LANE ONE: Show me the money, part 2! Our EXCLUSIVE research on the finances of 14 more International Federations, from Judo to Wrestling

Yesterday, we profiled the financial situation of 14 of the 28 International Federations with sports on the program of the Olympic Games. Today we have the details on the remaining 14, with several in very good shape and some in pretty poor conditions.

The Sports Examiner was the only site to survey the finances of all of the IFs when our first review was published back in 2018. Let’s see how they’ve done since:

(Many of the IFs report their finances in Swiss Francs [CHF], which are quite close in value to U.S. dollars. As of 20 May 2020, 1 Swiss franc = $1.04 U.S.)

Judo ● The International Judo Federation publishes financial statements on its Web site, with the 2018 file the most current. It showed revenue of CHF 29.92 million and operating expenses of CHF 30.85 million for an operating loss of CHF 933,312. There were investment losses as well, but a return of a reserve for major events of CHF 1.96 million, so 2018 ended with a surplus of CHF 293,746.

The balance sheet shows reserves of CHF 4.63 million, but there is also deferred income of CHF 26.1 million, so the IJF has considerable money in the bank.

Modern Pentathlon ● The UIPM shows not a word about finance anywhere on its Web site. The same was true in our last review two years ago. For shame!

Rowing ● The World Rowing Federation (FISA) posts its annual financial statements in the “Publications” section of its. The latest is from 2018, with CHF 6.84 million in revenue and CHF 7.08 million in operating expenses and further investment losses of CHF 494,500 for an annual loss of CHF 736,239. It had a small surplus of CHF ~203,000 in 2017.

However, the federation has reserves of CHF 12.71 million, of which CHF 7.41 million represents the unspent portion of its 2016 Olympic television revenue share. No wonder the statements identify IOC revenue as “core financing” for FISA,

Rugby ● World Rugby has full sets of its financials posted, from 2009. The statements for 2018 are in British pounds (current exchange: £1 = $1.22) and showed £27.43 million in revenue and expenses of £89.97 million for a massive loss of £62.54 million (~ $76.31 million). That was on top of a loss of £47.66 million (~ $58.17 million) for 2017!

Have no fear, however. Rugby’s worldwide popularity has secured its finances. Even with the losses, it continues to hold reserves of £61.27 million (~ $74.78 million) plus deferred revenue from future events (television and sponsorships) of £167.50 million (~ $204.45 million). Its Olympic revenue is actually quite insignificant.

Sailing ● World Sailing posts its financial statements on its site, but the organization has multiple parts which present individual reports:

(1) World Sailing UK Limited: The 2018 statements showed income of £3.18 million and £119,023 (~ $145,244 U.S.) after all expenses. The balance sheet showed reserves of £351,971 (~ $429,510).

(2) World Sailing Event Management: In 2018, this division collected revenues of £3.06 million and ended with a surplus of £2.72 million (~ $3.32 million). This amount was transferred to World Sailing Limited, as this division was closed.

(3) World Sailing Limited: The statements showed income of £3.44 million, but a loss for the year of £4.63 million (~ $5.64 million). Reserves were used to cover the deficit, leaving a balance of £4.34 million (~ $5.30 million).

There is some money there, but not a lot.

Shooting ● The Munich-based International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) posts financial statements, but a little late. The last posted statement was for 2017, showing revenue of €882,061 (~$ 966,271 U.S.) and expenses of €5.61 million (~ $6.15 million) for a loss of €4.73 million (~ $5.18 million).

However, once the pro-rated share of €4.00 million (~ $4.38 million) from the IOC television revenue is added in, the loss shrinks to €731,788 (~ $801,652). The balance sheet for 31 December 2017 noted €10.22 million in reserves (~ $11.19 million). This federation is very much dependent on its IOC television share.

Swimming (and diving, artistic and water polo) ● The Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) posts its financials on its Web site, with 2018 the last reported year. Revenue was CHF 32.62 million, way down from the CHF 78.31 million for 2017, when the FINA World Aquatics Championships was held.

Where FINA realized a surplus of CHF 21.01 million for 2017, expenses in 2018 were CHF 45.70 million and the resulting loss was CHF 13.08 million. This was covered by reserves, and FINA is still in a strong financial position with CHF 55.87 million on hand and another CHF 51.16 million set aside for digital and development projects (which may or may not be undertaken in the future). No problems here.

Table Tennis ● The Lausanne-based International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) publishes its financials on its corporate Web site. The last posted was for 2018, noting $21.35 million U.S. in revenue and $20.14 million in expenses for a surplus of $1,214,107.

The ITTF has a solid reserve of about $17.30 million, including a carefully-managed $10.27 million remaining from its 2016 Olympic television rights share.

Taekwondo ● World Taekwondo now posts its annual financial statements on its site, with amounts shown in Korean won and U.S. dollars. For 2018, WT had $10.19 million in revenues (including $3.82 million in IOC TV money) and expenses of $10.31 million for a small loss. However, tax benefits flipped the ledger to a small gain of $60,053 for the year.

The federation has $6.07 million in reserves and another $7.65 million remaining from its 2016 Olympic television rights share. It is fairly heavily dependent on IOC television rights money.

Tennis ● The International Tennis Federation (ITF) publishes its financials on its Web site. The 2018 edition showed very impressive income of $72.84 million, of which only $5.78 million was from its Olympic television share, and was mostly from the Davis Cup and Federation Cup national team events. Expenses were $72.63 million, including the Davis Cup and Federation Cup prize monies. After taxes, the operating surplus at the end of the year was $100,000.

But the ITF suffered financial and investment losses that threw the annual total to a sizable loss of $8.36 million. However, it still shows reserves of $49.47 million, plus another $5.78 million held for its 2019 Olympic television share.

While the Olympic revenue is important to the ITF, its financial future is primarily tied to the Davis Cup and Federation Cup events.

Triathlon ● The International Triathlon Union (ITU) posts financial information on its Web site, including audited financials for 2018. The figures showed $8.04 million in operating revenue – including $3.82 million from IOC television rights – and $7.71 million in expenses. A modest gain on non-operating activities meant the year ended with a surplus of $346,893.

The ITU balance sheet indicates reserves of $4.47 million, plus $7.04 million carefully remaining from its 2016 IOC television payments. The federation has managed its finances quite responsibly, but needs the IOC money to operate.

Volleyball ● The Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) does not post its financial statements as a downloadable item on its Web site. However, it was possible to see the audited financials for 2017 in its online compilation of its 2018 World Congress proceedings.

Those statements show the FIVB as one of the richest federations, with 2017 income of CHF 62.83 million, with CHF 27.1 million from television rights sales and CHF 6.14 million from sponsorships. Only CHF 4.88 million came from Olympic TV rights.

Expenses were CHF 58.21 million (22.86 million for competitions and 9.70 million for staff salaries), and after investments, there was a yearly surplus of CHF 6.09 million. The balance sheet showed reserves of CHF 117.00 million for the period ending 31 December 2017. Very, very impressive.

Weightlifting ● The IWF is – along with Handball – one of the two federations which have stated they will not need IOC financial assistance in 2020. For all the other faults he has been accused of, former IWF chief Tamas Ajan was a careful spender and was well aware that the federation could be cut off from IOC funding at any point.

The last set of financial statements posted was for 2017, but the financial report to the IWF Congress for 2018 is available and refers to the (unseen) audited financials. This showed a rough year in 2018, with $4.10 million in revenue and operating expenses of $9.19 million, plus an investment loss (unrealized) of another $1.41 million. That adds up to an annual loss of $6.50 million. Ouch!

Of that operating cost of $9.19 million, 24.5% was spent on anti-doping.

Overall, however, the IWF showed reserves of $29.54 million. But the reality is that the federation lives off of its Olympic television revenue share. But few other federations have been thrifty enough to have more than three years of operating costs in reserves.

Wrestling ● United World Wrestling does post its financial statements on its Web site, but the last year which is available is 2017. Those statements show a loss of CHF 3.22 million for the year, off of CHF 4.92 million in revenue and operating costs of CHF 8.55 million, plus depreciation and investment results.

There was a surplus of CHF 8.71 million in 2016, due to the receipt of the IOC’s television revenue share (wrestling got CHF 15.07 million in 2016).

UWW shows healthy reserves of CHF 35.34 million on its balance sheet, equal to almost four years of operating expenses, which is quite good.

There you have it: 28 summer Olympic federations, of which only two – Athletics and Modern Pentathlon – do not show financial statements or summaries somewhere on their Web site. Part III of our overview of IF finances will analyze the health of the group and provide some rough rankings of the richest and poorest of the governing bodies of international sport.

Rich Perelman
Editor

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