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Ineos Grenadiers' budget has hit €50 million for the first time

High wages and billionaire owner see team's budget soar for 2019 season

Joe Robinson
8 Oct 2020

The budget of Ineos Grenadiers broke €50 million for the first time in 2019, the team's latest accounts have reported.

First analysed by Inrng, the accounts for Tour Racing Limited, the holding company of the British WorldTour team, were released on Companies House and saw a vast bump in their budget.

The team operated on an annual budget of €50.78 million for the 2019 season, an 18% increase from 2018's €42.95 million budget, as pointed out by Inrng. This saw the team's budget effectively double from the 2012 season, the first year of Tour de France triumph, where the team operated on a €26.3 million total, and the biggest physical increase in expenditure since the team's inception.

Last season saw the team's previous lead sponsor Sky depart the team after almost a decade in the sport. The broadcasting company was replaced by petrochemical company Ineos, headed by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

This switch in sponsor to Ineos also saw the team's accounts reported in Euros as opposed to Pounds, again as pointed out by Inrng, as the company operates in Euros despite being a British company.

Unlike years gone by, these most recent accounts did not include a detailed breakdown of how the budget was formulated. In 2019, for example, the 2018 accounts showed that Sky provided £27 million of the team's £38 million budget while £7.8 million was provided by performance sponsors such as Castelli, Pinarello, Castelli and Science in Sport.

It has also been some time since the team revealed any staff and rider costs, in effect, the wage bill. The last wage bill report was in 2016 when the team reported £24m in 'staff and rider costs'. 

This figure is undoubtedly higher now with multiple Grand Tour riders on its books – Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal, Richard Carapaz and Chris Froome – and the signing of multiple World Champion Rohan Dennis.

While Froome may be departing for 2021, the incoming signings of Tom Pidcock, Richie Porte, Dani Martinez and Laurens de Plus suggest the wage bill is only likely to increase in the future.

As for 2019's €50 million budget, the 18% increase in spending was likely down to Bernal signing a lucrative five-year deal with the team and Thomas extending his contract off the back of his Tour success in 2018.

It was reported earlier this year that five of the top 10 best paid riders in the world raced for Ineos Grenadiers – Froome, Thomas, Bernal, Carpaz and Michal Kwiatkowski. It is believed the combined salaries of these five riders amount to roughly €15.3 million per season.

For owner Ratcliffe these figures are manageable considering the expenditure of his other sporting project, French football club Nice. The middling team's yearly budget totals £19 million per year despite the team sitting in eighth in Ligue 1.

To contextualise Ineos Grenadiers's €50 million budget, Tour de France rivals Jumbo-Visma announced in 2019 that it would be upping its 2020 budget to €20 million, under half of its rivals.