World Sailing President Kim Andersen has been under a lot of pressure with regard to the apparent critical financial situation of World Sailing during his tenure.
Following a highly critical article in the Norwegian Sail Magazine, the president of World Sailing has replied to the criticism in a video interview with seilmagasinet journalist Mikkel Thommessen.
In the interview with Norwegian Seil Magazine (seilmagasinet.no/) Mr Andersen describes how they are tackling the World Sailing financial crisis, now intertwined with the effects of the coronavirus COVID-19, and the effect of the delay of the Tokyo 2020 Games to 2021.
In the original article, it was claimed that large cost overruns had forced borrowing from the World Sailing Isle of Man reserve fund to cover the shortfall.
And that as a result of the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics – rescheduled to July 2021 – the situation was now precarious and that urgent measures were needed to save the organisation.
The Isle of Man reserve fund was built-up during Arve Sundheim’s time as WS secretary general. Sundheim spent more than 12 years as Secretary General retiring at the end of 2007.
The article claimed that the careful management of reserve funds was no longer the case and the money was spent by today’s Board of Directors and CEO and had brought World Sailing to the precarious position it was now in.
World Sailing Vice President Scott Perry listed a number of necessary immediate measures.
1. Reduction in employee wages by 20 per cent, 2. Transfer of funds from the government to emergency aid for small businesses, 3. Renegotiation of the lease at the London offices, and 4. Pre-payment from the IOC.
In the Sail Magazine video Mr Andersen explains what steps are being taken to bring World Sailing back on track.
In particular, they were talking with the landlords of the London office regarding a rent reduction, were also in the process of recruiting a new CEO, and under the UK government coronavirus measures they were furloughing most staff.
Regarding the essential funds from the IOC, which were being relied on to fund the World Sailing shortfall. Mr Andersen suggests that in the worst-case scenario, it may be necessary to borrow money with the security of the future income from the IOC.
The IOC Tokyo Games payment is estimated at €10 million (£8.8m) but may be less due to increased costs for the delayed Games and is now expected in September 2021.