The International Boxing Association (IBA) spent over CHF 4.08 million ($4.07 million) on ‘Marketing’ and ‘Communication Expenses’ in the current financial year, according to WorldBoxing.Today analysis.
This follows our earlier expose which showed that current IBA president Umar Kremlev’s team have spent millions since he was first elected in December 2020.
The boxing federation has spent CHF 4.08 million in the 9 months till Mar 31, 2022, compared to CHF 1.16 million for the entire previous year (2020-2021), and just CHF 30,900 in 2019-2020 when Kremlev was not president.
This means in the past year and a half, under Kremlev, IBA has spent a total of CHF 5.24 million on ‘Marketing’ and ‘Communication Expenses’ alone.
This has raised questions over the long-term financial stability of IBA under Kremlev.
In December 2021, IBA changed the federation’s acronym from AIBA to IBA, followed by a new-look website in April 2022.
However, the CHF 4.08 million spent during the first 9 months of this year seems rather high for a branding change and new website.
The balance sheets in IBA’s statutory accounts ending June 30, 2021 and ending Mar 31, 2022 reveal this huge jump in expenses:
|Description of expenses |
(before Kremlev became president)
(Kremlev became president)
(till March 31, 2022)
There is no suggestion of any impropriety here. These large expenses may well be legitimate spending by the IBA administration under Kremlev. But one cannot escape feeling the expenses are extraordinary for a federation whose financial situation is still in question.
IBA’s Head of Communications Svetlana Tarasova has defended IBA’s financial record.
In an email to WorldBoxing.Today following our first story on this issue, she said “when there are significant sponsorships, it is normal that there should be significant marketing spending to fulfil the requirements of those sponsorships.”
The sponsorship in question is the controversial deal that Kremlev inked with Russian energy firm Gazprom that may be worth CHF 25 million. IBA has rejected calls for Gazprom to be replaced as main sponsor, despite the possibility of boxing being tainted by IBA’s association with the Russian firm.
Financial stability will be one of the key criteria on which the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will consider whether IBA can organise boxing at Paris 2024.
The IOC is meeting this week, where it “will receive an update on the latest developments in IBA”.
“The various IOC concerns, including the financial dependency on the state-owned company Gazprom, are still not resolved,” the IOC said in a statement.
This follows the controversial election on May 14 that saw Kremlev ‘re-elected’ after his challenger Boris van der Vorst was disqualified from standing one day before the vote.
Kremlev also faced questions from the National Federations in Istanbul, where he seemed exasperated to find his spending questioned.
“A couple of Federations are asking a lot of financial questions and asking us about expenses for marketing for boxing development,” Kremlev told the IBA Congress.
“My main task is to make boxing very popular. That’s why we spend money on independent experts,” he said.
However, Kremlev provided no detailed break-up of what the millions were spent on.