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World Sailing claimed to be in a 'fragile' financial state pre-COVID-19

by 5 Oct 15:06 PDT 6 October 2020
The top table - World Sailing's Annual Conference is in Bermuda from 29 October to 3 November, 2019 © Tom Roberts

World Sailing’s 2019 accounts have been published on the governing body’s website, underlining the fragile state of its finances a month or so before the COVID-19 pandemic struck., a well respected Olympic and sports media outlet acknowledged that the consolidated income statement – showing a deficit for the year of just over £2.5 million ($3.2 million/€2.75 million) – is broadly in line with a forecast circulated at a Council meeting in Bermuda in the final quarter of last year.

Operating income of £3.7 million ($4.8 million/€4.1 million), including £1.47 million ($1.9 million/€1.6 million) from sponsorship and £1.01 million ($1.3 million/€1.1 million) from events, was more than offset by £3.01 million ($3.9 million/€3.3 million) of operating costs and £3.26 million ($4.2 million/€3.6 million) of employment and other administrative expense.

The statement of financial position, and associated notes, is more revealing says David Owen, who worked for 20 years for the Financial Times in the United States, Canada, France and the UK. He ended his FT career as sports editor after the 2006 World Cup and has continued reporting on a freelance basis.

Owen claims that at the year-end, net assets were down to just £1.84 million ($2.4 million/€2 million).

Net current assets were actually in negative territory to the tune of just over £772,000 ($1 million/€850,000).

This followed a sharp reduction in cash, from £2.53 million ($3.26 million/€2.8 million) a year earlier to £564,170 ($727,780/€620,587), and a more than doubling of creditors due within one year to £2.79 million ($3.6 million/€3.07 million).

Debtors rose from just over £500,000 ($645,000/€550,000) to £1.46 million ($1.88 million/€1.6 million), with unspecified trade debtors soaring from £68,825 ($88,784/€75,707) to £835,670 ($1.08 million/€919,237).

Creditors included £1.41 million ($1.82 million/€1.55 million) of deferred income.

Notes to the accounts confirm, as reported by insidethegames last November, that the body has taken out a bank overdraft facility for £900,000 ($1.16 million/€990,000) at base plus one per cent interest.

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The elections for World Sailing's President and seven Vice President positions will start later this week from October 9, using an electronic, remote voting system.

14 Nations ineligible to vote at the Annual Conference

In a separate story reports that 10% of the Member National Authorities (14 nations) are currently ineligible to vote due to membership arrears.

Each member of World Sailing gets one vote regardless of size or number of sailors. In another story reports that up to 10% of the World Sailing membership may be unable to vote due to their memberships being arrears.

The 2020 General Assembly will be held remotely and will be conducted in line with World Sailing's Remote Voting Procedure which is available here.

The first round of voting will be held from 9-16 October 2020. This will be the main voting period for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential election.

In the event that no Presidential candidate receives more than 50% of the votes in the first round, two further rounds are scheduled for 20-23 October and 26-29 October to conduct run-off votes.

The results of the election will be announced during the General Assembly by the Election Committee on 1 November.

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