Big blow to CI athletics

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The sudden withdrawal last week of Ansbacher, their major sponsor, following a change of ownership, has left the CIAC looking to find £4,500 in the next two days to secure ‘reduced’ prices for airline seats.

CIAC team manager Andrew Winnie said: ‘I have some important decisions to make in the next 48 hours, mostly financial.

‘I found out last week and Ansbacher’s manager has apologised for the late notice and he says the matter is out of his hands because of new ownership.

It is a major, major problem.

It costs £48,000 to compete in the league and Flybe require their deposit this week to secure prices for us between £120 and £150 a person per trip.

‘The airlines are strangling us; it was £70 just a couple of years ago.

It’s worse for the Guernsey athletes as it costs them £200 each! ‘It is a huge commitment and a lot of money to find, we just don’t have it.

£150 is unrealistic and parents just won’t pay it.

As I say I have some big decisions to make in the next couple of days.’ The CI men’s team missed promotion to Southern League Division I by the skin of their teeth last season, finishing bottom in one of their final matches when their leading athletes were competing in the Shetland Island Games.

The CI ladies turned in a good performance in their final match at Bedford last July to maintain their place in Division I.

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