Lord Coe cuts staff by half as post-London reality bites

 

Sebastian Coe has overseen a drastic 50 per cent cut in the number of staff employed by the British Olympic Association as the new chairman attempts to reduce the body's financial "fragility" in the wake of the London Games.

The BOA oversaw Britain's sporting success at last summer's Olympics but funding such a large home team and failure to attract as much commercial revenue as expected left the body facing financial difficulties. Clive Woodward and chief executive Andy Hunt are among those who have departed since the Games as staff numbers have been reduced from the mid-nineties to 45 in what Coe described as a "traumatic" time for the BOA.

"It has been a very difficult period for this organisation," said Coe, who is seeking to take "the fragility out of the balance sheet. We have had a large number of people that left. For some it has been traumatic."

Coe succeeded Colin Moynihan as chairman of the BOA in November and inherited an organisation that faced significant challenges before next year's Sochi Winter Games and the Rio Olympics in 2016. A new plan for the next "quad", the period up to the Rio Games, has been agreed, with the BOA aiming to raise £42m to help send significant, but smaller, teams to the next Winter and Summer Games and, with reduced costs, leave it on a sturdier financial footing.

Coe insists he is "very confident" that target can be reached – the BOA announced Nissan as its first new sponsor, with another to be revealed shortly. Both will be tier one sponsors – an approach adopted from Coe's time in charge of London 2012, with different levels of backing – and some of Nissan's backing will be in kind, via transport for the team at Games time.

"It is tough out there," Coe said, "and most sports will tell you the same. A lot of businesses that partnered around the Games have taken a pause [to] see what is the next move for them." Coe's aim is to get the BOA out of a cycle of "feast to famine, famine to feast". "We have to be more creative," he said. "We should always be living within our means."

Under Moynihan and Hunt, staffing costs rose dramatically to £5.4m for 2011 and even higher for 2012, for which figures are not yet available. It is expected that the 2012 figures will reveal a record funding deficit of £2m. Hunt will be replaced in due course once the new role has been agreed with the board.

Coe is to meet the RFU chief executive, Ian Ritchie, next month to discuss how the British rugby sevens squad will be selected, as well as consulting with the other home unions. Britain plan to field men's and women's teams. The qualifying process has not yet been spelt out, but it is likely the RFU will oversee the process as the Football Association did during the last Olympics. Rugby's Rio debut is more complicated for Team GB because of the need to come through qualifying at tournaments in which England, Wales and Scotland compete separately.

Rory's place is at Rio tee party

Seb Coe has urged golfer Rory McIlroy to compete at the Rio Olympics whether for Britain or Ireland. "I hope Rory's there," Coe said. McIlroy may yet be deemed eligible to play for GB despite representing Ireland in World Cups. The BOA is looking into eligibility rules.

Robin Scott-Elliot

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
News
Sir James Dyson: 'Students must be inspired to take up the challenge of engineering'
i100
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?