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Improved outlook for World Sailing

Published on March 31st, 2022

As the international federation for the sport of sailing, World Sailing has been digging out of the financial hole left by an earlier administration. Not in good shape before the pandemic, the slowdown in the sport, and the year postponement of the Olympics, made the hole deeper.

World Sailing is not unlike many (most?) Olympic federations in that it relies heavily on funding from the International Olympic Committee, and with that contribution delayed a year as well, the rubber band had to stretch further.

In this report by insidethegames, they detail how new leadership has taken a critical step forward:

World Sailing is set move into smaller offices in London after releasing itself from a long-term lease agreement that had left the organization with a “huge overhead”.

David Graham, chief executive of World Sailing, told insidethegames that the governing body had left its Paddington headquarters and was in the process of securing a new premises in the English capital as it looks to keep its finances under control.

After leaving the coastal city of Southampton, World Sailing moved into swish offices in central London in 2017.

insidethegames understands that there was still more than five years remaining on that lease, but World Sailing managed to assign it last month. Graham said the costs of staying proved too expensive and that World Sailing needed to leave.

“We have managed assign our lease in Paddington, so we no longer have that huge overhead,” said Graham. The lease was seen a significant contributing factor to World Sailing’s challenging financial situation that left Graham fearing the worst.

As insidethegames reported in May last year, financial forecasts for 2022 included the cost of full rent and business rates which World Sailing claimed was £192,000 ($271,000/€233,000) over budget.

Graham conceded at the time that World Sailing would have gone into liquidation without financial assistance from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after being hit hard by the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

It is thought to have received a loan of around $3.1 million (£2.2 million/€2.6 million) as part of the IOC’s support package, designed to offset the financial impact of the decision to delay Tokyo 2020 by a year on International Federations and other sports bodies. – Full report

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