Aqua Blue Sport bosses respond after riders claim pay has been delayed

The collapse of the Irish team left many riders without contract, with some now claiming they haven’t been paid

Rick Delaney (centre) flanked by Leigh Bryan and Stephen Moore

The Aqua Blue Sport saga continues as bosses have responded after riders claimed they haven’t been paid following the team's collapse.

Concerns over salary payments were raised by former team rider Andy Fenn, who said in a statement on Twitter that he still had not been paid an October wage.

But in an email to riders, Aqua Blue CEO Tom Timmerman said salaries will be covered by the UCI guarantee, reports Sticky Bottle.

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In the email, Timmerman voices his “disappointment” that some had spoken to the media about the situation.

In his open letter posted on Twitter on Saturday, former Aqua Blue rider Andy Fenn said: “I would just like to raise your attention to the fact that all Aqua Blue Sport riders’ salaries for the month of October, have still not yet been received.”

Rather than the team paying the remainder of riders’ salary, former team members are now required to apply to the UCI for money that is held as a backstop for situations like the collapse of Aqua Blue.

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Fenn said that the UCI would not release funds from the bank guarantee until necessary paperwork was filed.

In his email, Timmerman says the team put €400,000 aside with the UCI to pay riders and that all salaries have been paid for September.

Timmerman also used the email to resign as CEO with immediate effect and urged riders not to contact him as he “will not be able to be of any assistance.”

He claims that the delay in pay is down to the UCI, saying paperwork was filed in September but that the governing body then asked for specific forms to be completed.

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The Aqua Blue Sport e-commerce site, which management had hoped would fund the team, appears to have been taken down, the URL just showing a blank white screen.

After just two years racing, the team announced they would be closing this summer, with owner Rick Delaney blaming a failed merger, equipment sponsors and race organisers.

The closure left a 16-rider roster without contracts, including Brit Adam Blythe, Ireland’s Conor Dunne and American Larry Warbasse.

Cycling Weekly has approached the UCI for comment.