PracticeConsultingWorldsport.com throws in the towel

Worldsport.com throws in the towel

Cash starved dot.com sports information service, Worldsport.com, last week had its London operation wound-up by receivers just days before the final ceremony of the Olympic Games in Sydney.

Leonard Curtis was appointed as receiver of Worldsport Networks Europe Ltd in July, when almost half of the 180 staff were made redundant.

Joint administrative receivers and partners Stephen Swaden and Keith Goodman said they could not find a backer to keep the company alive, which provided websites for the General Association of International Sports Federation (GASIF).

The failure of Worldsport.com follows a slowdown in second-round venture capital funding for dot.com start-ups following new economy market jitters earlier this year.

Swaden said: ‘Although we did secure funds to pay the remaining staff for three months, we were told today that no investors could be found to take business forward.’

The venture was a wholly owned subsidiary of Dublin-based World Sport Networks Ltd, which is not in receivership but had invested ‘substantial’ money in the company.

Swaden said: ‘Many dot.coms are started by enthusiasts who in the end have an imperfect grasp of the needs of running a business, but that is not true here.’

He explained that cost-cutting measures had allowed the business to keep afloat through the summer, and estimated company assets were worth in the region of £500,000.

‘However, large amounts were being spent on staff for which the income stream was inadequate,’ he said.

Swaden added that the company did not have a nominated financial director, but accountants within the company were responsible for the control of the company finances. Chief executive officer Robert Harding resigned in July.

Worldsport.com was set-up two years ago by entrepreneur Alan Callan whose team included Olympic medallist and former head of Channel 4 sport Adrian Metcalfe.

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