Fenn criticises Aqua Blue Sport bosses after more salary woes

Andy Fenn has written an open letter to the management at the now defunct Aqua Blue Sport team, in light of fresh reports that the staff's October salaries have not yet been paid.

The Pro Continental team collapsed in August without any warning, with all riders and staff told that they could seek alternative employment. All Aqua Blue contracts were torn up, while the team owner Rick Delaney stopped communicating with the team's roster.

The riders and staff were told in September that their salaries for the remainder of the year would be covered by the team's UCI bank guarantee, and the first month after the team folded was eventually paid. However Fenn, who rode for the team in 2017 and 2018 - until the point at which the team folded - took to Twitter on Saturday to put public pressure on both Delaney and the team's CEO Tom Timmerman for answers.

"I would just like to raise your attention to the fact that all AquaBlueSport riders salaries for the month of October, have still not yet been received," the 28-year-old British rider wrote.

Fenn, frustrated at not receiving his salary for October, contacted the UCI directly for answers, and claimed that Timmerman had not been communicating with the governing body.

"As it currently stands the UCI will not release anymore funds from the bank guarantee that has been activated to pay the outstanding salaries and fees associated to AquaBlueSport, until all necessary paperwork and clarification regarding December salaries has been given," Fenn wrote.

"All of the riders associated to the now defunct AquaBlueSport, are all aware, that ‘in principle’ December salary payments cannot be paid to us in full."

Under UCI rules, teams must pay a bank guarantee before the start of each season in order to have their licence validated by the governing body. The amount of the guarantee must equal 25 per cent of the team's payroll.

At the start of October, after September's salaries were meant to have been paid, Aqua Blue riders were notified by email that they must complete forms and send them back immediately in order to process the payments relating to their outstanding wages from September. It seems that along with delays on the first payment, the management have not communicated recent matters over future payments with the riders and staff.

Timmerman did not return calls from Cyclingnews on Saturday morning.

"Rick, you have publicly said yourself that all our contracts would be honoured, but still 2 months after the teams sudden collapse, arranging simple salary payments still seems to be difficult."

"I would really have appreciated if you met the deadline the UCI has asked of you, to file what is needed for them to continue to use the bank guarantee, that deadline being yesterday..."

"We all also know that Team Licence and Anti Doping fees still have not been paid, so please don't try and tell us that it is the UCI that are making things difficult for us all."

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.