Athletics: Moorcroft opens way for Norman

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The Independent Online
The house is continuing to fall in upon British athletics. That much was made clear yesterday by Dave Moorcroft, the man left trapped in the rubble when the British Athletic Federation collapsed with debts of pounds 1.74m in October last year, 10 days after his appointment as chief executive.

And the possibility that Andy Norman might again become involved in the promotion of Britain's major meetings must be a particularly painful prospect for the former 5,000m world record holder to bear.

"The building is up for sale," Moorcroft said, referring to the BAF's Birmingham headquarters. "We're paying rent to the administrators to work from there."

Moorcroft, now head of UK Athletics 98, an interim body funded by the UK Sports Council, has been working with a staff reduced from 36 to seven.

Norman was sacked as the BAF's promotions director four years ago, after being implicated in the suicide of Cliff Temple, Moorcroft's biographer and close friend. Norman has become an increasingly influential figure again, working as a consultant for Channel 4 and as an agent for such leading competitive lights as Jonathan Edwards, who last month called for his return to the promotional vanguard of the sport.

That scenario could yet materialise. The future promotion of televised events in Britain is to be handled outside the new governing body and a five-year contract is in place to use API, the sports marketing and sponsorship company run by Alan Pascoe, the former European 400m hurdles champion whose competitive career Norman helped to polt.

Asked whether the new body would have the right to veto appointments made by an agency working on its behalf, Moorcroft said: "These are some of the discussions that we're having now. I'm certain the people who are managing the events wouldn't wish to have people involved who were not perceived to be the right people.

"But talking specifically about Andy, he has a very definite role in athletics, and a number of athletes and organisations like Channel 4 have used him because of the skills he's got. And I think these organisations should be free to do that."

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