CCC Team facing loss of main sponsor as Polish company restructures

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 29 Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium and CCC Team Rain during the 75th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2020 Men Race a 200km race from Ghent to Ninove OmloopHNB OHN20 on February 29 2020 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Greg Van Avermaet and his teammates during Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Image credit: Getty Images)

The WorldTour CCC Team is facing the loss of its main title sponsor after the Polish shoe company announced a PLN 340 million (€75 million) loss in the first quarter of 2020 compared with 2019.

According to (opens in new tab), the CCC Group made an agreement with several banks to secure financing for the next 12 months. In order to restructure its second quarter expenses, it may be forced to cease all sports sponsorship, according to the report.

The group expects to need cash to spend on closing stores in Germany and to settle with landlords of stores already closed in central Europe as well as "closure of activities related to sport sponsorship, contracted for 2020-2021," the report noted.

It is not known yet if the closure includes fulfilling all of its obligations to the CCC and CCC-Liv Teams.

According to (opens in new tab), the CCC-Liv women's team has its own agreement with the sponsors and they have met their obligations so far this year, but the men's team has laid off staff and slashed riders' salaries to save for future losses.

"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," manager Jim Ochowicz said earlier this month. "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."

The economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic have only begun to ripple through the sport of cycling. With racing suspended for more than a month and no re-start in the near future, teams such as Astana, Lotto Soudal, Bahrain McLaren, and Mitchelton-Scott have cut rider salaries and even the UCI has been forced to take cost-cutting measures.

The women's riders union head Ronny Lauke suggested some teams might not survive the pandemic, while others, such as Team Sunweb, have already been renewing rider contracts.

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