Zinoviev Letter said:
For anyone wondering about the future of the team after today, Sky as it stands are committed to 2020 and that won't change while the deal with Disney goes through review. Whether Disney would continue with the team as it's a possible casualty in post takeover cost cutting is another story.
I wouldn't be so sure about their commitment. The team brought them a big positive brand exposure return for years. It's been a PR disaster more recently. It could reach a point where they pull the plug even if they have a deal with time still to run (even if that costs them money). It would surprise me if they don't have a doping/suspension/funny business clause in their deal in any case. Any sponsor putting tens of millions into a cycling team per year would be fools not to.
I agree. Disney saw exactly what happened with LA/USPS in the United States. They could pull the plug at any time if they don't think the fit with pro cycling is a good one. I'm sure there's various clauses in either the Sky sponsorship agreement or more general ones in their purchase agreement with Murdoch that would let this happen.
I'd be very worried if I was a Sky rider right now, and not just if my name was Christopher Froome.
100% agree. The Froome saga doesn't even come into. The coffin is likely well and truly shut, no more nails required, the minute this takeover gets confirmed. As you say, post Lance, I don't see any way on earth that Disney, with the image they want the world to have of them, will want to be anywhere near the world of pro cycling. Whatever the stories say, the Murdochs are as ruthless in business as anyone you're ever likely to come across. There's 39 billion dollars at stake, don't expect them to have fought too hard to protect their little cycling project when negotiating the deal.
All it takes is a slow news day and some journo with an easy story about the kings of good wholesome family entertainment and the links to those dirty cyclists and Disney will be looking to cut all ties rapidly. They have deep pockets to get them out of any financial commitments they might need to honour to do this.
What the whole Froome saga does mean is that it's even less likely that a replacement sponsor willing to put in even a fraction of the backing they got from Sky will come forward.
So yes, I agree, the days of Team Sky are coming to an end.