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Aqua Blue threaten legal action over rider delayed pay claims

Joe Robinson
14 Nov 2018

Company CEO Tim Timmerman resigns with riders still seeking wages after team closure

Aqua Blue Sport team management and former riders are set for a legal battle over unpaid wages as company CEO Tim Timmerman resigned this week amid criticism of the team on social media. 

Former Aqua Blue rider Andy Fenn posted an 'open letter' on Twitter on the weekend to address the issue that the team's riders had yet to be paid for their salaries for the month of October, saying the UCI would not release funds from its bank guarantee until the team had submitted all necessary paperwork.

Fenn was one of 16 riders and a host of staff to be left without contracts for 2019 after the team announced its closure with immediate effect over the summer.

In response to Fenn's letter, Aqua Blue boss Timmerman emailed all riders and staff to announce his resignation, outlining that the team would be starting legal proceedings against a team member due to 'slander and breach of confidentiality'.

Timmerman's email, which was released to Cyclingnewsdidn't directly address the reasons for his resignation, stating only, 'in this type of environment, I can and will no longer work.'

It did, however, take aim at Fenn for taking the situation to social media while ignoring the efforts of the team to rectify the situation.

'To my major disappointment, some people find it necessary to solve the current situation in the media,' wrote Timmerman.

'It goes without saying, that this is certainly not helping, and most of all drawing a one-sided story, disregarding all the efforts we have made for a clean follow up and decent execution of the agreements.'

Timmerman also pointed out that the team's August salaries were paid without delay. He said that it was in fact the UCI that had delayed subsequent payments by failing to inform the team that riders would have to fill out further paperwork in order to receive wages.

He added that the team had chased the UCI 10 times for information regarding the remaining wages.

Cyclist has approached the UCI for a statement regarding these claims but has yet to receive a response.

The email also stated that €400,000 had been provided by the team towards the UCI bank guarantee, a fund that is used to pay riders and staff in the event of team closure and should, Timmerman says, cover wages till the end of the season.

He also said that '[team owners] Rick and Lisa Delaney have personally been paying all salaries, and the only thing that comes back is negativism, gratefulness has been far-fetched, although it has been a great project for 2 years.'

Timmerman concluded the email by saying, 'No need to further contact me, as I will not be able to be of any assistance! Have a tremendous day.'

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