Manuela Fundación agreed to pay around € 7million for Mitchelton-Scott before deal collapsed

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Marca has revealed details of the deal that would have seen Manuela Fundación take over ownership and sponsorship of Team Mitchelton-Scott (now Team BikeExchange) in 2020 before the deal collapsed. According to a Heads of Terms deal published by the Spanish newspaper, the Manuela Foundation would acquire the team and its WorldTour license for a total of € 6,980,000 before team owner Gerry Ryan canceled the deal.

In June 2020, after months of reports on the Mitchelton-Scott team’s search for a new sponsor, the team made a surprising announcement that they had reached a “long-term deal” with a goal-oriented organization. Spanish nonprofit called Manuela Fundación. Led by business mogul Francisco Huertas and his wife Maria Angustias González, the Manuela Foundation was to become the title sponsor of the men’s and women’s teams, and the announcement included footage of what would become the team’s new kit.

Within days, however, team owner Gerry Ryan had rescinded the deal, saying team leaders had “concluded the relationship would not continue.” Less than two weeks later, the team bid farewell to Managing Director Shayne Bannan and CFO Alvaro Crespi, who were said to have been involved in closing the deal, while Brent Copeland and Darach McQuaid joined the team at direction.

At the time, Huertas chose to make little public comment on the situation, and although members of Manuela Fundación’s camp – like former pro Stefano Garzelli – expressed frustration with the way things turned out. unrolled, details remained scarce. Some 16 months later, however, Marca’s report offers part of Manuela Fundación’s story.

According to the report, the Manuela Fundación was to make an initial payment of € 3,180,000 for the team in July 2020 and an additional € 600,000 paid “for expenses related to 2020 and UCI expenses for the show. [of] WorldTour 2021 licenses ”for men’s and women’s teams, the balance of a total amount of € 6,980,000 will follow. The deal would have seen the Manuela Fundación take back ownership of the entire squad structure, with Garzelli and his former professional colleague Emilio Rodriguez ready to join the team’s management.

It turned out that none of this happened. Instead, Ryan renewed his commitment to keeping the team afloat, and Mitchelton-Scott became BikeExchange for the 2021 season.

Huertas told Marca that he then entered into talks with Deceuninck-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere, but those talks apparently did not result in a deal.

As such, the Manuela Fundación has not yet entered the WorldTour as initially planned, but it is nevertheless becoming increasingly involved in sport. Having sponsored junior teams in Spain for some time, the Manuela Fundación will support a team competing at continental level in 2022.

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