Astana 2008 Team Manager Johan Bruyneel has indicated the team's intentions to cover outstanding payments from the 2007 management, Zeus. In a press release today, the Belgian said the Kazakh Cycling Federation (KCF) put the money owed into a escrow account that will be paid out once all information is gathered.
"Although the new management team, as well as the Kazakh Cycling Federation (KCF), is not responsible for rider salaries for 2007, KCF will pay all back salary of the riders. They all should go into the new season with peace of mind," said Bruyneel of the problems that were brought to light last month.
The 2007 Astana Cycling Team had a contract with Zeus, the management company of Luxemburger manager Marc Biver. In September 2007, ProTour license holder KCF ended its collaboration with Zeus due to a breach of trust, which is when the payment problems began, according to the 2008 management.
It is reported that KCF put the total amount of salaries owed into an escrow account, and it is in the process of gathering information regarding bank accounts, social security and the tax status of individual riders. The team managment noted payments are to be made "as soon as possible and that KCF has not ruled out future legal procedures against Zeus."
"I am very glad that we can start the season without debts from the past," continued former Discovery Channel General Manger, Bruyneel, who confirmed his position with Astana in September.
"When KCF contracted my management team for the 2008 season, they committed themselves to solving the existing problem. KCF keeps its word. Hopefully this will relieve the concerns of all riders – both those who be on the 2008 Astana Cycling Team as well as the riders that will transfer to other teams."