The Finances of Team Sky

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Cycling teams are businesses. The holder of a UCI Pro Team licence can be an individual but most often the team is a corporate entity, a company created to handle the income from sponsors and pay out expenses like rider wages.

This is the case with Team Sky and, like all companies, it publishes its annual report and accounts. Here is a look at the finances of Team Sky, from the exact budget down to the tiny details and it’s more than just dull accounts, it tells us plenty about the team and the sport. Including why the team has only three employees.

In the case of Team Sky, the business behind the squad is called Tour Racing Limited. This is 60% owned by BSkyB, the British broadcasting arm of Newscorp, 25% is owned by Sky Italia and the remaining 15% belongs to Newscorp. When this shareholder pact was put into place the idea was to fund the team for five years with an initial commitment of £40 million.

Its budget for 2011, the most recent number was £16,680,000. Here is the audited income statement from 2011:

As ever, the detail matters. Of the £16.6 million budget, the notes attached to the accounts explain £10.5m came from Sky’s sponsorship, listed as “title sponsor revenue”.

Another £3.1 million comes from “performance sponsorship revenue” which I believe to be the co-sponsors, such as IG Markets and others. A further £3 million comes from “race fees and other income”. Each of these three items makes up the £16.6 million budget. Note it doesn’t make a profit. It’s not supposed to, instead the money going in from the sponsors should be enough to cover all of the expenses

Perhaps the most interesting part of the accounts are the notes on expenditure. Here we get the line by line breakdown:

Like any team wages take up the biggest share of money and by some way. Note the 25% jump from 2010 to 2011.

It’s interesting for me to note the spend on bike and performance equipment. Normally teams are paid to ride particular bikes but Sky are spending £1.4 million on this. There’s no more detail on what this includes. Vehicle running costs means fuel, at least this is the largest expense and needed to fill the team bus and all the vehicles. The spend on PR and marketing is huge as well and goes on the PR staff, the website, the social media and inviting VIP guests.

How many employees does Team Sky have?
An all conquering team with a large roster of riders supported by managers, helpers, mechanics, medics and more. You’d imagine the team employs many people. You’d be wrong.

Yes, read that again as the average number of full-time staff is three (3). Instead it’s the line below that gives it away, “other salary costs included in the staff and rider costs are related to contractors”. This means almost everyone working for the team does so as a “contractor”, selling their services to the team. This practice is common on many “anglo-saxon” teams as it puts the burden of paying payroll taxes on the rider or staff member, therefore allowing the team budget to stretch further.

Rider transfers
Team Sky’s top rider Bradley Wiggins was bought out of his contract with the Garmin team. These transfers are rare in cycling but the squad also bought Ben Swift from Katusha too. But note the spend in 2011:

It seems the squad paid £650,000 in additional transfer payments. Was this related to Wiggins or Swift, a follow-up payment… or was it linked to the recruitment of another rider?

Does money buy results?
Yes and no. Look at BMC which is reputed to the biggest budget team and the results haven’t followed, Rabobank also spend a lot but are on a transitional year after a silent management clear out and Katusha, well they’re Katusha. For me the big difference is the focus on process. BMC have some great riders but do you know who coaches Philippe Gilbert? I don’t and it’s odd that such a prime asset isn’t surrounded with a battery of coaching staff. Not to single out BMC, the whole sport has many top riders who train by feel. In the meantime Sky are spending money on a sporting form of research and development. I know other teams would like to mimic this but they struggle to get enough money for this, it’s hard enough to get the riders. Sky’ pioneering will forge a path that others are going to copy but note Sky aren’t necessarily first here, several teams have been looking at similar ideas.

Beaucoup value for money

Value for money
If the numbers are beginning to wash over your head, take a breather because the next one is quite something.

According to the latest annual report and accounts BSkyB spent a total of £1.2 billion on marketing in 2011 (p31, PDF). As shown above, BSkyB’s contribution to Team Sky was the 60% of the £10.5 million, or about £6 million, This means the cycling team represents 0.5% of the marketing spend. Talk about value for money.

This isn’t new, it just gives us a number to think about. Cycling has long offered big value to a sponsor but if the rewards are big, so are the dangers. A big company is terrified of reputational risk, just ask Luxembourg’s Enovos and the fear scandal is still keeping many big sponsors away. Look at the likes of Skoda and Nestle who spend millions on the sport by sponsoring races but they won’t back a team. In fact very few teams attract multinational corporate sponsors.

Summary
Most teams file report and accounts but I’m grateful to a British reader for sending through the 2011 report and accounts of Tour Racing Limited, the corporate entity behind Team Sky as it’s rare to see the paperwork.

Sky aren’t the biggest budget team, it’s said they rank fourth or fifth but I think they’re top-three yet it’s always hard to make direct comparisons. First because the annual budget is one thing but the set-up costs of a team are another, for example do you include all the team cars and buses in one year or do you spread the cost over time? Sky also benefit from the facilities provided in Britain, like coaching staff, rather than having to hire everyone outright. Either way Sky’s wage bill is greater than the entire budget of several other teams but we should note Wiggins is probably the most valuable rider of the year with his wins.

Sky use the contractor method to recruit staff. The UCI rules allow this and it saves the team from paying payroll taxes on employee wages as they are instead billed money for “services” provided by the riders and even the mechanics. But the rider has to set aside money to cover this and the UCI rules include some protections for this. But it gives the team a big head start over others, for example French teams must pay hefty payroll taxes so one million Euro spent in Britain buys you a lot more riders and talent than it does in France.

Finally regardless of the exact amount, it’s money very well spent, a tiny share of the company’s budget has brought in huge amounts of publicity and goodwill in Britain and beyond.

  • Once again many thanks to the reader who emailed the document. It is publicly available for all to read via the UK register of companies.
  • At the time of writing £1 British Pound = 1.55 US Dollars = 1.26 Euros
Adi August 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm

A good insight into the backing provided to the team. Doesn’t sound like they spend the most in the peleton, but they do perhaps spend the wisest.

Paul Jakma August 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm

The UCI might allow it, but the tax authorities may not be as keen. HMRC in the UK has been getting ever stricter the last decade on contracting. E.g. it’s hard to see how support staff and even riders (domestiques particularly) could meet the “self-employed” criteria of HMRC:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/employment-status/index.htm

AJ August 2, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Disagree – as an accountant working with contractors mostly I see no issue with these arrangements..

Paul Jakma August 2, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Well, in my industry the perception is that HMRC had definitely been cracking down on self-employed consultants who were de facto employees. I believe there have been a number of law-suits. However, I see from wikipedia that HMRC may have gotten rid of IR36 in the last year, so perhaps it’s no longer the case.

Paul Jakma August 2, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Typo correction: IR35

Ronan August 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm

The ‘bike and performance equipment’ expense is fascinating. Are Sky paying Pinarello, Kask etc to wear their gear? Maybe this is why Wiggins was free to use a British cycling bike in the Olympics TT and not the same Pinarello as Froome?

Paying for your bikes in the World Tour must be a luxury few teams can afford to contemplate.

Andrew August 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm

If they are paying Pinarello, it’s curious that they went there instead of a manufacturer with a reputation for engineering R&D, especially with Brailsford banging on about incremental gains. Pinarellos are beautiful, but they don’t seem to be on the leading edge of frame technology. Their TT bikes in particular don’t appear to be at the level of Scott, Trek, Specialized, and the other top tier frames. Not that it prevented Wiggins winning every TT this year of course…

It also makes you wonder why they would pick Pinarello and then use a custom frame at the Olympics.

toe strap August 3, 2012 at 10:32 am

Thought Wiggins did his TTs on the UK Sport Innovation bike (he certainly did for the Olympics)

Tovarishch August 4, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Eurosport commented during the Tour that Pinarello had just re-signed with Sky for 2mio for 3 years

The Inner Ring August 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I doubt they are paying for this. See the item about about the £3m in revenue from co-sponsors. It’s probably more the race HQ in Belgium and other big costs like this.

Dave Hart August 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm

They buy their own Tubs rather than be sponsored and they do use special wheels. I also suspect that the mattresses, dehumidifiers etc are part of that too.

The Inner Ring August 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Yes, that’s true and see the oval chainrings, fitted to the probably frustration of Shimano. I suspect they have bought a lot of “altitude tents”, eg hypoxic pumps.

Dave C August 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm

I agree that Sky don’t actually pay for the bikes or most of the equipment. Rather the fair value of the equipment is recorded as both sponsorship income and as an expense. This is a stated accounting policy which may seem odd at first but really it makes sense.

TomP August 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I remember reading on bikeradar that they get some powermeters from the sponsor but actually buy others as well so they might be doing that with some of their other kit as well.

Gregg August 4, 2012 at 11:21 am

I would guess that part of the equipment expense is possibly equipment for British Sport riders … as part of their partnership it could be they are bearing part of the burden of equipment costs of UK Sport. It’s a guess, but it would go a long way to explaining such a large equipment bill.

TomH August 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Again a fine read! These pieces of inside-info next to “the moments that won” make this site so good.

Keep it up!

P.s.: Could you go into further detail about the silent management cleanup at Rabobank? Dutch media have been talking about it for some time but there are no real specifics.

Rooie August 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I too am intrigued by what you mean by this.

N.B.: Indeed it’s always hard to make comparisons. A question for me is also that if Sky uses contractors, could it be possible that Cavendish, Wiggins, Froome etc. not only have contracts with Team Sky, but also with additional partners such as Pinarello, BSkyB or others. And if so, could it be possible for a rider to have a contract with (indirectly) two teams?
For example a little thought experiment. BMW is the main sponsor of a new Cycling Team BMW. Cavendish has a contract with Team Sky, but also a second contract with BMW (the car manufacturor, not Cycling Team BMW). At such a moment, a conflict of interest seems manifest. But what would the UCI do in this case? The thought experiment is not that far fetched by the way. Adidas sponsors Team Sky, but can also sponsor individual riders.

Vélo Viking August 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Last year it was rumored that Saxo Bank paid around 7 mil. GBP for their title sponsorship. Seems pretty realistic compared to these numbers.

Vélo Viking August 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm

As a comparison Carlsberg paid around 1 mil. GBP for their title sponsorship of the biggest football team in the Danish league, FC Copenhagen, who also qualified for the group playoffs in the Champions League.

cd August 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I’m guessing the 531k in depreciation could be for the buses and other set-up costs. I don’t know – what’s the normal depreciation schedule – 10 years? That would mean about 5 million in star-up costs maybe?

Howard August 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm

More like 3-5 years would be typical for that kind of asset unless it was property related.

The Inner Ring August 2, 2012 at 8:14 pm

If you want to know, it’s 3-4 years for motor vehicles.

InTheGC August 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Fantastic insight into the running of a team and all of the associated financials!

“According to the latest annual report and accounts BSkyB spent a total of £1.2 billion on marketing in 2011 (p31, PDF). As shown above, BSkyB’s contribution to Team Sky was the 60% of the £10.5 million, or about £6 million, This means the cycling team represents 0.5% of the marketing spend. Talk about value for money.” – That really is incredible, spending on quite a grand scale in the Cycling world, but outside of the sport its like loose change! Other than direct televisual adverts, I think the Cycling team has probably been Sky’s most successful advertising ploy this year, surely? Certainly good value for money.

Dave C August 3, 2012 at 12:08 am

The value for money is emphasised by the fact that the BSkyB annual report where the £1.2 billion figure can be found has a picture of Ben Swift on the front cover! BSkyB clearly saw the team as a big marketing asset even before the 2012 tour.

Ken August 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Your “Value for money” sections sums it all up: “Cycling has long offered big value to a sponsor but if the rewards are big, so are the dangers.” Clean out the cheaters and the money could flow. Facing these numbers, why in the world would any team hire a rider who has been tainted?

Rocket August 2, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Interesting, but short of actual data to support some of your observations. For example:

“Look at BMC which is reputed to the biggest budget team and the results haven’t followed, Rabobank also spend a lot but are on a transitional year after a silent management clear out and Katusha, well they’re Katusha.” You don’t present any hard numbers to show how much BMC, Rabobank, or Katusha actually spend. So how can you possibly know what team has the highest budget, or if those teams actually spend anything near what Team Sky does?

“In the meantime Sky are spending money on a sporting form of research and development.” Perhaps, or maybe their research is in the form of some undetectable PED? A budget line item labeled “research” or “sports science and medical” really don’t tell us much.

Teams tell what they want us to believe, but that isn’t always the truth.

The Inner Ring August 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm

That’s why I said BMC is “reputed” to be the highest budget team. I’ve seen data elsewhere supporting this – printed in a magazine – but don’t have it to hand now.

Anonymous August 3, 2012 at 11:34 am

I find it unbelievable that Sky would risk any PED activity because the ethos of the British Cycling program that it sprang from is being the best, specifically without doping.

I know a couple of the key GB people since 20+ years and though I can’t follow their daily activities I will vouch that they are passionate about clean cycling but at the same time pragmatic about the realities of the sport they work in. I have seen them increase in confidence as years of frustration have receded and the “system” has taken hold – success has materialised from the hard work of all the team and if you can’t do your job to the highest level you have to find a new one pretty quickly.

I’ll stick my neck out and say that at some point Sky will, inevitably, have to face the humiliation of a caught doper in their midst but I’ll also predict that it will be a lone and desperate rider who is facing the loss of contract with a premium team due to poor performance with no team involvement in the doping.

Don’t forget, team Sky is only one element of a very successful governing body driven program with the aim of popularising cycling in the UK. The goal is to get bums-on-saddles and keep them there. With that in mind you have to lay aside prejudices of what traditionally motivates the running and sponsorship of a pro team – Sky is not your typical setup.

Anon August 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Surely the wages are low because a large proportion of the staff are paid by British Cycling. Does it show on the accounts where Sky pay that back?

The Inner Ring August 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm

They’ve had auditors to come in and separate things because some in the UK were concerned at the overlap. There is still overlap but the roles have been more clearly defined. See http://inrng.com/2010/10/unpicking-team-sky-from-british-cycling/ for more.

Anon August 2, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Oh yeah, the same people that do sky’s accounts. Tell me, how much time have the people paid by BC spent working for BC? Well worth doing some digging…..

another Tom August 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Working as a “contractor” is not so bad, but it has pros and cons. I am an engineering consultant/contractor in USA.

I don’t know the tax laws outside the US, but here all expenses related to your business are deductible from the gross income. For a pro cyclist I guess the deductible business expenses would include coaches, bikes and equipment , etc , that isn’t already provided by the team. This has the benefit of (usually) reducing your income taxes.

The negatives of a “contractor” include having to pay for your own health care & insurance. While this is a top-line deduction from your gross income, in US these costs are quite high.

Michael August 5, 2012 at 12:05 am

That is absolutly no problem in most european countries, because healthcare is free and provited by the goverment.

If you look at Saxobank they are at danish team, and if all riders where paid in Denmark as imployies, the team would have to pay around 50% tax on the salary. On top of that, they would have to pay to the riders pension fond, normally around 8-11% of the monthly salary.

Therefore none of the riders lives in Denmark and are most likely contractors and paid as such

Max Pepsi August 2, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Great analysis, thanks.

Ankush August 2, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Thanks for summarizing the report for us Monsieur Inrng

Phil Stringer August 2, 2012 at 8:57 pm

This is the finest piece of cycling journalism I’ve seen in a long time. Thank you.

jim August 2, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Considering all the bad publicity Newscorp and Murdoch have had in the UK over the last year this looks like even better value.

Tomas August 3, 2012 at 12:02 am

Very good read. We don’t get this on other websites. Thanks for information

Josh August 3, 2012 at 1:11 am

Whilst it may be a good way to spread your budget, operating with subcontractors would also let them dodge some tax by being paid through corporations in places like Luxembourg.

The companies involved must be absolutely in love with how little they have to spend and how good the publicity has been. Its also buys much better good will than a traditional advertising approach because “your are supporting the riders” in the public’s eye.

Chris August 3, 2012 at 7:46 am

Did anyone pay attention to the Office Expenses line item of 362K ?? Must be one helluva office.. Did they put a velodrome in there ?

SolidRead August 3, 2012 at 7:48 am

Great stuff as usual! I’d love to read more about the “R&D” approach you mentioned. It’s history, timeline, pros/cons, and any recent innovations from Sky or other teams (i.e. Phinney’s prep for the Olympics in CO)

Or y’know… whatever you feel like writing really. It’s all good stuff!

grumpyoldman August 3, 2012 at 9:07 am

BSkyB’s profits to Jun 2010 are on the up.

This from the BBC:

“Annual profits at BSkyB have risen 17% after the satellite broadcaster’s football coverage helped to boost customer numbers.

BSkyB reported pre-tax profits of £1.2bn for the year to 30 June 2012.

The company gained 312,000 new customers over the year to bring its total customer base to 10.6 million.”

It will be interesting to see if the marketing leverage that Sky is getting from cycling sponsorship is reflected in future figures.

It will be even more interesting to see if Sky try to snatch coverage of the Tour from ITV when the present TV rights contract ends in 2015. Given the surge in interest in cycling in the UK provided by the exploits of Team Sky and Wiggins, and given Sky’s track record on grabbing key sporting events, it would seem like a logical move for them.

This would present those who currently get Tour coverage free to air and who don’t like Murdoch, with a quandary.

Phil Stringer August 3, 2012 at 10:32 am

I read recently, in the wonderful ‘The Tour de France…to the Bitter End’ (in an article written by Mark Redding for the Gruaniad in July 1996) that ASO have a commitment to keeping it free to air:
‘…the organisers this week promised to remain firmly anchored to the major networks. “We want our exposure to be as wide as possible,” said Yann Le Moenner, in charge of international sales for ASO… “It is the only event that has so many spectators and we want it to remain free.”

DJ August 3, 2012 at 10:19 am

Hiring someone as a contractor allows the riders to choose where they pay taxes (ie in a residence with low income taxes) rather than having to pay taxes upfront in the UK (in this case), and then claiming money back and paying in their own residence. As taxes have to be paid somewhere arguing that you get more/better riders for the same amount of money doesn’t stick – I’m sure (especially top) riders keep an eye on their salaries after taxes so whatever they are being paid as contractors should include sufficient money for taxes, insurances etc to leave them with similar salaries as riders who are employees.

The Inner Ring August 3, 2012 at 10:24 am

It can make a difference. Payroll taxes are a big expense for a team and using the contractor status means riders are responsible for the taxes and since they are mobile and base themselves and their bank accounts where they like, it makes the money go further. If the riders were hired as employees then to earn the same net salary would require a greater spend from the team.

See http://inrng.com/2010/08/lets-talk-tax/ for more on this, it explains why French teams are hampered. And not just in cycling, tax is a big factor behind the football leagues in Europe.

DJ August 3, 2012 at 10:44 am

Ah – thanks for the clarification.

Martin W August 3, 2012 at 11:13 am

As you point out money isn’t everything: you need good management too and Sky certainly have that. I would imagine that Nissan’s marketing budget dwarfs BSkyB’s but they don’t seem to have got such good value – to say the least – from whatever their input is to RSNT.

Alex August 3, 2012 at 11:14 am

Thanks for publishing this. Fascinating stuff.

I’m always mystified at how informal the training schedules of other teams are.
There’s no doubt that Sky benefit hugely from the British Cycling attitude – especially in the backroom.

Although even then I notice that Uran trains in Pamplona (where no other team members are) and Columbia.

neil August 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

6 “billion”?

neil August 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm

sorry, “BSkyB spent a total of £1.2 billion on marketing in 2011 ”

billion?

Alex August 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Yes, based on total revenue of £6.8bn – still quite a high percentage.

The Inner Ring August 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Exactly, the source data is linked in the piece above.

Wes April 24, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I believe the figure above is £1.2 million, not billion. Total revenue is £16.7 million, with slightly lower expenses. That makes PR and marketing expenses £1.1 million, which is significant, at 6.6% of overall expenses, but seems reasonable to me.

The Inner Ring April 24, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Note parent company BSkyB’s PR spend was £1.2 billion, not Team Sky.

Wes April 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Yes, sorry, read that wrong. And BSkyB budget in billion is not surprising at all.

andrewp August 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Couple of guesses behind some of the figures

A lot of the backroom staff are already likely employees of British Cycling. Most probably are full time employees there, and their time gets billed across to Sky. This is usually done with employer taxes accounted for – so Sky not going to be saving this cost for all staff – particularly if outside agency like UK sport are monitoring.

Get the impression from some of the riders twittering that Sky operate a big pool for the prize money won by the team, then distributed to all staff at the end of the year. Sky’s results from 2010 to 2011 would probably mean that the prize money pool was considerably higher. This may account for some of the large increase in both race fees income and in staffing costs.

Wonder if element of the PR budget increase may be for things such as image rights element of contracts with riders. Hard to see from the outside where the fivefold increase in expenditure has come from otherwise.

Team basically owned by Sky, and some of the costs listed may be under, e.g. staff can be seconded from the parent company for PR and marketing side of things etc

Sven August 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Pro teams never pay to use bikes. It’s the other way round: bike brands pay teams and supply (“sponsor”) them with free material and service.

beev August 6, 2012 at 11:41 am

Just catching up on some back reading. Another insightful article – thank you.

The thing i take away from this, and i think it is very pertinent (and apologies if already mentioned in comments above) is that the Income from principal sponsor Sky would appear to be a, or more accurately “the” plug. ie. Sky have underwritten the team 100% and make up any shortfall in revenue. This would signify 1) a very trusting relationship, 2) an efficient one too (eg wrt tax which is minimised). something for most other team models to learn? (not withstanding those already with a similar approach)

Olly August 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Just about the Sky TV coverage thing – BSkyB’s satellite platform and the Sky TV channels aren’t quite the same thing – I can’t find the figures anywhere but I’ve heard people saying that around 90% of people who watch cycling on Eurosport – and a smaller number for ITV4 – do so via a BSkyB box for which they pay a subscription. Millions of cycling fans across the world are already paying BSkyB to watch cycling, even if it’s not on a Sky branded channel.
BSkyB can turn cycling sponsorship into tv viewer figures without having to put cycling on Sky Sports – I think they’re quite happy doing this and most of the newly minted cycling fans in the UK getting set up see the Vuelta on Eurosport will be putting about £20 a month at least back to Sky.

ME October 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Surely the tax arrangement eases the administarative burden on the company, but this doesn’t seem correct : “UCI rules include some protections for this. But it gives the team a big head start over others, for example French teams must pay hefty payroll taxes so one million Euro spent in Britain buys you a lot more riders and talent than it does in France” By way of an example, say RiderX gets £100k, if he were an employee hed get £60k in cash and he ramining £40k will be paid over to HMRC on his behalf/account, now he has to do it himself. The actual cost to the employer is still £100k?

The savings benefit the contrator, not the employing company.

ME October 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Surely the tax arrangement eases the administarative burden on the company, but this doesn’t seem correct : “UCI rules include some protections for this. But it gives the team a big head start over others, for example French teams must pay hefty payroll taxes so one million Euro spent in Britain buys you a lot more riders and talent than it does in France” By way of an example, say RiderX gets £100k, if he were an employee hed get £60k in cash and the remaining £40k will be paid over to HMRC on his behalf/account, now he has to do it himself. The actual cost to the employer is still £100k?

The savings benefit the contrator, not the employing company.

The Inner Ring October 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Only if the contractor and employing company are in the same country. If one country has lower payroll taxes than, say, France then there is potential to exploit this.

Wes April 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm

It’s all about how much the business has to pay to secure their services. When a business has employees, the employees don’t care about how much payroll or other taxes the employer pays on their behalf, they only care about how much they take home. When they have to pay all these themselves as contractors, suddenly they pay attention and start thinking about where they might live to avoid taxes, a la Tom Boonen a few years ago.

Of course, that France has high taxes should not be a surprise to anyone, nor that it hampers the country’s ability to compete internationally, in sport as in other business.

Ate April 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I was under the impression that the Rabobank budget was shared between the team and all stuff around it, so the continental team, women’s team, and other such thinks as well…

The Inner Ring April 24, 2013 at 7:45 pm

It’s hard to know the exact numbers, Sky seems to be the sole team with published accounts. But the Rabo-Blanco budget for men’s pro cycling was amongst the highest in the sport. On top of this we can add all the other activities.

Skippy April 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Has anyone an idea as to WHY ; ” PR & Marketing Expenses ” jumped 5 fold ? With SKY TV being the owner , i would have thought that there was no need to spend on ” Publicity “!

Each day at the various Cycle Tours , i see a bunch of people running around with Video Cameras , etc , acting for a variety of Equipment Sponsors , Media Outlets , etc . Surely Sky Team are not responsible for their salaries ? Would you pay for something you can get for Free ?

The Inner Ring April 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm

The publicity doesn’t happen by itself. Press releases have to be produced, Twitter and Facebook need to be updated. There are several staff involved and a lot of work goes into controlling the message you read about the team. Often too much for me as the team’s publicity is often very business-like and corporate, hopefully the fun side comes out more often.

Skippy April 25, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Getting the MESSAGE across , cost an additional 800000 , after a 2010 year of 214000 !

Wish i could get a part of this gravy train . Could see the 2010 year being necessary to have ” Start Up exposure ” but my thought is that there is something being hidden in that A/C classification . Going to be interesting to see 2012 details , when ALL Media were CHASING the story , why would you need to spend money ?

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