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Clubs seek legal advice after insolvent race management company leaves them high and dry

Precision Timing were one of the leading race management firms in the country and supplied services to more than 160 events annually.

The Derry city marathon was just one high-profile event Precision Timing was involved in.
The Derry city marathon was just one high-profile event Precision Timing was involved in.
Image: Oliver McVeigh/SPORTSFILE

ATHLETICS CLUBS AND race organisers around the country are facing the prospect of losing thousands of euro after one of Ireland’s leading race management companies confirmed it’s going into liquidation.

Precision Timing Limited provides an online registration, payment processing and electronic timing solution for marathons, triathlons and cycling events.

The company, formed in 2007 and based in Clare, times more than 160 events every year, including national races such as the Cork city marathon.

As well as providing timing systems on the day of a race, Precision also supplies clubs with an online registration portal for athletes to pay their entry fee.

That money is held by Precision and is then paid back to the club after their fees are deducted.

A creditors’ meeting has been scheduled for 16 October and Richard Maguire of Maguire Caulfield Brown will be nominated as a liquidator.

Some clubs have been waiting for payments as far back as June.

In a statement released to The42, Athletics Ireland acknowledged they are aware of the situation but because of the nature of the proceedings are reluctant to comment further.

“Athletics Ireland has regrettably learned that Precision Timing has ceased trading,” it read.

“Precision Timing has supplied services to Athletics Ireland for events for electronic timing systems and results. Athletics clubs, and other sports clubs, have also used Precision Timing’s services for their own individual events.

“We have been made aware that a creditors’ meeting has been scheduled for 16 October. We will await the outcome of that meeting before commenting further.”

At least 30 clubs are believed to be affected with some owed up to €5,000.

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shutterstock_104205359 Source: Shutterstock/Mikael Damkier

For so many organisations, hosting events is the cornerstone of their season and race profits is the primary source of income.

“We earned approximately €3,000 from the race but have yet to receive a penny of it,” Kevin Ecock, deputy chairman of Celbridge AC, says of the club’s annual 5km road race in August.

“Months of planning and organising by volunteers goes into putting these events on and it seems like it’s worth nothing now.

“We have close to 300 members, the majority of whom are juniors, and this is going to directly impact on them. It will impact on us being able to apply for a grant for next year for equipment and training costs.”

Another club, who wish to remain unnamed, are also owed a significant sum of money and are to be left counting the cost of a further financial blow this weekend. Their 10km race is taking place this Saturday but all their entrants have already paid for their entry through Precision’s website.

Athletics Ireland have used Precision for some of their own events but insist they’re not owed anything while Triathlon Ireland weren’t aware of any issue.

Cork City Council were Precision’s biggest clients having timed the Leeside marathon since 2012. Event manager Gina Johnson admits the developments were ‘disturbing’ but maintained they’ve never had any problems with Precision.

But underlying issues in the company’s accounts may have stretched back further than June.

As the family-owned company grew and expanded from its base in Kilrush, they became a market leader and started offering a further range of services including an online results and images website.

But the Companies Registration Office revealed to The42 that Precision Timing Limited didn’t submit its 2014 annual return document and has been in danger of an involuntary strike-off.

Precision Timing’s Facebook and Twitter accounts were deleted at the weekend and nobody in the company was available for comment.

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Ryan Bailey

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