Report: Mitchelton-Scott boss Bannan booted after Manuela Fundación fiasco

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The Mitchelton-Scott team is undergoing a management overhaul in the wake of its failed sponsorship deal with the Manuela Fundación; a deal that was called off less than a week after it was announced.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, general manager Shayne Bannan and financial manager Alvaro Crespi are out at Mitchelton-Scott. Brent Copeland, former manager of the Bahrain-McLaren team who was pivotal to that squad’s inception, will take over as Mitchelton-Scott’s general manager, while Darach McQuaid will also join the team in a management role.

Mitchelton-Scott confirmed the “structural change” on the evening of Wednesday evening Australian time, saying that McQuaid and Copeland had joined the team as of July 1.

“McQuaid will step into a newly created Chairman position as a direct liaison with team owner Gerry Ryan,” said a team press release. “Copeland will join as the new General Manager after six years as General Manager and more recently Director of Operations at Bahrain-McLaren. Shayne Bannan, who initially set-up GreenEDGE Cycling alongside Ryan and has served as General Manager since its inception in 2012, has been pivotal to the success and unique culture of GreenEDGE Cycling and will be moving onto new challenges.”

Bannan and Crespi were both closely involved with the failed deal – which team owner Gerry Ryan has since called off – that would have seen Mitchelton-Scott become Team Manuela Fundación.

Mitchelton-Scott announced on June 11 that it had secured a new sponsor in Manuela Fundación, a not-yet-launched non-profit based in Spain. Less than a week later, however, Ryan decided to scuttle the deal. CyclingTips understands that the would-be partnership was arranged by Bannan without fully consulting Ryan.

It has since emerged that the deal struck by Manuela Fundación secured the purchase of Bannan’s New Global Cycling Service, which runs a variety of operations for the squad and manages a wide array of team assets—but does not actually own the team license, which is owned by Ryan. Last week, AS reported that Francisco Huertas, the Spanish businessman who runs the Manuela Fundación with his wife Maria Angustias González, had offered €10 million to secure the license from Ryan.

It appears, however, that Ryan has no interest in further dealings with Manuela Fundación, and as of Wednesday his team is under new management as well.

“We are looking forward to having the experience of Brent, who we believe will fit immediately into our proud culture, coming into the team as the new General Manager, as well as Darach into the role as Chairman and are even more excited to see the action back out on the road in just a few short weeks,” Ryan said. “Shayne’s contribution to this team is immeasurable and will have a lasting impact on our legacy, and I am incredibly grateful for his involvement and influence over so many years.”

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