Breaking Away - "Top cycling teams explore creating new competitive league"

Page 12 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
I think that in the future teams will find some kind of membership funding. Say you have the basic membership where you pay 50 or 100 euros a year to get a bit of exclusive insight (social media, news letter etc) and you get to vote on small things like jersey design etc. And you have some higher levels of membership where you can meet riders etc if you pay a certain amount. For every 10 000 member with basic membership that's 1 million if it cost 100 or the half if the membership fee is 500.
there was some talk about that financing model in the Austrian Windschatten show with a.o. Ralph Denk the other day, and they unanimously came to the conclusion that it's not one that will work for big teams which need a multi-million Euro budget. The example used in the show was Beat Cycling, though, not Euskadi:


TV distribution could be something to work on, of course - another mentioned in the show were entry fees - but problem to start with it that hardly any races (but the Tour de France) make a profit to begin with. They are hustling for sponsors and money the same way as teams do.
 
Equally between teams. If revenue generated goes into one pot, each team is working with the same amount of money. That’s not the case now.

Set aside for this conversation because you suggest teams can have too much power. As I can tell the teams want the stable revenue The races generate annually.
What stable revenue the races generate annually? As search pointed out, very few races make a considerable amount of money, and many of those organisers that run smaller and medium-sized events that serve as warmup races for bigger teams, tuneups and opportunities for ProTeams and Conti teams to get noticed, are reliant on being able to attract a few of the WorldTour level teams and riders in order to survive - which, if the top level is successfully locked off and reorganised in such a way that "all the big riders do all the big races" as proposed, means a lot of those races will be starved of their raison d'être. Below the very biggest races, there is no stable revenue generated annually by the races. Even ASO themselves have seen races they organise go to the wall for a variety of reasons, with races such as the Critérium International, the Tour of Qatar and the Tour de Yorkshire all examples. The US is hardly a country without money, but the Tours of California, Colorado and Utah have all gone belly-up in the last few years. The Spanish and Italian domestic calendars have been decimated and while a lot of the Spanish races that fell during the financial crisis have started back up, it's with considerable reduction of race days - Murcia and Rioja are now one-day races, Asturias is now 3 days having been 5 plus a standalone one-day race, Castilla y León has gone from a five day race with a pretty strong field for a 2.1 to a three day race with some very mediocre fields. Even races like the Vuelta al País Vasco and Volta a Catalunya struggled and had to be bailed out in the mid-2010s, while the GS Emilia who organise many of the Italian autumn one-dayers also have struggled for funding in recent years and have faced mad scrambles to get their races to take place.

The suggestion of the Premier Leagueification where the teams share the TV revenues is all well and good, but didn't we just lose the biggest specialist broadcaster of the sport? It's a niche sport, and the teams have to get that into their head. Taking a huge injection of funding from the Saudis to spread among the teams won't suddenly make the sport self-sufficient if that funding is withdrawn, because it'll still be being shown on pay-to-air stations or obscure stations in any nations other than its traditional heartlands anyway. And with the Premier League gobbling up all of the support, sponsors, TV time and so on, a quick glance shows that financial problems have resulted in liquidation, administration or termination of a huge number of clubs lower down the pyramid, many of whom have gone completely defunct or have been replaced by a phoenix legal entity. Spending to stay in the Premier League has meant that a number of teams after being relegated have hit financial problems, even some long-term and stable clubs still competing at a high level. Since the implementation of the Premier League, Crystal Palace (twice), Portsmouth (three times), QPR, Bradford City, Leicester City, Derby County (twice), Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Southampton, Coventry City, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic have all entered administration or receivership at some point after relegation from the EPL. Cycling teams neither have the assets in terms of the stadium and facilities and things like that that football teams have, nor do they have the kind of cultural local impact that helps them survive or phoenix entities to be funded to replace their position in the league pyramid, so the chances are that in a closed off system where there is no longer the opportunity to use wildcards and Continental Tour races where you compete against many of the best teams anyway, falling out of the OneCycling Super League would be terminal for nearly any team afflicted by it.

In order to stop the rot, the Premier League offers significant "parachute payments" to teams that get relegated to help them survive with the debts they inevitably accrue from spending to try to survive in the top tier and avoid the enormous loss of income that comes with no longer being at the exclusive club - which has led to a number of clubs like Watford, Sheffield United and Norwich City frequently bouncing back and forth because they can budget better at the second tier level because they have those parachute payments, but they aren't willing to overspend on survival at the Premier League level. But those teams are usually cannon fodder in the EPL, because Nottingham Forest are showing just how much money needs to be spent to survive more than the occasional overperforming one-season wonder.

But it's also why, if locking the EPL off to the rest of the league pyramid was mooted, 20 teams would vote for it, and literally every other team would vote against. Teams like Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, they'll vote for it because they're the 'haves' and it would prevent any more moneyed Johnny-come-latelies from joining the party and taking more of a share of the pie. And teams like Brentford or Bournemouth who are not historically at this level but are performing above their level will vote for it because it guarantees them status in perpetuity. And teams like Nottingham Forest, Luton Town and Sheffield United will vote for it because they're candidates for relegation and their board will be happy that it guarantees they get the income of the EPL TV deal even if they're losing every week for the next 20 years.
 
there was some talk about that financing model in the Austrian Windschatten show with a.o. Ralph Denk the other day, and they unanimously came to the conclusion that it's not one that will work for big teams which need a multi-million Euro budget. The example used in the show was Beat Cycling, though, not Euskadi:
Interesting. I think it’s unrealistic to have memberships being the main income of the team, but if a WT-team could get in 2,5-5m euros a year in these kind of subscriptions it would be a nice extra income that would be nice in the yearly budget, but also might help the organization behind the team build up a small cash reserve.

TV distribution could be something to work on, of course - another mentioned in the show were entry fees - but problem to start with it that hardly any races (but the Tour de France) make a profit to begin with. They are hustling for sponsors and money the same way as teams do.
Yep this is the big problem. In football the TV rights are massive, in cycling not so much. I struggle to see how they can make tv rights significantly more worth.
 
Yep this is the big problem. In football the TV rights are massive, in cycling not so much. I struggle to see how they can make tv rights significantly more worth.
By making the sport more attractive to watch, which they will try to do with a different league. I don't know the rules of this league, the pros and cons, but no one really cares about the current WT ranking, right? They might be able to make this more interesting so that it's not just the separate races you are watching for, but the whole league in general. Which would result in people not only watching the TDF, but also other races.

How they think to do this, only ONE cycling knows. But at least give them the possibility to present this. Like with the super league in football. First present it, and if it is ***, then burn it to the ground.
 
By making the sport more attractive to watch, which they will try to do with a different league. I don't know the rules of this league, the pros and cons, but no one really cares about the current WT ranking, right? They might be able to make this more interesting so that it's not just the separate races you are watching for, but the whole league in general. Which would result in people not only watching the TDF, but also other races.

How they think to do this, only ONE cycling knows. But at least give them the possibility to present this. Like with the super league in football. First present it, and if it is ***, then burn it to the ground.

Not possible. If it won't include the best of today's cycling it's DOA.
 
Roglič is going to the Tour, regardless of his team. That much is true. UAE AFAIK is not o board. So Pogi is going too. The rest can try to compete in some other league that nobody ever heard of. Until they come to their senses.
This isn't something that will be happening this year. It's for 2026, by then Roglic is 37. Not even sure if he'll even be a cyclist then or ride for Bora.

At the moment Visma, EF, Soudal Quick-Step, Alpecin-Deceuninck, Intermarché-Wanty, Ineos, Lidl-Trek, Bora are a part of it. Also we don't know anything about this yet, so they might even still ride the TDF regardless of this league.
 
This isn't something that will be happening this year. It's for 2026, by then Roglic is 37. Not even sure if he'll even be a cyclist then or ride for Bora.

Rogla likely still alive and kicking.

At the moment Visma, EF, Soudal Quick-Step, Alpecin-Deceuninck, Intermarché-Wanty, Ineos, Lidl-Trek, Bora are a part of it. Also we don't know anything about this yet, so they might even still ride the TDF regardless of this league.

Top and wealthy teams do want some changes. Still realistically it's not up to them. Other parties have the power and they are calling the shots. So at best a split can occur if things don't change in terms of agreement to be reached. And in that case we would get weakened and not stronger cycling out of it. And besides 250 million is way too little. It would likely take an investment of 2,5 billion and that would enable to get a hold on cycling of tomorrow for the duration of five years. With 250 million best to sponsor some top team for the duration of 5 years. The rest are fantasies. One footballer earning more in five years then somebody would be prepared to offer for cycling as a whole. Forget it.
 
Considering a Slovenian is currently running UEFA, we tend to get some details from Čeferin himself in interviews for local media. One important takeaway is everybody will backstab you. And it's more or less the same thing, "Super League", Saudi Arabia money, USA based investors and the idea to run it more like as seen with NBA. For now Čeferin is fighting it off successfully and believes it's not possible to happen in next couple of years. What will happen in a decade or two, that is anybody's guess.
 
In a podcast Richard Plugge (CEO of Visma-LAB) talked a bit more about ONE-cycling. Major take aways:
  • ONE-cycling is for everyone, not a select few teams
  • They are currently at a standstill
  • There are more investors than only Saudis
  • He doesn't understand why we don't do more circuit races like we do for the World Championship, because logistically it's a nightmare to make a route of 200km. It would be more interesting financially too.

Translation in english:
 
  • Sad
Reactions: Sandisfan

Richard Plugge: "There'll come a moment when even the Tour cannot go from A to B over 200 km anymore."

well, I will voluntarily take 3 weeks off work and follow the TDF and stand on a crossroad with a whistle before Plugge and his fcking shitty ideas become true. also La Republique Francaise will NEVER let that happen. the Tour is bigger than this "new cycling" they want.
Vive Le Tour, Vive La France!
 
  • Angry
Reactions: Sandisfan