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FINA income plunges 87 percent in 2020, but surplus expected this year

Another leading Summer Olympic International Federation (IF) has posted a substantial loss for 2020, with the International Swimming Federation (FINA) revealing a deficit for the year of CHF21.5 million (£16.9 million/$23.9 million/€19.7 million).

The figure has emerged within a few days of disclosure of a net loss of CHF13.5 million (£10.6 million/$15 million/€12.3 million) by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

This is likely to become a familiar pattern in light of the disruption to international sport caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In FINA’s case, not only was Tokyo 2020 postponed, but that had the knock-on effect of forcing the federation’s own 2021 World Championships, also earmarked for Japan, to be put back to 2022.

FINA treasurer Dale Neuburger said in his report that the federation’s financials were expected to be impacted by COVID-19 “at least until the year 2022.”

He added: “The competitiveness of the market in which FINA operates is a daily challenge and needs our full attention.”

Since 2019, an entity called the International Swimming League (ISL) has been running events, providing a significant new earning opportunity for top swimmers.

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FINA’s income plunged from CHF68.7 million (£53.9 million/$76.4 million/€62.8 million) in 2019 to just CHF8.96 million (£7 million/$10 million/€8.2 million), with event income down more than CHF60 million (£47 million/$66.7 million/€54.8 million) to below CHF6.5 million (£5.1 million/$7.2 million/€5.9 million).

Expenditure was slashed too, from CHF75.7 million (£59.4 million/$84.2 million/€69.2 million) to CHF28.1 million (£22 million/$31.2 million/€25.7 million).

Spending on development activities fell only slightly, to CHF6.6 million (£5.2 million/$7.3 million/€6 million), while administrative expenses were also shaved only marginally, from CHF8.96 million (£7 million/$10 million/€8.2 million) to CHF8.42 million (£6.6 million/$9.4 million/€7.7 million).

Cash/financial asset levels remain extremely healthy, though, at CHF137.6 million (£108 million/$153 million/€125.8 million) at the end of 2020.

At the same time, capital amounted to some CHF85 million (£66.7 million/$94.5 million/€77.7 million).

The 2020 figure is the biggest of three consecutive annual deficits posted by FINA.

For the present year, however, the federation is budgeting for a modest gain of CHF1.47 million (£1.15 million/$1.63 million/€1.3 million), with a bigger surplus of just over CHF12 million (£9.4 million/$13.3 million/€11 million) anticipated for what is now the World Championship year of 2022.

FINA appears to be budgeting for an International Olympic Committee (IOC) contribution from Tokyo 2020 of around CHF38 million (£30 million/$42 million/€35 million), split between 2021 and 2022.

The accounts disclosed that “in liaison with the COVID-19 situation”, the IOC granted FINA a loan of $1 million (£706,000/€822,000) for 2020.

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