go ahead?

UCIPreviously seen as a mechanism to walk away from the UCI and its control of the sport, the proposed breakaway league is now reported to have undergone a shift in position and could now include the governing body if it goes ahead.

Bloomberg today cites two unnamed sources described as ‘familiar with the situation’ as saying that the plan now envisages giving the UCI an unspecified part in the ten race series. It was previously reported that the series would comprise four-day events distributed around the world, and would be run by sports marketing company Gifted Group.

According to today’s article, Gifted Group has secured 20 million euros ($25.9 million) from investors to start the series, and has reached an agreement with a television company to broadcast the races.

Under an original proposal drawn up by London-based bank N.M. Rothschild & Sons, the teams – which could include up to ten of the current WorldTour squads – would have garnered 64 percent of the revenue, with investors getting 26 percent and the Gifted Group getting the remaining ten percent.

It was predicted that it could have earned 39 million euros in 2017 before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization.

It is not known how that percentage division of profits would now be split if the UCI was to receive a share.

The UCI was previously both opposed to and dismissive of the series. One of the goals of the league was to generate revenue for teams, who currently rely on a sponsorship model which has been described as outdated, unfair and unsustainable.

Although teams are a vital part of the profits generated by race organisers and others, they currently receive no share of TV revenue.

Yet while there now appears to be an outline for the UCI to earn a portion of profits generated by such a league, a UCI consultant said that it was wary of the proposal.

“The UCI doesn’t want to get involved in something unless they are absolutely sure it will be a success,” Daniel Malbranque told Bloomberg. He is the former general secretary of the professional riders’ union.

The UCI itself declined to comment, as did Gifted Group Chairman Jonathan Price.


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