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Bigla-Katusha use bank guarantee to make April wage payments

Bigla-Katusha in action at the Omloop van het Hageland (Image credit: Getty Images)

The Bigla-Katusha team have issued an update on their financial situation, stating that rider and staff wages for April have been paid in full after both title sponsors abruptly withdrew funding last month.

The team have worked with the UCI and Swiss Cycling in order to unlock a bank guarantee – a pre-season deposit consisting of 25 per cent of the team's payroll which can be accessed in times of financial difficulty – and make up the payment shortfall.

"Last week, with the assistance of the UCI and Swiss Cycling, we successfully unlocked our bank guarantee, which will help us as we work towards securing the team's future," read a statement from the team.

"In addition, we would like to thank the international cycling community for its generous support of our crowdfunding campaign. As a result of these measures, we have been able to pay 100 per cent of salaries to riders and staff for April, and will endeavour to continue doing so, as long as possible."

Last month, the team issued a statement declaring that both title sponsors had informed them that they did not intend to continue with sponsorship payments, with Bigla indicating they "wish to withdraw a majority of their usual payments" and Katusha already having "declined to pay the team any funds for the past month".

In response, team CEO Priska Doppmann Campana issued a statement saying that the team would seek to access the bank guarantee, they would start a 'fan support program', aka a crowdfunding campaign, and that the team would pursue new sponsorship opportunities.

In addition to the UCI bank guarantee, the team has also raised CHF7,999 (£6,667) via crowdfunding from 84 backers since the Gofundme campaign was set up on April 28.

"Through our actions, we hope that our title partners, Bigla and Katusha, will recognise the continued dedication of this team to its values, and its continued pursuit of sporting success, despite difficult times, and that they will work with us to find a solution to the current situation," concluded the team's statement.

The team had won four races in what was run of the 2020 season before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic called a halt to racing around the world, including two stages of the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and the New Zealand National Championships road race.