See the posts by Christian on CN (hopefully he doesn't mind copying his translations):http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showpost.php?p=944629&postcount=4144
Close to the end?
According to media reports, Flavio Becca could soon lose the license for his ProTeam, Radioshack-Nissan. The company holding the license is making huge losses.
Tageblatt has access to the balance of accounts of 2011 of Leopard S.A. It shows a loss in the first year of €7.6 million. Meanwhile, in the international edition of Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) of this Saturday, one can read that "Insiders are of the opinion that Flavio Becca will soon lose his license"
According to the document from auditing-company Deloitte, Leopard S.A. finished the first business year (26.07.2010 to 31.12.2011) with a loss of €7.618.109,60.
The conclusion of the auditers: with such a huge loss, the board of directors are required by law to summon a general assembly of the share holders, which will decide whether the company will be terminated or not.
Journalist Andreas Burkert (SZ) writes in his article "Revolution of the national heroes" among other things that the riders who complained about late paiments were "aces": "Luxembourg's national heroes, the Schlecks, as well as Fabian Cancellara. In addition, the Dane Jakob Fuglsang contacted the UCI. According to the records, at least one rider has sued Leopard S.A. by ways of a private company of his".http://www.tageblatt.lu/nachrichten/...-Aus--23058974
Complete article in today's print edition, I shall try to get one http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showpost.php?p=944772&postcount=4147
Carlo Rock (speaker of Leopard S.A.) said on Luxembourg Radio that "there is a war going on between Sky, Radioshack-Nissan and us (sic)" and inferred that Rupert Murdoch is trying to discredit the team by spreading false rumours through the Süddeutsche Zeitung, to which he has "a very close relationship".
He did however acknowledge that the numbers published by Tageblatt are correct, but said that this did not pose a major problem. The team's future is assured for another two years through a bank guaranty that lies with the UCI. Recently all their accounts were audited and nothing suspicious was found.
The rider having sued Leopard S.A. through his company is indeed Jakob Fuglsang. Rock: "This affair is actually pretty simple. Last year, we paid Mr. Fuglsang's salary to a private company. This year, we were told to pay them to a different company. We then asked for legal documents assuring us of the seriousness of this company, because we do not want to be involved in any way in money laundering. To this day, we are waiting for these documents".
Source: Radio RTL
Some further numbers from the balance of accounts:
Salaries for riders: €10.6 million
Salaries for employees: €1.5 million
Salaries for doctors: €300.000
Participation at UCI biological passport program: €120.000
Corporate identity: €400.000
Traveling expenses: €1.4 million
Input of Flavio Becca's financing company Promobe Finance SPF: €5.5 million
Debts towards others: almost €7.7 million
Debts of others towards Leopard S.A.: almost €3.6 million
Input of sponsors: €9.5 million
Other gains (Leopard-Trademark): €2.5 million
Penalties for enticing riders away from other teams: €618.500
Amount to pay to riders for image rights: €1.3 million
Promobe Finance SPF acts as a guarantor for losses or debts of Leopard S.A.
Source: Tageblatt print editionhttp://forum.cyclingnews.com/showpost.php?p=944879&postcount=4151
According to the article in Süddeutsche, "The Schlecks are waiting for their share of the image rights, on which they pay separate taxes in Luxembourg. This makes for about a quarter of their salary. And because these payments have apparently been missing already since the Tour 2011 and until at least the second quarter of 2012, both must be missing a higher six-figure sum. Cancellara received his salary twice with significant delays. Delayed salary payments are supposed to be the rule, rather than the exception, for the 80 employees of the team"
Source: Tageblatt http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showpost.php?p=944894&postcount=4153
What I find most interesting is that they accuse the Murdoch group, therefore Sky, of deliberately spreading false rumours in a "very big war" that is supposedly going on right now.
I have often read comments by British users who refer to Murdoch as "scum of the earth" so it seems that at least theoretically this is something this group would do. On the other hand most of RSNT financiers and managers are also very sketchy people.
Wasn't Murdoch also behind that big scandal where they tapped the phones and e-mail accounts of politicians in England?
You can find the audio of the interview here:http://sport.rtl.lu/cyclissem/news/280095.html
At least the part about them being broke does indeed only seem to be a storm in a waterglass (perhaps mounted by Murdoch/Sky? Tbc!) as Leopard S.A. writes in a press release:
"From the beginning of (Leopard's) activities in cycling and its demand for a license with the UCI, the business plan foresaw an important deficit for the first season which would be covered by its shareholders.
The balance of accounts concluded on 31 December 2011 is conform to these previsions. The company's and the UCI's auditors have not only validated all the team's accounts but also confirmed the financial capacity to continue its activities."http://sport.rtl.lu/cyclissem/news/280095.html