The International Skating Union posted an audit report for 2022 on its website, causing concern to organization officials. The income of the ISU has been significantly reduced, and the reason for everything was the unsportsmanlike decision to remove the Russians from international competitions. Without the best skaters and skaters on the planet, the union was in complete decline, and the organization’s patrons, particularly the Russians, simply turned their backs on the federation.
In 2022, the ISU Congress was held in Thailand. During five working days, the participants discussed the most important issues related to the union. As a result, this event cost the federation about 1 million euros, and holding such an event in Europe would have cost several times cheaper. It was in Phuket that the assembly made a fatal mistake, causing suffering not only for Russia and Belarus, but also for themselves. It was the extension of the suspension of our athletes from participating in international competitions.
The auditors confirmed that it was the absence of Russian athletes at the tournaments, in addition to the standard set of reasons for the crisis, that led the organization to one of the worst financial results in its history. “In addition to the sporting aspect of the lack of top skaters among ISU members, this has also led to a decrease in advertising revenue and media rights, especially from Russian sponsors and media partners,” says the report.
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The International Union did not expect such an effect from the removal of Russia. The situation is so serious for the ISU that the organization had to partially liquidate its reserve fund of 3 million euros. “Sanctions against Russia and the absence of Russian skaters at ISU competitions resulted in the organization receiving virtually no revenue from advertising and media rights,” the auditors note.
In addition, already this year the first negative impact will be noticed, which will cost 1.3 million euros. It is also worth noting that this reserve was created in connection with the situation in Ukraine in order to get rid of many losses in the event of a crisis.
Is it time to give back to the Russians?
Summing up all of the above, we can say that the ISU fought for what it found. Every day it becomes clearer and clearer that if the Board of the Skating Federation does not decide on the admission of our skaters next season, then, most likely, the organization will expect a complete financial collapse. Let’s see what is more important for the ISU – principled sanctions against Russia or its own independent existence.