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Volume 7 No. 149

Finance

Photo: TEAM SKY

Team Sky published its annual accounts, revealing a "considerable increase in the already substantial team budget," up to £34.5M for '17, while the accounts withheld information on the operating expenses divulged in previous years, according to Peter Stuart of CYCLIST. The accounts, published through Companies House, revealed figures for Tour Racing Ltd. (Team Sky's trading name) for the full year of '17 -- revealing an increase in budget (total revenue) from £31,084,000 in '16 to £34,496,000 in '17. In previous years, Tour Racing Ltd. revealed details of its operating expenses -- in '16, this showed that £24M was spent on "Staff and rider costs." No doubt this information "may have proved useful in rival teams deducing the level of salary on offer from Team Sky," and it is "no enormous surprise" to see the information now withheld. In '16, this was the primary cost to Team Sky, followed by "Race costs (travel and accommodation)" which were £2.1M and "Bike and performance equipment," which amounted to £2.3M. The main change visible this year is in overall budget. Given that "most other operating costs are likely to be similar," it "seems reasonable to assume that a substantial portion" of the extra £3M was spent on increased rider salaries. The portion of sponsorship money coming from title sponsors Sky and 21st Century Fox increased by just under £2M, but the proportion of money from other sponsors and other income "also increased substantially." The split of income between the two major sponsors "changed very mildly." Sky Paid £20.9M in '16 and £21.5M in '17. Compared to '16, 21st Century Fox increased from £2.5M to £3.8M in '17 (CYCLIST, 9/19).