Financial Fair Play

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With regard the thoroughly fascinating cul de sac of grandstands:

* When it comes to the use of motor-racing circuits, the Velon events I think are showing the limits of this.

* An historical perspective: back in dawn of time, most road races finished in vélodromes, from Bordeaux-Paris, through Paris-Roubaix, and on to the Tour de France. If the finish was scheduled for the afternoon, you could have other events on to amuse the punters and justify the ticket price. If the finish was happening in the morning, well you could sell your tickets for a lower price. Vélodrome finishes only ended in the 1970s, when the Tour left the Cipale and took to the Champs Élysées. Paris-Roubaix, of course, still finishes in a vélodrome: folk who've been in the stands for the race arrival can offer their take on how that works, from a fan's perspective. You also have some recent experiences from the Tour and the Giro.

* The Giro finished with laps of the Imola circuit in 2015 and 2018, didn't it? Anyone got any pics of the grandstands and how packed they were? The Tour used the vélodrome in Marseille in 2018, for a joint men + women's day: anyone there on the day can report on how it worked out? Spa was visited by the Tour in 2017 - anecdotes / pics, anyone?

* The general argument against circuit finishes – it's mean to fight to survive a 40-minute time cut in the mountains and get pulled for being lapped on a 3km circuit – is easily circumvented: you take the stage time at the entrance to the circuit. This is what has been happening in the sport pretty much since stage racing was invented. Today, every now and again some hack gets his knickers in a twist when it happens in the Giro d'Italia, forgetting that it also regularly happens at the Tour of California.

* Why are races seemingly using pavilions in preference to temporary grandstands? Could it be economics? Pavilions may pack fewer people than a grandstand, but pavilions can make more money from hospitality than a grandstand. In between laps, in a pavilion you're off getting a beer and a burger, whereas if you're in the stands you tend to stay in the stands, getting cold and bored.

* Temporary grandstands are used by the Tour, I think, on the Champs Élysées, but IIRC that's for VIP guests, as a kindness to their ageing knees.
 
People have a tendency to repeat the mantra about cycling's failing economic model as if the sport had just a single model. Within the World Tour alone, a couple of different economic models driving teams can be seen:

Commercial teams: AG2R, Bora – Hansgrohe, CCC, Deceuninck – Quick-Step, EF Education First, Groupama – FDJ, Lotto Soudal, Mitchelton – Scott, Movistar, Dimension Data, Ineos, Jumbo – Visma, Sunweb, Trek – Segfredo.

Quasi-national teams: Astana, Bahrain-Meridea, Katusha, UAE.

The commercial teams rely on their ability to attract sponsors, the quasi-national teams don't have to (but may choose to).

To confuse the matter somewhat, some of the commercial teams rely on sponsors seeking to benefit from sport's halo effect (eg Ineos), which is also what the quasi-national teams are doing.

A further kink sees some of the commercial-minded sponsors – sponsors seeking to drive sales through their association with cycling – operate as the passion project of someone in the sponsor (eg AG2R) while others are more likely to be operating relatively short-term multi-year marketing campaigns (eg Bora).

So, if you take some of the problems commonly identified, maybe they're not really problems. Take sponsors leaving the sport (which is actually what people tend to mean when they repeat the canard that teams are folding every year for a lack of revenue). If you're a proper commercial sponsor (eg Deceunick), and not an endemic sponsor (eg Trek), you probably should be leaving the sport relatively quickly, after three to seven years, which is a good length for that sort of marketing campaign.

You could argue that the passion project sponsors (eg FDJ) who stick around too long are holding the sport back: the team is unwilling to risk seeking a new sponsor but isn't getting the level of funding it could if it took that risk. Fact is, some team owners are too cautious, accept the relative comfort of what they've got rather than making the effort of looking for more.

However, while folk can say that they want more commercially-minded sponsors in the sport, you have to accept that that is going to bring with it a higher level of sponsor churn: the solution to commercial uncertainty will bring about greater commercial uncertainty.
 
Let's look at the World Tour races and put to rest that recently introduced canard about race organisers barely breaking even.

In the same way that teams can be split between commercial and non-commercial teams, the races that make up the World Tour can be split into commercial and non-commercial categories. The main commercial races are obvious, if you consider their organisers:

  • ASO's Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Eschborn–Frankfurt, Critérium du Dauphiné, Tour de France, Vuelta a España
  • RCS's Milan-Sanremo, Strade Bianche, Tirreno–Adriatico, Giro d'Italia, Il Lombardia
  • Flanders Classics's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Gent–Wevelgem, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Ronde van Vlaanderen
  • Dalian Wanda (Infront)'s Tour de Suisse, EuroEyes Cyclassics, Tour of Guangxi
  • AEG's Tour of California
  • Groupe Serdy's GP de Quebéc, GP de Montréal
  • Sweetspot / London Marathon's London-Surrey Classic
Of the World Tour's three Grand Tours, 14 short stage races, and 21 one day races, 25 of the 37 can be classed as clearly commercial, owned/operated by seven for-profit businesses.

What of the other 13 races? Some of these are clearly non-commercial events. Consider the opening two races of the season: the Tour Down Under and Great Ocean Race. These are tourism events organised by the Government of South Australia and the State Government of Victoria. The next race in the calendar, the UAE Tour, is similarly a state-sponsored event, regardless of whether you think its goal is tourism or soft power. These races think more in terms of break-even than profit. That doesn't mean they aren't well financed, and in fact they can be more willing to spend money on teams than other races (a few years ago, I was told by one team manager that the Tour Down Under was paying in the region of $30-40,000 as an appearance fee, when the UCI-mandated figure was only €7,500).

The remaining 10 races, they're somewhat complicated, tending to be historic events with local organising committees. The Tour de Romandie is probably the most stable of these 10 races, even though it is the only race its organiser puts on. The Vuelta al País Vasco and the Clásica de San Sebastián are both organised by the Organizaciones Ciclistas Euskadi. The Three Days of Bruges–De Panne and the E3 BinckBank Classic are both presided over by Rob Discart, while the BinckBank Tour has a different organiser. The Volta a Catalunya has a local organising committee. The Presidential Tour of Turkey is the property of the Turkish cycling federation. The France Bretagne Classic Ouest–France has a local organising committee.

The problem with these smaller races is they tend to be personality-driven with a weak succession plan: the France Bretagne Classic Ouest–France is a good case in point. It was created by one man with a vision.

In considering revenue sharing, you have to consider the three different types of race organiser. The London-Surrey Classic and the France Bretagne Classic Ouest–France are two very different races, despite how similar they may seem. The former has deeper pockets than people might think, the latter probably is just about surviving hand to mouth.

Each of the big, commercially-minded organisers is in a position to sell TV rights internationally. In fact, they also subcontract in to other races to sell their TV rights (the Tour Down Under uses ASO, the UAE Tour uses RCS). The smaller races are in a weaker position: the future of the France Bretagne Classic Ouest-France was thrown into doubt in February 2019 when France Télévisions withdrew its coverage, but then reversed its decision a few days later.
 
The argument that only one or two World Toru races are making money is pure nonsense. ASO went out of its way to acquire Paris-Nice (they tried to drive Laurent Fignon out of business after he took over the race from the founding Leulliot family) and the Critérium du Dauphiné. ASO is not a charity. Consider the decision of the parent group, Editions Philippe Amaury, to sell off the newspaper Le Parisienne: this was one of the first papers created by the group founder in the aftermath of World War II. But when the widow of the founder's son was faced with a paper that was losing money she sold it on.

The accounts of individual ASO races may suggest there's no money in ASO's other races, but how do you decide how to allocate the money from sponsors of the Dauphiné who also sponsor other ASO races? Or how do you decide how much of the money from a package of TV rights goes to the Dauphiné and how much goes to other races? Accountancy is less a science and more about telling a story, and there are different ways of telling the story when there are common income sources, and common costs.

Even among the smallest 10 races, the economic power of each differs. The Tour de Romandie has a solid commercial basis, it has strong links with the Swiss federation. The three Spanish races, the French race, they are much weaker.

In terms of the TV rights: consider that the Australian races want their events seen overseas by prospective tourists. They want the coverage more than TV companies want the content. That puts the right seller in a weaker position when it comes to extracting cash from the broadcaster: the race wants eyeballs, not profit.

Or consider the way ASO already packages events, particularly its deal with the EBU. The last time I looked, that deal covered Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Tour de France, as well as non-cycling events including the Dakar Rally. In Ireland, only one of those races is picked up by one of the EBU-affiliated broadcasters, the Tour de France. In the UK, it's a similar story, ITV 4 not bothering with most of the races it has access to. So even when the events are available at little or no cost to the broadcaster, the interest is simply not there. What can be done to get broadcasters to show other races? Local heroes help, if they're in with a shot at victory and not just pack fodder. We see this across the globe, from German to Columbia, from America to Kazakhstan.
 
At this stage, no one really believes that TV rights are going to make much of a difference to the budgets of teams: even Jonathan Vaughters has recanted and said there isn't the money there today to make much of a difference. Why people obsess about TV rights is not clear, not when you look at the sources of income open to race organisers:

  • Jersey sponsors;
  • Other brand-partner opportunities
  • Host towns/cities;
  • Merchandising;
  • Ticketing/hospitality;
  • TV revenue;
  • Ancillary mass-participation events.
Why obsess about one revenue stream that you then claim is not available to most race organisers when the full mix of revenue streams offers a greater pot to demand a share of?

Ancillary mass-participation events are key to the involvement of people like Wang Jianlin (Dalian Wanda) in the sport: it is true that he enquired whether ASO was for sale, but while most people like to think it was the Tour de France he wanted to own, looking at the rest of his portfolio of sports events (World Triathlon Corp etc) ASO's range of mass-participation events – from the Étape du Tour to the Paris Marathon – seem more likely to have caught his attention.

The growth of mass-participation events has come along at a fortuitous moment for race organisers. For many years they have benefited form effective public subsidies (policing, road closures etc) but these are increasingly being turned into costs. Policing – security in general – is a growing problem, especially so in the aftermath of atrocities like the Île-de-France attacks (January 2015 ), the Paris attacks (November 2015), and the Nice attack (July 2016). Demanding more money from race organisers at time when they are being hit with more urgent demands from others is a case of bad timing on the part of the teams.

One thing that would help the teams press their case better would be to stop imagining the sport to be made up of loss-making races, with only the Tour turning a profit. The number of commercially-minded organisers involved in the sport is far greater than is traditionally suggested. Jonathan Vaughters has a tendency to talk the sport down in order to preach his creed of revolution. I'm not going to say we need to talk the sport up, we shouldn't. But presenting it as it really is would make it harder for some race organisers to plead the poor mouth.

As I've said before, the principle of revenue sharing is now entrenched in the sport, through UCI-mandated appearance fees. Yes, it doesn't amount to a lot of money: the UCI-mandated fee is €8,500 per WT race, except the Grand Tours, where the figure as agreed with the AIGCP is around €50,000. So, over the course of a season, a WT team is only going to get half a million euro or so from appearance fees for WT races. Add in fees from other races and you're still not hitting a million. Even doubling the fees currently paid (not going to happen) has no material impact. But it does shift the balance of power.

The appearance fee, it is revenue sharing, that long-sought goal of the teams that goes all the way back to the 1924 Giro d'Italia. And, seen from the opposite side of the scales, it does take a chunk of change from race organisers. For WT teams at WT races alone, ASO is handing over close to €3m. ASO's annual profit, across all its sports (motor racing, mass participation events, sailing, and golf, as well as cycling) totals €45m, give or take a few quid. Add in appearance fees at other races, and about 10% of ASO's total profit is shared with cycling teams through appearance fees.

Remember, that's 10% of ASO's total profit, and that includes money from things like the Dakar Rally (which recently signed a deal to move to Saudi Arabia). Ask yourself how much of ASO's profit you think really comes from bike races. Then figure out what proportion of that ASO should share. Where we're at today is probably much closer to where you think we should be than you realise.

One of the problems with the current revenue sharing deal is that setting the appearance fees is down to the UCI. They've only increased that once since it came in, rising from €7,500 to €8,500 a couple of years ago. It really should be growing, even if only marginally, every year. In the same period in which the UCI-mandated appearance fee paid by WT race organisers to WT teams grew by just 13%, the licence fee the UCI extracts from the Tour de France for being part of the WT grew by 35%, from €105,000 to €141,750.

The appearance fees at the three Grand Tours, they're negotiated by the AIGCP and the race organisers. I'm not aware of them increasing even once since they were introduced (the race organisers stopped disclosing the figure a couple of years ago and generally the teams prefer the mushroom principle when it comes to their finances, keep you in the dark and feed you ***). So there's also a problem there: an ineffectual trade body and race organisers being hit from other sides for a greater share of the wealth (especially those security costs).
 
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To continue this as it's the most sensible line of discussion. Hopefully fmk_RoI will correct any mistakes I make in reading the accounts, I'm not great at it:

The Richmond World Championships (and all of the other WCs, I can't find a breakdown of them based on discipline) netted the UCI ~10 million USD. This seems like a reasonable amount, but in reality it's a tiny amount if it's going to be shared. This is also not the full story, as in 2015 the UCI operated at a loss of ~1 million USD. While it's possible that the RRWC made some of that 10 million it's hard to break down, especially as several of the other events will be 100% ticketed (track WC, MTB XC and DH, BMX and so one). It's also likely that the road WCs are significantly more expensive to organise, they may even run at a loss.
That's correct, up to a point.

The Worlds are somewhat complicated and need to be considered separate from the World Tour races. Let's take the road Worlds. This has a somewhat complicated structure, you've effectively got two organisers. The UCI sells the rights to host the event (for a multi-million Euro sum) and pockets the TV revenue from the week's racing. The host organiser picks up the tab for putting on the event (security, road closures, etc). These costs can be offset by revenue raised from sponsors and ticketing/hospitality.

Looked at from the point of view of the UCI, the Worlds are a profit-making event. In fact, the week's racing of the road Worlds probably makes more money for the UCI than our best estimates suggest ASO earns from the Tour de France. That money is one of the UCI's key sources of revenue (outside of its IOC grant). The IOC money the UCI gets tends to pay for the sport side of the UCI's purpose, the Worlds pay for the bureaucracy.

Looked at from the point of view of the organisers, however, the financial picture of the Worlds is different:

  • they can be loss-making (Bergen)
  • they can be break-even (Yorkshire)
  • they can be profit-making (Richmond)
(I'm saying Yorkshire is break-even as that seems most likely, given Welcome to Yorkshire are using it to drive tourism, not profit. I'm saying Richmond was profit-making given it was organised by one of the McQuaids. Bergen, we know, was loss-making largely because of the ineptitude of the organising committee. Also, I should acknowledge that the UCI would claim that all Worlds are profit making it you look at the economic impact assessments, but economic impact assessments are Mickey Mouse mathematics and best ignored.)

An interesting part of the Worlds was the trade team time trial. This was brought back in 2012 at the behest of the teams. The teams wanting it, the UCI decided it didn't need to pay an appearance fee. However, the UCI then decided to treat it as a World Tour event by adding points earned there to the team ranking. While still insisting they didn't need to pay an appearance fee because it was an event the teams wanted. When the teams demanded appearance money, the event got killed.

So, the UCI can be seen as a real roadblock when it comes to appearance fees, not wanting to pay them at their own races, not showing much willingness to increase them regularly at World Tour races.
 
So you say you want cycling to introduce salary caps?
The Premiership champions, Saracens, have been handed a 35-point deduction and fined £5m after they were found to have breached salary cap regulations.

The draconian punishment from Premiership Rugby has left Saracens “shocked and disappointed”. It followed an investigation into the club’s practices over the past nine months after it came to light that Saracens’ most high profile players, including England internationals Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and the Vunipola brothers, had entered into investment or property partnerships with the club chairman, Nigel Wray.
Deets

This, of course, is actually good news for those who support salary caps, for it proves that they can be properly policed and that sports using them are willing to suffer the reputational damage of publicly punishing those who breach them, even when the breaching occurred oover a number of years (the case covered the seasons 16/17, 17/18, and 18/19). (Although there is no willingness, it should be noted, to rewrite the results of the past: the 35 points are being deducted from next season's tally.)

But ... well ... cycling ... it doesn't have the best of reps when it comes to taking its medicine in public ... and it's got a deservedly awful rep of being able to police salary floors, let along caps, its policing of min salaries and pay-to-play contracts being abysmal.

In related news, I see that Vinokourov and Kolobnev have been cleared of collusion in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, with it being argued that the €100k that was resting in Kolobnev's bank account was actually a property investment. Small world, innit?
 
So you say you want cycling to introduce salary caps?
Deets

This, of course, is actually good news for those who support salary caps, for it proves that they can be properly policed and that sports using them are willing to suffer the reputational damage of publicly punishing those who breach them, even when the breaching occurred oover a number of years (the case covered the seasons 16/17, 17/18, and 18/19). (Although there is no willingness, it should be noted, to rewrite the results of the past: the 35 points are being deducted from next season's tally.)

But ... well ... cycling ... it doesn't have the best of reps when it comes to taking its medicine in public ... and it's got a deservedly awful rep of being able to police salary floors, let along caps, its policing of min salaries and pay-to-play contracts being abysmal.

In related news, I see that Vinokourov and Kolobnev have been cleared of collusion in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, with it being argued that the €100k that was resting in Kolobnev's bank account was actually a property investment. Small world, innit?
The rumours around Sarries and salary cap violations have been going on for a while - denials from 2015

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/club/11305609/Saracens-and-Bath-under-investigation-for-alleged-salary-cap-breach.html

My memory is hazy (and I can't find articles to support it) but I think there were rumours about business ventures in South Africa that were paying Saracens' SA players back in the early 2010's when Wray joint owned the club with Remgro (a company owned by a South African) and Brendan Venter was coach.
 
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Last weekend's edition of the elite women's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad has reopened the debate about equal prize money at women's races, with the usual suspects throwing their usual tantrums. Flanders Classics' boss Tomas Van Den Spiegel has weighed in on Twitter with a thread putting right some of the nonsense spouted by cycling's armchair CEOs. One particular comment from Van Den Spiegel's thread is important when it comes to considering the finances of race organisers:

View: https://twitter.com/tomasvds/status/1366820390396428295


An awful lot of cycling's armchair CEOs even today deny that hospitality makes up any portion of a race organiser's revenue, so it's nice to see Van Der Spiegel putting them right here.

The whole of Van Der Spiegel's Twitter thread is worth reading if you really care about cycling's financial model and don't just want to trot out the usual lies about TV revenues and loss-making races:

View: https://twitter.com/tomasvds/status/1366820387594592258
 
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From memory, I think prize money is fairly small in terms of overall rider earnings, so it shouldn't be too hard for the UCI to sort out their prize structure to allow events to evenly split their prize pot between men and women. He also tweeted to say they would need an extra 180K in sponsorship money to even the money across both pelotons, so this issue should really be raised with the UCI. Some people might complain that lowering the prize money will deter riders from taking part in the mens race, but I doubt that's going to happen, especially if I remember correctly about the amount Vs. wages. In fact, they could likely award no prize money to the men and all of it to the women and still get exactly the same people turning up to those 6 races.
 
Do riders really treat their prize money as earnings? As far as I have noticed, most teams agree to put the riders winnings into the collective pot to pay their UCI fines through the year and what is left over is then divided up at the end of the season across all riders and staff as a bonus. I think the only exceptions are riders winning the Grand Tours, that money goes direct to the riders and staff on the race, otherwise if they don't win GC, it goes into the pot.
 
Do riders really treat their prize money as earnings? As far as I have noticed, most teams agree to put the riders winnings into the collective pot to pay their UCI fines through the year and what is left over is then divided up at the end of the season across all riders and staff as a bonus. I think the only exceptions are riders winning the Grand Tours, that money goes direct to the riders and staff on the race, otherwise if they don't win GC, it goes into the pot.

But the pot can add up to a lot. I remember someone at Sky (Rowe perhaps) saying their share in their first year was more than their salary.
 
I think prize money is fairly small in terms of overall rider earnings
It varies with teams and needs to be considered across a whole season. In men's racing, it does add up, over 30 or 40 days of racings. Not much much addition in it on the women's circuit.
it shouldn't be too hard for the UCI to sort out their prize structure to allow events to evenly split their prize pot between men and women.
An interesting idea but with a mega caveat: there are different levels of racing in each peloton. I'd have no issue in principle in lowering the minimums in non-WT events for men and rising them for women in order to achieve parity. But when it comes to the WT I think we should be demanding that the minimums are raised, for both pelotons. If the World Tour is ever to mean anything it should mean more than the winner of a (men's) one day race pocketing just €16k. If that drives some race organisers out of the World Tour then so be it, goodbye and good riddance to them. If they really want to play in the World Tour they should be able to pay for it.

(The impact these decisions have on race organisers is a key driver for the UCI when it comes to decision making and they tend to set the bar for the weakest races, allowing the strongest to get away with murder. The very idea that people are crowd funding €16k for the prize pool of an RCS race when RCS Media has turnover north of €85m is just wrong on every level it could be wrong.)
 
It varies with teams and needs to be considered across a whole season. In men's racing, it does add up, over 30 or 40 days of racings. Not much much addition in it on the women's circuit.
I guess, although I would suspect that it's mainly the bigger teams who win a significant number of races in the WT where the money is high. Not to say I would ever be in a position turn down a couple of thousand Euros or however much it was, but I would have thought it wasn't a significant part of their pay packet.

An interesting idea but with a mega caveat: there are different levels of racing in each peloton. I'd have no issue in principle in lowering the minimums in non-WT events for men and rising them for women in order to achieve parity. But when it comes to the WT I think we should be demanding that the minimums are raised, for both pelotons. If the World Tour is ever to mean anything it should mean more than the winner of a (men's) one day race pocketing just €16k. If that drives some race organisers out of the World Tour then so be it, goodbye and good riddance to them. If they really want to play in the World Tour they should be able to pay for it.
I pretty much agree with all of that. I was more saying that the UCI shouldn't put rules in place that make it difficult for race organisers to equalise prizes, whatever funds they have. I don't have a problem with them raising the minimums, I feel like prize money really should be meaningful, particularly in the WT.

It also raises other issues, such as should all WT events have mens and womens races so organisers don't just drop womens races to make sure their prize fund is larger for the mens races etc.

(The impact these decisions have on race organisers is a key driver for the UCI when it comes to decision making and they tend to set the bar for the weakest races, allowing the strongest to get away with murder. The very idea that people are crowd funding €16k for the prize pool of an RCS race when RCS Media has turnover north of €85m is just wrong on every level it could be wrong.)
Agreed.
 
I guess, although I would suspect that it's mainly the bigger teams who win a significant number of races in the WT where the money is high. Not to say I would ever be in a position turn down a couple of thousand Euros or however much it was, but I would have thought it wasn't a significant part of their pay packet.



I pretty much agree with all of that. I was more saying that the UCI shouldn't put rules in place that make it difficult for race organisers to equalise prizes, whatever funds they have. I don't have a problem with them raising the minimums, I feel like prize money really should be meaningful, particularly in the WT.

It also raises other issues, such as should all WT events have mens and womens races so organisers don't just drop womens races to make sure their prize fund is larger for the mens races etc.



Agreed.
It varies with teams and needs to be considered across a whole season. In men's racing, it does add up, over 30 or 40 days of racings. Not much much addition in it on the women's circuit.An interesting idea but with a mega caveat: there are different levels of racing in each peloton. I'd have no issue in principle in lowering the minimums in non-WT events for men and rising them for women in order to achieve parity. But when it comes to the WT I think we should be demanding that the minimums are raised, for both pelotons. If the World Tour is ever to mean anything it should mean more than the winner of a (men's) one day race pocketing just €16k. If that drives some race organisers out of the World Tour then so be it, goodbye and good riddance to them. If they really want to play in the World Tour they should be able to pay for it.

(The impact these decisions have on race organisers is a key driver for the UCI when it comes to decision making and they tend to set the bar for the weakest races, allowing the strongest to get away with murder. The very idea that people are crowd funding €16k for the prize pool of an RCS race when RCS Media has turnover north of €85m is just wrong on every level it could be wrong.)
Are RCS Sport even out debt of yet? Turnover doesn't mean much. Last figures I can find, RCS Sport operated at a net loss each year of around €0.5 to €1M and the group as a whole
 
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I guess, although I would suspect that it's mainly the bigger teams who win a significant number of races in the WT where the money is high.
But it's not just winning. WT races, first place gets about 40% of the prize money, yes, but the podium overall gets 70%, and the other 30% pays out down to twentieth (looking only at UCI minimums and a handful of races do pay above minimum). Consistency can pay. Not as much as winning, for sure, but across a season it can pay.

I recall seeing the numbers for one of the French teams a few years back, AG2R I think, and the number was not insignificant, especially set against the team's salary figure.
 
Smith is generally correct, but redistributing mens prize money to womens prize money would affect the smaller squads staff earnings quite considerably. Clearly a mechanic isn't working upto 20 hours a day for his base salary, he's working knowing there is prize money each race. Your UAE mechanic would have got €15K for 3 weeks work, Jumbo mechanic around half that last year. Your FdeJ mechanic around €500, your Arkea even less.

#TeamAmountAmount (EUR)Breakdown
1UAE-Team Emirates€ 624.230, -€ 624.230, -
2Team Jumbo-Visma€ 356.660, -€ 356.660, -
3Trek - Segafredo€ 165.150, -€ 165.150, -
4Movistar Team€ 138.790, -€ 138.790, -
5Team Sunweb€ 119.660, -€ 119.660, -
6Bahrain - McLaren€ 116.000, -€ 116.000, -
7Deceuninck - Quick Step€ 111.880, -€ 111.880, -
8Astana Pro Team€ 75.680, -€ 75.680, -
9INEOS Grenadiers€ 74.900, -€ 74.900, -
10BORA - hansgrohe€ 71.720, -€ 71.720, -
11EF Pro Cycling€ 60.890, -€ 60.890, -
12CCC Team€ 48.810, -€ 48.810, -
13AG2R La Mondiale€ 46.250, -€ 46.250, -
14Mitchelton-Scott€ 41.780, -€ 41.780, -
15B&B Hotels - Vital Concept p / b KTM€ 39.330, -€ 39.330, -
16Lotto Soudal€ 38.650, -€ 38.650, -
17Cofidis, Credit Solutions€ 34.840, -€ 34.840, -
18Groupama - FDJ€ 33.480, -€ 33.480, -
19Israel Start-Up Nation€ 22.120, -€ 22.120, -
20NTT Pro Cycling€ 20.760, -€ 20.760, -
21Team Total Direct Energie€ 18.820, -€ 18.820, -
22Team Arkéa Samsic€ 15.800, -€ 15.800, -
 
Some interesting numbers from Nokere Koerse, a demi-hemi-semi-classic.
Lost income includes spectator entrance fees of €5 per person to get on the Nokereberg, that normally would generate €10,000 in addition to a pre-race party, junior races and cyclo-tourist rides that would bring in €15,000.

The biggest bank-breaker is the loss of hospitality – VIPs and sponsorship are a huge part of the income, bringing in an estimated €386,500 for the race in 2019.

"What is left of it now that we cannot offer our sponsors a VIP package in exchange for their contribution?
Remember folks, there's no ticketing revenue in cycling. None. Just keep repeating that often enough and it'll be true.
 
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