Thursday, June 27, 2013

Euskaltel reveal economic woes

When the 'new Euskaltel Euskadi' was presented to the watching world late last year, it came with the news of a four-year WorldTour license and a budget reportedly hovering around 10 million euros a year.

By all indications, the future was safe.

Speaking just a few days before the start of this year's Tour de France, team boss Igor González de Galdeano reveals that might not be the case.

"The economic crisis forces us to find a secondary sponsor", he tells Basque newspaper El Correo.

Up until this point, such a sponsor has not been found. According to knowledgeable cycling scribe Benito Urraburu of El Diario Vasco, the team could be staring at a four million deficit at the end of this year.

While equipment providers Orbea and Bio Racer have shipped in with money and not just bikes, helmets and jerseys this season, the reduction in financial support from the regional governments in the Basque Country is harming the team.

Questioned if the team's future is in doubt, Galdeano says it's out of his hands.

"I don't know. Euskaltel (the telephone company) must answer that question. My job is to get results. I don't think anyone is considering a future without Eukaltel Euskadi, but... everything's possible.

"When it comes to the team's future, you have to ask Euskaltel. I'm just focussing on the next month. But I can see that the situation we're in is difficult. Euskaltel have to answer what future this team has".

Euskaltel's 2013 season has been anything but spectacular in sporting terms. The team has just five wins to its name heading into the Tour, and two of those are Ioannis Tamouridis' wins at the recent Greek national championships.

With the foreigners brought in over the winter failing to fire, added to slight matter of Alexander Serebryakov's doping positive, Euskaltel's new philosophy, or rather the abandonment of their previous unique one, has taken a hit.

Galdeano admits it hasn't all gone to plan.

"They were signed so we could get the points we needed to secure a WorldTour license", he says frankly. "We achieved that. Afterwards, it's true they haven't performed, but they've had a lot of bad luck with injuries and health issues. Still, though, their points have us a four-year WorldTour license. We could, for example, revert to an all-Basque team", he concludes.


Josh Buehner said...

Whatever happened with Festina?

Seems like they would be a strong sponsor financially (of course with their history in the sport as well)

Seeing as how companies like them aren't really affected by the financial crises, selling luxury items.

Magnus said...

Yeah, what happened with that?

Perhaps l'Équipe just invented the whole thing, who knows?


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