Clarity has recruited the Thomas Cook Sports travel management team as a unit, following the collapse of its parent company, Thomas Cook.

The company said a string of Premier League football clubs, as well as Premiership and Pro14 rugby clubs, were facing “travel chaos” due to the collapse of the holiday giant on 23 September.

As a result, the Manchester-based TMC, which already manages business travel for many sports clubs’ admin staff and directors, will create a new division called Clarity Sports.

Pat McDonagh, chief executive of Clarity, said: “Players, fans and officials of multiple teams across football, rugby and cricket have all been left in a very difficult situation following the demise of Thomas Cook Sport.

“The logistics of moving sports teams from game to game is a complex operation and because we were already working with many of these clubs, we were able to move quickly to offer jobs to those impacted by the Thomas Cook situation. They quickly joined our team and together we had the industry knowledge to step in at short notice and give practical solutions.

““For instance, Ulster Rugby were due to travel to South Africa for Pro14 fixtures against the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings and we have been able to work very closely with their CEO Jonny Petrie and his team to ensure very quickly and effectively that there has been a full continuity of service and that the integrity of all arrangements has been maintained through the short transition period.

“We have enormous sympathy for the fans who have also been affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook Sport and understand that the clubs and the CAA are doing everything they can to ensure they don’t miss out on the games they’d already booked packages for.

“Right now our focus is on team travel and logistics, however where possible we are assisting the clubs with future supporter travel plans.”

Clarity has employed 17 new staff, all from Thomas Cook Sport, to form the new Clarity Sports division, headed by Rob Slawson, formerly head of Thomas Cook Sport. They will be based at Clarity’s Manchester HQ.

Slawson said: “My team found out about the situation with Thomas Cook at the same time as every other employee and we were given no time to tie up any loose ends before exiting the building.

“Clarity is a business we already knew and it was a natural move for me and my team. We know this is one of many situations where the skills and expertise of former Thomas Cook staff are going to be in demand across the travel industry.”

Clarity said it is already looking at the next phase of its sports division, and could set up a supporter-based operation, offering ticket and travel packages to “bucket list” sporting events worldwide.

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