Petrodollars may be behind cycling's Super League

Road 05/12/23 15:09 Migue A.

A couple of months ago, rumours began about the creation of a cycling Super League promoted by Jumbo-Visma and INEOS Grenadiers. Rumours that are beginning to gain more strength due to the precarious economic situation of many teams in a cycling that is becoming more expensive for them every day.

Saudi investment fund set to boost cycling's Super League

It seems that the intention of several World Tour teams to set up a cycling Super League to shake off the domination of the competition currently exercised by the UCI and the big organisers such as ASO, RCS or Flanders Classics, which finish the vast majority of the races on the calendar, is gaining momentum.

The historical problem is that the teams only receive very little prize money from the organisations, for example, in the case of the Tour de France, the most important race, they receive just over 2 million euros when ASO declares profits of more than 70 million euros a year.

To have more of the cake in the cycling business has been the demand of cycling for many years, especially, as in other sports, for television rights, the juiciest part. At present, cycling teams depend solely on the income from their sponsors, with budgets that do not exceed the 43 million euros of INEOS Grenadiers, the team with the largest. However, if we look at the lower end, there are many teams with budgets of around 10 million euros with which they have to face the whole season and make their signings.

Obviously, with an inflationary economic situation, cycling is becoming more and more expensive and some teams have even been declaring losses in recent seasons. In fact, this need for a bigger budget after the announcement of the end of Jumbo's sponsorship was one of the reasons behind the failed merger between Jumbo-Visma and Soudal-QuickStep that made headlines at the end of the season.

The Super League idea would allow teams to have a leading role in profit sharing. This is an initiative that more teams seem to welcome, especially after it was revealed that it could have the financial backing of the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund, as well as other investors.

In any case, nothing clear is yet known while, in turn, neither the major organisers nor the UCI, under whose umbrella the competitions are held, have yet commented on the subject. However, if we look at the example of football, with a European Super League project as well, it does not seem likely that they will give up their privileges easily.



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Los petrodólares estarían detrás de la Superliga ciclista


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Les pétrodollars seraient derrière la Superligue cycliste