Coronavirus wrap: CPA rules out accepting universal salary cuts in cycling

The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) has promised to work with teams and world governing body the UCI to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus on the sport but has ruled out accepting universal salary cuts.

A number of teams including Bahrain-McLaren, Mitchelton-Scott, CCC, Astana and Lotto-Soudal have already agreed cuts or payment deferrals with riders, while the AIGCP, a body which represents the teams, is seeking further measures.

But the CPA said the circumstances of each team was different and it would not accept a one-size-fits-all response across the sport.

CPA general secretary Laura Mora said: “We’ll never accept a generalised reduction in salaries; we’ll evaluate each case individually and study how to limit the problems with specific help and strategies.

“We’re all in the same boat, in the middle of a storm and so to save everyone, we’ve got to respect the common principles and really work as a team.”

The CPA’s statement comes one day after the UCI revealed that senior management are to reduce their salaries, and there is to be full or partial furlough for 130 employees.

Road cycling is economically vulnerable due to its heavy reliance on sponsorship, which can account for 80-95 per cent of a team’s budget.

Racing has been on hiatus since Paris-Nice ended one day early on March 14, with no clear sense of when it might return.

Tour de France 2019 – Stage 21 – Rambouillet to Paris Champs Elysees
Tour de France 2019 – Stage 21 – Rambouillet to Paris Champs Elysees

The Tour de France, a race seen as vital to the budgets of several teams, remains on the schedule for now, due to start on June 27, but organisers are exploring options to delay it until later in the summer.

On Friday, Team Ineos announced they were helping their parent company Ineos distribute free hand sanitiser to NHS hospitals after the chemical company converted some of its plants to produce it.

The debate over salaries in cycling mirrors that taking place in several other sports.

On Thursday, Southampton became the first Premier League team to announce an agreement with their players over wage deferrals during the crisis.

#SaintsFC can detail measures it is taking as part of the club’s ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic:

— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) April 9, 2020

Southampton’s players, manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and his coaching staff have agreed to defer part of their salaries for the months of April, May and June “to help protect the future of the club, the staff that work within it and the community we serve”.

Meanwhile, the English Football League has outlined a plan to play the rest of the season in 56 days once it is safe to resume, believing the Championship, League One and League Two can be completed over the summer.

UK Athletics also confirmed it would furlough 11 staff, a quarter of its head office, while the Professional Darts Corporation is planning to restart the Premier League Darts season in Birmingham on July 30 and finish in Sheffield on October 15.