European Championships Podium Finishers: We Don’t Support a 2023 Event to Pay 2022 Prize Purse
Five podium finishers from the 2022 European Championships, all of whom still await their prize purse winnings from the August event, told the Morning Chalk Up they are not in support of organizer Carl Saville’s plan to host a 2023 competition in hopes of generating enough revenue to pay the £40,000 prize purse from 2022.
Why this matters: According to Saville—who on October 31 asked the athletes to ring in as to whether or not they would support his proposal to push forward with another event in an attempt to pay his outstanding debt—athletes are “massively in favor of the proposal,” he wrote in an email to them earlier this week, adding that there “has only been one rejection so far.”
- As a result of this alleged support he received, Saville said in the email that it’s “highly likely” he will host another competition in 2023.
What the athletes are saying: Three-time CrossFit Games athlete and the winner of the 2022 European Championships Uldis Upenieks said that his reply was, “My answer is that I expect my money before 2023.”
- As to whether he supports a 2023 event and whether he would compete, “no and no,” he said. “I have been there three times, and each time there was a mess, but this year was on another level.”
- Women’s winner Aimee Cringle also said she doesn’t support a 2023 event, however, she never replied to Saville’s October 31 email. “I did not respond. I felt my lack of response sent a louder message than anything I could have said via email,” Cringle told the Morning Chalk Up.
- She added: “In any other profession if you turn up and do your job, you get paid. This is my livelihood and this is the same for the other athletes who stood on the podium at The European Championships…Irrelevant of the specifics of the situation with The European Championships, our sport must commit to higher standards in event running and prize money statements. Big ticket events that attract interest from athletes with large prize purses and don’t deliver ultimately hurt the industry as a whole and in many cases will push amazing athletes away from the sport due to the uncertainty it creates.”
- Third place finisher Nicole Crouch is another who doesn’t support the 2023 plan. She replied to Saville saying, “I”m very sorry but I simply cannot agree and support your proposal. Following the sequence of events, it’s almost insulting to ask of us athletes. I’m therefore sorry that I will not be in agreement with this proposal.”
- She later told the Morning Chalk Up: “I want nothing to do with the competition following events and this not being the first time they’ve cut podium winners short. I also think it’s an insulting ask for us to swallow our pride and fake sell a competition we don’t believe in to reclaim any prize money.”
- Further, Crouch said she has also spoken with men’s bronze medalist Evander Harewood, who according to Crouch, also “declined the offer.”
- Similarly, women’s silver medalist Jennifer Muir said: “I know of a few athletes who responded saying no. Haven’t heard anyone say yes.” And while Muir hasn’t yet replied to Saville’s email, she told the Morning Chalk Up she “definitely doesn’t support another competition going ahead and will never be attending again.”
- Finally, men’s silver medalist Tom Watson said he also doesn’t support a 2023 competition and has “emailed Carl today to this effect.”
Remind me: After the 2022 competition ended with a “large amount of debt,” Saville told the athletes he was seeking solutions, including looking for sponsors, investors or a buyer, but when he was unable to do this he proposed the plan he revealed on October 31 that would pay out based on spectator attendance, and thus would in no way would guarantee the debt could be paid. His proposal:
- 100% stadium sell out = £100,000 prize pot
- 90% stadium sell out = £80,000 prize pot
- 80% stadium sell out = £60,000 prize pot
- 70% stadium sell out = £40,000 prize pot
- 60% stadium sell out = £20,000 prize pot
Saville’s email finished by saying: “If the larger percentages of you wish against this, then of course we will respect your collective decision and hand the event over to the liquidators, as the above option would only work with everyone’s approval. Therefore please reply to this email with your preferred option and we will make the announcement before the 18th November.”