W Series suffering ‘significant’ financial issues in race to finish season

All-female series’ most recent accounts showed net liabilities of over UK£7.5m at the end of last year.
  • No guarantees the season will continue beyond Singapore, or if drivers will receive all of their prize money
  • Creditors said to be awaiting unpaid bills for thousands of pounds dating back months
  • Multi-million pound investment reportedly deal fell through at the last minute

Serious doubts have arisen over whether the all-female W Series will be able to finish its third season after chief executive Catherine Bond Muir admitted it was fighting to secure enough funding to continue.

The series’ most recent accounts, filed with Companies House on 5th September, show the W Series had net liabilities of more than UK£7.5 million (US$8.1 million) to December 31st 2021. According to the Telegraph, this 'in line with expectations given the business is in the startup phase' but ‘significant’ funding issues and debts of several thousand pounds to a number of creditors dating back months mean the W Series is struggling to stay afloat.

One of the W Series’ biggest creditors Whisper, the production company founded by David Coulthard and Jake Humphrey, will not be sending any of its regular 15 to 20 strong crew to Singapore for the next upcoming race, the Telegraph said. The W Series' hospitality partner, Velocity Experience is also reportedly owed a significant sum of money.

Current fluctuations in the value of the sterling are not making the job of Bond Muir any easier and a multi-million pound deal with an unnamed American investor is said to have fallen recently through at the eleventh hour. However, Bond Muir is confident the series will survive.

“We’re having lots of conversations at the moment and I’m very optimistic. We’ve had to fight from day one. It has always been a struggle but we’re fighters,” she told the Telegraph.

Although, she could not guarantee that the season would continue to the double-header in Austin and Mexico if Jamie Chadwick was to wrap up the title this weekend.

It’s also not confirmed as to whether the drivers will be paid all of their prize money, with series offering a total prize pot of US$1.5 million, with US$500,000 of that going to the overall winner.

“We’re looking at our budgets,” continued Bond Muir. “We’re confident that we’ll continue to raise money.

“You have to understand W Series is a brand new sport. Tennis has equality now because Billie-Jean King fought for those rights 50 years ago.

“Football is slowly starting to become more equal. Rugby? We saw recently that England’s women flew economy to the World Cup where their male counterparts flew business.

“It takes time. We’re only in our third season. But we have had a huge impact already and we are a force for good.”

W Series coverage will continue as normal this weekend. The series declined to add further comment when approached by The BlackBook.

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