ISL says it will pay debts as vendors threaten legal action
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Swimming – 18th FINA World Swimming Championships
By Alan Baldwin
(Reuters) – The International Professional Swimming League (ISL) has pledged to meet financial obligations and improve processes as some unpaid suppliers threaten legal action.
The series, which ends its second season with finals in Budapest this weekend with some of the world’s best swimmers, acknowledged the trading difficulties in a statement.
“Our headlong approach to delivering the 2020 season may have caused friction with some suppliers, but we will honor all obligations, which represent less than 5% of last year’s overall spend,” he said. .
“Going forward, and before planning begins for the third season, we will have to resolve any outstanding issues from the past.
“We will adjust our internal organization and processes to improve our operational discipline in order to continue to be a reliable partner for all of our suppliers.”
London-based content agency LiveWire Sport (www.livewiresport.com) said in a statement Friday that it had instructed lawyers to take legal action against ISL for unpaid debts from 2019.
“We have been waiting for more than 10 months for full payment for services provided to ISL for Season 1. This despite ISL acknowledging the debt and declaring that it intends to pay the remaining amount,” he added.
Jean-François Salessy, general manager of the Energy Standard team and agent for French swimmer Florent Manaudou, resigned last week with an open letter to wealthy Ukrainian founder of ISL, Konstantin Grigorishin.
“ISL is a boat without governance but with a single shareholder and generals without powers,” he wrote in the letter sent to the media.
“I don’t want to be part of your bogus movie anymore.”
The ISL said all sports rights holders have faced significant challenges this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting schedules.
The swimming pools had been closed and the meetings canceled and the ISL had made “a huge additional financial commitment” in 2020 to support its athletes in the run-up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.
“We had hoped for significant revenues, but along with the impact of the pandemic, our business operations have also failed significantly with most projections failing to materialize,” he said.
“The way we approach the market will have to be different in the future.”
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