CCC Team suspends majority of staff, reduces rider salaries
Fallout from novel coronavirus cancellations takes its toll on Jim Ochowicz's WorldTour team
The CCC Team announced today that they have suspended the majority of their team support staff contracts and all rider salaries will be heavily reduced for the remainder of the 2020 season.
The team was forced to make the cuts in the face of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic and the fallout that has seen the majority of the 2020 race season so far cancelled or postponed.
"The decision to make widespread cuts has been a painful process and one that we did not foresee even a matter of weeks ago," CCC Team president Jim Ochowicz said in a statement sent to media announcing the decision.
"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,” Ochowicz said.
On Thursday, a report on the Polish website Rowery detailed how billionaire Dariusz Milek, head of the Polish footwear giant CCC, was looking to cut costs. The company’s share prices have reportedly dropped by 90 per cent compared to 2018, while revenues are down nine per cent year-on-year for the first quarter.
Speaking to reporters via video conference on Thursday afternoon, team star Greg Van Avermaet, the 2016 Olympics road race champion, was aware of the financial troubles faced by CCC and said he was open to the idea of taking a pay cut while the team and sponsor deal with the on going financial issues caused by the pandemic.
"I think it’s normal in this kind of time," Van Avermaet said. "I’m not doing my job 100 per cent because I cannot race. We should be loyal to our sponsors and stand behind them in crisis, and hopefully we can come out together strongly. The most important thing for me is that after this virus is done, they can step up again and they have no problem to sponsor longer or go for another year."
Ochowicz said that his management team will continue to represent the sponsors and fans as best they can while waiting for racing to restart.
"We will do everything possible to keep the team going during this period and hope to bounce back once the Covid-19 situation improves,” he said.
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