It’s a first: the UCI has published online its financial report and audited accounts for the year ending 31 December 2009. These are available online at uci.ch, go to the publications page.
You might come to The Inner Ring for more juicy news and to escape dull numbers so I’ll try to liven up the report of the accounts.
But first, publication matters. For a long time the UCI did not publish its finances. I have a UCI racing licence and am interested in the sport so it was a shame I could not follow the money. Any organisation tasked with running the sport on behalf of racers, teams, organisers, other stakeholders… and the public in general surely needs to be transparent and open. So it’s great that the accounts are now available. Many other governing bodies publish accounts and it’s nice to see the UCI catch up.
Is the UCI financially health?
Yes, the auditors have approved the prepared accounts and the balance sheet and income statement show some decent numbers. That said it has eaten into its equity this year but we can’t see the trend and this is nothing to worry about in one year.
- The UCI is cash rich. It sits on more cash and current assets than it does fixed assets like buildings.
- Debt free: following the repayment of a loan on the UCI’s flashy headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland, the UCI has no significant debts.
- Worries: the UCI makes significant provisions for litigation and anti-doping disputes. This means it sets aside funds for the contingency of being dragged into court.
- The World Championships cost the UCI 2.2 million francs to organise but delivered 11.3 million francs in revenue, ie it generates 9.1 million francs. It’s the biggest source of income for the UCI.
- The Men’s Road Race alone generates 7.5 million francs of revenue.
- The second largest source of income comes from affiliations and race organisers.
- The next biggest source of money comes from the Olympic Games. The 2008 games provide an annual allowance of 3.5 million Swiss Francs.
- The UCI receives more in anti-doping fines than it spends on marketing and communications.
- The UCI has two banks managing its cash, they stick most of the money in safe cash and bonds. A bit is punted with shares. Overall, the managers underperformed the market by some way – but presumably because they were playing it safe.
- The UCI owns 345,000 francs’ worth of uniforms. That’s a lot of cashmere blazers.
It’s not a separate legal entity but distinct numbers are given for the ProTour. It raised 2.2 million francs, mainly from the teams that comprise the ProTour. But it also managed to spend 630,000 francs on legal and financial matters, that’s a lot of admin.
Buried at the back of the accounts is a mention that a new body, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation is now running this aspect of the sport. It spent 8.9 million francs last year, of which 6.5 million was spent on sample collection and testing.
The report concludes with a hat tip to UCI administrator Claude Schnegg for compiling these public accounts. I too would like to say thanks to him and to those who took the decision to publish them.
All numbers are in Swiss Francs. The Swiss Franc is one of the hardest currencies in the world and today’s exchange rate means you need USD 0.95, EUR 0.72, GBP 0.60 and AUD 1.04 to buy one Swiss Franc.