CCC have suspended the majority of their support staff for the rest of the non-racing period due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Riders’ salaries will also be heavily reduced for the rest of the season, the team says, in order to allow the WorldTour outfit to continue to operate “at a minimum level” until racing resumes.
This news follows uncertainty over the financial health of their title sponsor, Polish shoe company CCC. Founder and apparent fourth richest person in Poland, Dariusz Miłek, said sponsorship would have to be “reduced or stopped” due to cost-cutting measures being implemented as the company’s revenue fell nine per cent and the company share price fell to just 90 per cent of its 2018 level.
CCC Team President Jim Ochowicz said the decision to suspend staff was due to cash flow issues, with the team hoping to safeguard budget for if racing continues later in the year.
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“The decision to make widespread cuts has been a painful process and one that we did not foresee even a matter of weeks ago. The economic implications of the Covid-19 pandemic have had a drastic effect on business for our title sponsor CCC and like other professional cycling teams, we are now faced with a lack of cash flow due to unforeseen reductions in our sponsorships,” Ochowicz said.
“This aspect of our business is beyond our control. We know there will be no racing until June at the earliest but the situation is constantly evolving and right now, we can only act on a short-term basis. In order to have the budget to race should the season start again, we have had to temporarily suspend all but a handful of staff and heavily reduce rider salaries. As soon as racing can resume, we hope to be in a position to reinstate as many support staff as possible and reevaluate our budget.
“This is a difficult time for everyone and we will continue to represent our sponsors and fans to the best of our ability while we eagerly wait to get back to what we love doing; bike racing. We will do everything possible to keep the team going during this period and hope to bounce back once the Covid-19 situation improves.”
Bahrain-McLaren’s riders have already been forced to take 70 per cent pay cuts, with Lotto-Soudal’s riders also taking salary reductions as their support staff were made temporarily unemployed.