Comcast Reportedly Offers To Provide 70% Of Team Sky's Budget
Team Sky "may have been handed a lifeline" as parent company Comcast could reportedly "part sponsor" the team beyond '19, according to Alex Ballinger of CYCLING WEEKLY. The British WorldTour team’s main sponsor is "due to pull out" at the end of the '19 season, but reports now "suggest new plans for the team." Italian newspaper La Gazetta dello Sport reported Comcast, the American telecom that recently bought broadcaster Sky, may offer 70% of the team’s budget through to '21 while a new sponsor is found. Comcast reportedly offered Team Sky Principal Dave Brailsford enough cash to fund 70% of the budget for the '20 and '21 season, "giving him the opportunity to find the remainder from another sponsor" (CYCLING WEEKLY, 1/9).
'THINK WITH HIS WALLET': CYCLIST's Joe Robinson reported Deceuninck-Quick Step Team Manager Patrick Lefevere is "hoping" that Team Sky and Brailsford find a replacement sponsor for Sky for '20, although only with a budget that will mean he can no longer "think with his wallet instead his head." Lefevere, 64, is hoping the team will continue to be a fixture in pro cycling, "albeit on a much more equal playing field." Lefevere said, "When the announcement was made, I had journalists contacting me expecting me to be happy about this but it's not true because this kind of thing is never good. You wouldn't celebrate Manchester United or Real Madrid disappearing, so it's a sad story. I hope Dave finds money but just £25 million ($32M) and not £40 million ($51M). This means he would no longer think with his wallet but instead with his head when buying riders" (CYCLIST, 1/9).