World Sailing’s 2019 accounts have been published on the governing body’s website, underlining the fragile state of its finances a month or so before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
The consolidated income statement – showing a deficit for the year of just over £2.5 million ($3.2 million/€2.75 million) – is broadly in line with a forecast circulated at a Council meeting in Bermuda in the final quarter of last year.
Operating income of £3.7 million ($4.8 million/€4.1 million), including £1.47 million ($1.9 million/€1.6 million) from sponsorship and £1.01 million ($1.3 million/€1.1 million) from events, was more than offset by £3.01 million ($3.9 million/€3.3 million) of operating costs and £3.26 million ($4.2 million/€3.6 million) of employment and other administrative expense.
The statement of financial position, and associated notes, is more revealing.
This shows that at the year-end, net assets were down to just £1.84 million ($2.4 million/€2 million).
Net current assets were actually in negative territory to the tune of just over £772,000 ($1 million/€850,000).
This followed a sharp reduction in cash, from £2.53 million ($3.26 million/€2.8 million) a year earlier to £564,170 ($727,780/€620,587), and a more than doubling of creditors due within one year to £2.79 million ($3.6 million/€3.07 million).
Debtors rose from just over £500,000 ($645,000/€550,000) to £1.46 million ($1.88 million/€1.6 million), with unspecified trade debtors soaring from £68,825 ($88,784/€75,707) to £835,670 ($1.08 million/€919,237).
Creditors included £1.41 million ($1.82 million/€1.55 million) of deferred income.
Notes to the accounts confirm, as reported by insidethegames last November, that the body has taken out a bank overdraft facility for £900,000 ($1.16 million/€990,000) at base plus one per cent interest.
The facility is secured against the investment portfolio of World Sailing’s investment trust.
It appears that £100,091 ($129,117/€110,100) had been drawn down at the end of the year.
With COVID-19 having decimated the 2020 sports calendar and forced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, World Sailing was one of 15 International Federations (IFs) to be allocated a loan in July by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Around $63 million (£48.8 million/€53.7 million) was allocated to IFs in all.
These financial details come just ahead of a Presidential election in which incumbent Kim Andersen is facing no fewer than three challengers, with finance likely to be a key issue.
One candidate, Uruguay’s Scott Perry, says bluntly in a statement of goals entitled “Back to Basics” that “unless we get our finances in order nothing else will matter."
He goes on: “At present we are living on borrowed funds from the IOC.
“That is never a healthy situation to be in.”
The other two challengers are Quanhai Li of China and Spain’s Gerardo Seeliger.
The result of what will be a virtual election is scheduled to be announced on November 1, with the first round of voting starting on October 9.