Inside Lines: It's all systems Coe as BOA face post-Games shake-up


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The Independent Online

The Paralympics is clearly set to be another glorious triumph for Sebastian Coe, who has become the most sought-after figure in sport with the vacant chairmanship of the British Olympic Association now high on the list of post-Games job opportunities for the overlord of the rings.

Initially he had no thoughts of taking over from fellow peer Lord Moynihan but influential voices in Whitehall and at Westminster are urging him to stand when Moynihan formally steps down in November, believing he is the ideal figure to take the organisation forward to Rio in 2016. But I understand Coe will not tout for the role or contest an election. He would have to be installed by unanimous choice, and this may prove difficult with other candidates – including Moynihan's close friend, the award-winning businessman Richard Leman, an Olympic hockey gold medallist who is now president of GB Hockey – already in the frame.

From Coe's viewpoint it could only enhance his campaign to become president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 2015. He would need to drastically overhaul the cash-strapped BOA's finances – their 2012 operation was impressive but costly, worsening an anticipated seven-figure deficit – and supervise a staff shake-up that could see the exit of some highly paid executives, including Sir Clive Woodward.

He would also have to replace the director of communications, Darryl Seibel, who is returning to the United States in October. If so, he has a ready-made candidate in Jackie Brock-Doyle, his communications chief at Locog, whose sports director, Debbie Jevons, would also be in line for a move to the BOA.

Paralympics screen test

An audience of 11.2 million – their highest for over a decade – for the Paralympics opening ceremony has chuffed Channel 4. With revenue from ad breaks, it makes the £5m outlay worthwhile.

But whether this reflects a genuine interest in these Games among sports fans will be known when we see the comparative viewing figures from last week when Channel 4 went head-to head with BBC2's live telecast of the Diamond League athletics meet in Zurich featuring Usain Bolt et al, then ITV1 and Sky Sports screening Chelsea's Uefa Super Cup match with Atletico Madrid.

The hope has to be that viewers are not simply tuning in on the coat-tails of a great Olympics but because they are looking beyond the disabilities to a genuine sports event. Sadly, I wouldn't bet on it.

Boxing's back in business

Unlike football, boxing doesn't have a transfer window but there has been no lack of comings and goings in the blow business.

European super-middleweight champion and Beijing Olympic gold medallist James DeGale has left Frank Warren for rival promoter Mick Hennessy, while his erstwhile stablemate Tony Bellew, the British light-heavyweight champion, has switched to Eddie Hearn, whose Matchroom organisation has secured an exclusive two-year deal with Sky. But we hear that Warren is in pole position to capture the sport's hottest property, Olympic super-heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, and bronze medal middleweight Anthony Ogogo.

Red Devil you don't know

Sir Bobby Charlton has followed Lord Coe as the recipient of the prestigious Arthur Bell Trophy for services to sport, awarded by the Sport and Recreation Alliance. Now, not many people know that, because the S&RA, so publicity-conscious when known as the CCPR, curiously declined to invite the media to cover the presentation.

Shame that, as Sir Bobby even opted out of Manchester United's trip to South Africa to collect the trophy.