LONDON (Reuters) - The International Swimming League (ISL) said it remained committed to paying outstanding debts after announcing on Tuesday that season three will start in the Italian city of Naples in August.
The pro series, which launched in 2019, had said last November it would "need to close all outstanding issues from the past" before planning season three.
Some unpaid suppliers had threatened legal action and the ISL acknowledged commercial difficulties, with the COVID-19 pandemic presenting a significant challenge.
"Despite the major ongoing financial challenges that ISL, along with all sports rights-holders, are facing in light of the COVID pandemic, we are committed to honouring all our obligations in parallel to planning Season Three," a spokesperson said in response to a Reuters query.
"The continued global economic uncertainty, which is only now beginning to subside, meant that this process is taking us a little bit longer.
"We are determined and committed to working our way through all outstanding issues."
The club-based series features many of the world's top swimmers and held its second season finals behind closed doors in Budapest last November, with a number of short-course world records broken.
The ISL said the regular part of the new season would run from Aug. 26 to Sept 30 in a similar bubble to that set up in Budapest.
A three-week play-off phase involving eight of the 10 clubs will then follow in November before a Grand Final in late December or early January 2022.
Host cities for the play-offs and final have yet to be decided.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)