Moynihan calls for sport funding hike

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The Independent Online

British Olympic chief Colin Moynihan claims the Treasury must increase funding for sport by the end of the month if there is any chance of Britain achieving the target of coming fourth in the medals table at the 2012 Games in London.

A bid for almost double the current funding for Olympic sports has been submitted to the Treasury and an announcement could be made in Gordon Brown's pre-Budget report on Monday.

Lord Moynihan, chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA), said his organisation and UK Sport, which distributes funding to elite sport, drew up a plan after speaking to all 26 governing bodies of Olympic sports and as a result of that Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has put a proposal to the Treasury.

Moynihan told PA Sport: "We need clarity and the funding support for the Olympic programme as soon as possible.

"If it is not announced on Monday then we need it by the end of this month. We cannot afford to go into the new year with uncertainty.

"It is vitally important because governing bodies need to know that the funding will be available for the next six years so they can secure coaches, support staff and identifying the athletes."

Moynihan said the money itself did not have to be available immediately, just the promise of funding, and he stood by his decision to target fourth position in 2012 - Britain came 10th in Athens.

"Fourth is a realistic target and we said that with the full support of the governing bodies," he added.

"I believe it is attainable but we cannot afford anything to go wrong if we are to meet that target and we cannot afford to lose even six months of preparation."

UK Sport currently spend around £23million a year on supporting elite athletes, and are also taking over responsibility for the £20-£25million spend on developing potential Olympic athletes.

It is understood that the Treasury are being asked for around double those amounts.

Most of the cash would go towards striving for new medallists but some would also be spend in trying to bring sports such as handball up to Olympic qualifying standard.

Meanwhile, Moynihan appears to have completely changed tack with his 'Clearing the Bar strategy'

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