Rich Energy not to blame in OMG Racing BSB split – According to William Storey.
Like most of you, I was enjoying some fine racing courtesy of World Supers at Donington Park yesterday. A couple of cold beers later I was scrolling through Twitter when I saw an announcement from @rich_energy, thanking @OMGRacing for their work over the last two years, but that the whole agreement between them is now at an end.
The path to BSB Sponsorship for Rich Energy has been a tumultuous one. Now isn’t the time to drag up the past dealings with F1, mountain bikes, Zimbabwe, tobacco farming, professional gambling or any of the other strangeness you’ll find online.
I sent two messages this morning, one to OMG Racing and one to William Storey. OMG Racing declined to comment, William Storey didn’t. Here’s what he had to say, word for word.
William Storey is the one in the white shirt wearing shoes.
JH : I think the first question is obvious: Can you share your reasons for parting company with the OMG Racing team mid season?
WS: We had been working well with OMG for 2 years. We originally agreed deal with them in Feb 20.
Last Nov we entered into talks about expanding the partnership and agreed a heads of terms to conclude the deal early this year. Omg spent months prevaricating and not engaging with our lawyers. Our due diligence on them also threw up some rather worrying facts which we availed them of. They didn’t respond. It became clear that they could not conclude the deal we discussed in Nov 21. We spent many months waiting for them which was a waste of time. They could not do deal and our corporate partners indicated they were not appropriate to be involved with the brand. We then heard first hand from people in the paddock that omg had been misrepresenting their position with Rich Energy and slandering the owners. This rendered their position tenuous at best. In the interim we had a global review involving a new structure. Weeks ago we politely informed them that their agreement had ended BUT we wanted to be respectful of the team and gave them to end of October to continue using our brand and we also offered to buy all their stock etc. They refused to acknowledge the repeated very reasonable requests to co-operate and our investors and myself ran out of patience after multiple attempts to engage in a constructive win win solution. We of course recognised that it was sensible to give them to end of season which we offered but their bad faith and refusal to respond to our lawyers rendered the position untenable. Rich Energy has significant backing and we are currently vying for the Championship in BTCC and also at front of grid in Ducati Tri options Cup with Rich Energy Ducati. I am working on deals in Motogp and in elite single seater motorsport. Happy to engage and answer your questions. We have conducted ourselves professionally with omg; it is a shame they haven’t reciprocated thereby forcing our hand. Ever since Red Bull took me to court and corporate investors tried to steal the brand in 2019 I have had multiple parties try to muscle in on the world class brand we have developed. This appears to be continuing and I take it as a compliment to the amazing product and brand we have created. And when they are unsuccessful they try to criticise the brand / myself. Our mission to become market leader continues unabated with world class partners. Unorthodox should not be conflated with untoward! Cheers
JH: I appreciate the detailed response and certainly wasn’t expecting to read that! Why do you think OMG dragged their heals in dealing with Rich Energy lawyers? What was the team doing that Rich Energy concluded as misrepresenting their position with your brand?
WS: I won’t speculate as to why they dragged their heels although many people have contacted me with suggestions. It would be unfair to definitively conclude at this stage but they have repeatedly acted in bad faith and as such the position untenable. Clearly their conduct warranted the outcome and that is a high bar. We have given them every opportunity. Cheers
JH: Okay thanks very much. One final question. Given the widespread coverage over Haas Racing and Rich Energy, lots of BSB fans are going to immediately assume the reason Rich Energy has parted company is as a result of nefarious Rich Energy activity. Can you confirm that your position as title sponsor of OMG Racing became untenable, due to reasonable timelines to respond to the legal stipulations of your contract not being met?
WS: Firstly if the truth over the Haas debacle was public (which I hope it will be in due course) then nobody would even suggest any criticism of Rich Energy. Any suggestion of ‘nefarious’ activity is slander and palpably untrue. Second I have outlined that omg failed to act in a professional manner including failing to respond to basic requests from our lawyers for many months. For that reason and many others including acting in bad faith this has happened. The whole agreement with them has come to an end. They knew this many weeks ago yet failed to engage in any constructive talks. Rich Energy experts [I think William meant to say expects there] integrity and professionalism from all our partners. We are a first class drink that the biggest players in the industry don’t like. A British start up that will continue to be a David v the Goliath’s despite ill informed media criticism. Cheers
JH: Thanks again for your prompt and open responses, Richard.
So there you go, live and direct. Lots of moving parts here. Some we can see and some that we clearly can’t. I get the feeling that in the short term, the riders and the team at OMG are going to be okay as far as the 2022 BSB championship is concerned. I also get the feeling that the divorce between Rich Energy and OMG Racing is about to go postal. I wonder if Rich Energy do mega pints?