World sailing

Improved budget outlook for World Sailing >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Questionable leadership and circumstances found the sport of sailing’s international governing body in financial trouble, and the new board and chief executive focused on getting out of the hole.

Much criticized for moving its headquarters from Southampton to London, World Sailing would remain in the city but move to a more affordable space. Regarding the current tax situation, this report comes from insidethegames:


World Sailing posted a smaller-than-expected deficit for 2020, while noting that it expects its Tokyo 2020-related Olympic dividend to be no lower than that it received for Rio 2016.

The UK-based body, which elected China’s Quanhai Li as president late last year after a turbulent and relentless campaign in the shadow of the pandemic, said the “successful delivery” of Tokyo 2020 had “mitigated the critical financial risks associated with the cancellation of the Games”.

After making what are called “reasonable enquiries”, World Sailing executives are now of the opinion that “the projected Tokyo 2020 Olympic split will not be lower than the Rio 2016 split”.

Accounts for 2016 and 2017 show that World Sailing received Olympic revenue totaling just under £11.85m ($16.1m/€13.9m) over those years.

This new revelation that World Sailing has “cautiously projected” its cast from Tokyo to “the same level” as Rio 2016 may be of interest to those involved in other Summer Olympics sports, who may be concerned that the postponement of the Games this year and the additional expenses incurred could eat away at their respective Tokyo 2020 dividends.

World Sailing’s comments may well help to allay these concerns.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) paid out $540m (£397m/€466.5m) in total to International Federations (IFs) after Rio 2016, a slight increase from $520m (£382m/€450m) split following the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The new accounts put World Sailing’s deficit in 2020 at £864,000 ($1.2m/€1m) – well below 2019’s figure of £2.5m (€3.4m). of dollars/3 million euros), as well as 1.2 million pounds sterling (1.6 million dollars/€). 1.4 million) loss that chief executive David Graham warned last November he expected.

This was still enough to reduce the reserves carried over to less than £1m ($1.35m/€1.17m).

While operating income fell from £3.7 million ($5 million/€4.35 million) in 2019 to £2.2 million ($3 million/€2.6 million euros) – including a decline in sponsorship revenue to less than £1 million ($1.35 million/€1.17 million) – operating costs fell more sharply, from £6.3m ($8.6m/€7.4m) to less than £3.3m ($4.5m/€3.9m) ).

The new accounts also included confirmation that World Sailing had made arrangements to borrow $3.1m (£2.3m/€2.7m) from the IOC.

This loan is said to be interest-free and repayable over five years from December 2021 in equal installments.

Directors’ emoluments, relating only to the chief executive, have fallen from over £250,000 ($340,000/€294,000) in 2019 to £118,397 ($161,000/€139,300).

A note in accounts filed separately by a subsidiary, World Sailing (UK) Limited, said the reduction was “due to a six month vacancy in 2020”.

Graham, whose appointment was announced in May 2020, replaced former British Olympic Association member Andy Hunt after leaving the post in 2019.