Sir Bradley Wiggins is disputing an increased almost £1 million claim made by the liquidators of one of his companies, Wiggins Rights Limited, and is currently selling a property to raise funds. The purported theft of team kit and motor vehicles related to another of the 2012 Tour de France winner’s businesses is also currently being investigated by police.
In October 2020, Wiggins Rights Limited – the company used to exploit the five-time Olympic gold medallist’s name and image rights – entered voluntary liquidation, owing over £654,000.
In an update filed by the liquidators at Companies House last month, following a review of the company’s books and records, the claim against the business has now been increased to £979,953.53.
A spokesperson has told Cycling Weekly that Wiggins disputes the increased claim.
The administrators, Georgina Eason and Michael Sanders of accountancy firm MHA MacIntyre Hudson, are seeking money from Wiggins for an overdrawn director’s loan account. As part of the former Team Sky rider’s Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) to pay off his debts, an offer has been accepted on the sale of a property – described as a “primary asset within the IVA” – which is expected to pay back over £600,000.
In the update the administrators also identified that the company holds the legal title to the trademarks, ‘Bradley Wiggins’, ‘Wiggins’, and ‘Wiggo’, and have instructed solicitors Lewis Silkin to assist with extending the trademarks beyond their expiry, while a valuation agent has also been asked for advice regarding the value of the intellectual property.
The report shows that the administrators “sought to interview one of the company’s directors” as part of their investigation but were greeted with “a lack of response”.
An update into New Team Cycling Limited, the company that ran the now-defunct Team Wiggins and which entered into administration at the same time as Wiggins Rights Limited, also noted that one of the company’s directors – either Wiggins or his ex-wife Cath – were sought for interview along with a “key agent” of the cycling team, and that formal correspondence was again issued after a lack of response. According to the update, New Team Cycling Limited owes HMRC £45,000 and eight other creditors almost £600,000.
The report, also issued last month, identified “cycling equipment and motor vehicles” as company assets and said that administrators were seeking to recover them for “further potential realisations”.
A spokesperson for Wiggins claims that the equipment and vehicles were stolen and that a police investigation is ongoing.
At the time of both companies’ liquidation, in October 2020, a spokesperson said that Wiggins’ involvement in the businesses was “not on a day to day”, and that “experienced professionals were trusted to run both the financial and operational elements of the businesses. It must also be made clear that an investigation into lost assets is still underway. For clarity this in no way affects Bradley’s personal solvency.”
Earlier that year, in July, the retired pro was also the subject of a bankruptcy petition from HMRC, with London’s High Court hearing how he had been facing financial struggles.
The hearing lasted five minutes, with Wiggins’ lawyers telling the judge that they had met with HMRC representatives on 14 July to agree a solution. The petition was dismissed, and Wiggins was ordered to pay £916 to cover HMRC’s costs from the hearing.
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.