CPA offers riders pertinent contract advice
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Friday, October 23, 2009

CPA offers riders pertinent contract advice

by Ben Atkins at 10:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
The Professional Cyclists Association (CPA) has offered advice to it’s members regarding a myriad of financial issues in its latest newsletter, much of which would have proved useful in a number of high-profile cases this season.

The first part of the newsletter reminds riders of their fiscal obligations, with particular regard to social security payments. The next part gives advice that could well have been heeded by riders such as Pierrick Fedrigo of Bbox Bouyges Telecom when last renewed his contract with the team. The former French champion famously expressed a desire to leave the team after it failed to have its ProTour licence renewed last month, before changing heart and electing to stay.

“When they sign a contract with a ProTour team, the CPA advises the riders to ask their team manager to write down in the contract when the ProTour license granted by the UCI Licenses Commission expires,” the CPA newsletter reads. “Doing so the riders will sign with full knowledge of the situation. That will avoid possible misunderstandings in the future.”

Had Fedrigo followed this advice, either by waiting to sign before the licence was renewed or by refusing to commit beyond the date of expiry, the situation could easily have been avoided.

Further issues regarding the ProTour teams’ bank guarantee, and the teams’ obligations to pay riders on time, is also covered in the newsletter. Issues experienced in the Astana team prior to this year’s Giro d’Italia – issues that could have potentially seen the team fold – could have been avoided, or at least settled earlier, had riders on the team spoken up sooner about missed salary payments.

“Moreover,” says the CPA, “we regularly observe that some riders wait several months before telling us they did not receive their wages. We really advise them not to hesitate to contact the CPA or their NA [National Association] to start the procedure if their wages and other emoluments were not paid.”

“Indeed,” it continues, “in the event of failure of a team and owing to the fact that the bank guarantee covers only 3 months of the wage bill plus the social contributions and some other financial obligations unpaid by the person in charge of the team, it could prove to be insufficient if the total debt exceeds the amount of the debts which have been accumulated.”

It was this issue, among others, that saw the team on the brink of collapse back in May – the team’s main target of the Tour de France still months away – that the CPA hopes its advice will avoid in future.

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