April 17, 2006 – Two-and-a-half years after Canada hosted the 2003 Road World Championships in Hamilton, ON, the two businessmen that spearheaded the event are claiming they are still owed monies.
The Hamilton Spectator broke the news on April 15, 2006 that Giuseppe Ferrara and Giancarlo Serrafero, of GCG Management Inc., were never paid for their out-of-pocket expenses and consulting fees despite numerous attempts.
Ferrara and Serrafero claim they spent $400,000 of their own money in order to bring the 2003 Road Worlds to Hamilton, and have not been reimbursed including agreed to consulting fees. They claim that money due to them should have been paid as per their agreements prior to any legacy funds being transferred to the CCA-Hamilton 2003 Road Cycling Foundation and the National Cycling Centre Incorporated (both organizations each received approximately $642,000)
Ferrara and Serrafero, whose fierce determination and persistence was the driving force in bringing the Road Worlds to Hamilton Ontario, issued a lawsuit on March 23, 2006 claiming $1 million in damages for breach of contract or alternatively for breach of trust, and $1 million in damages for unjust enrichment. The CCA, Hamilton 2003 Cycling Championships, CCA-Hamilton 2003 Road Cycling Foundation, the National Cycling Centre Incorporated and Brian Jolly (former CCA president and Hamilton Road Worlds Board member) are named as defendants.
Bringing the road worlds to Hamilton took seven years, Ferrara told the Spectator, and although they have received some money, it has not been enough to cover the various expenses that including numerous trips to the UCI’s headquarters to Switzerland in addition to their consulting fees.
“I never planned to make a profit out of it,” Ferrara told the Spectator. ” …we just want the money back that we put into it in the first place.”
During process of bringing the Road Worlds to Hamilton the UCI required that the CCA become involved and GCG claims that formal agreements with respect to reimbursement of their expenses and consulting services have not been fully executed despite numerous requests. Federal funding was a big part of making the event happen and the claim states that “Federal funds” were earmarked for GCG.
The OCA’s Executive Director Steve Merker said that lawyers for both sides have been trying to resolve the dispute. “If money is legally owed then so be it,” said Merker in a phone interview this morning. “We hope that money won’t be spent on lawyers and court fees that could otherwise be spent on valuable cycling development.”
Jim Edney of Harris+Harris LLP representing GCG was quick to counter saying, “The event and subsequent legacy funds and everything else associated with the Hamilton 2003 Road Worlds would never have materialized without the efforts of GCG. This must be recognized and addressed fully before any other considerations which would not have been possible without their actions.”
Edney said there was an initial request for time to consider the situation from the lawyers representing all defendants except the Hamilton 2003 Cycling Championships but nothing was forthcoming and all defendants are in the process of being served. The lawyers representing Hamilton 2003 Cycling Championships have also been in touch with a “wait and see” approach according to Edney.