Lord Coe backs UK Athletics board to solve money woes after £1.8million loss

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World Athletics president Lord Coe has backed the UK Athletics board to solve their money woes.

UKA’s latest financial results show a £1.8million loss and it has just £430,000 of reserve cash – down from £2.2m in the space of a year.

CEO Jack Buckner and chair Ian Beattie are leading the recovery effort after mounting outgoings of £19.6m contributed to the post-tax losses.

Lord Coe said: “The finances shouldn’t have got into the position they did. I think they will stabilise it and keep growing the sport. They have a huge advantage in that they have a very good group of athletes coming through.

“I’m personally delighted UKA has got what I think now is a really good leadership team.

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“Jack is a close friend of mine and he is competent, passionate about the sport and, if you look at people like Ian, Mark Munro (chief operating officer) and Cherry Alexander – thankfully back in the fold again – they know they have a big challenge ahead.

“I chatted to Jack at some length about it, he knows his big ambition has to be to stabilise the finances.

“He is very active in terms of finding new sponsors. They have brought on board some external support.”

Meanwhile, Coe believes Kenya can solve any doping problems despite the country recognising the issue is “disfiguring” the sport.

Kenya – third in the track and field medal table at last year’s Tokyo Olympics – has so far avoided a blanket ban despite having 55 athletes serving suspensions.

The Athletics Integrity Unit is working with Kenya, with the government promising to invest $25m over the next five years to combat doping, and Coe is treating them differently to Russia, who have been banned from competing in athletics as a nation since 2015.

“Ultimately there is always a line in the stand, we drew that over the Russia issue. I see the two situations very differently though,” said Coe.

“The Kenyans are very conscious this is disfiguring, I’ve had detailed discussions with the federation at ministerial level and at governmental level.

“The fact they are committing $25m over five years is a declaration of intent. I’m satisfied. We have all the people that matter who can help resolve this in the right space. They are in a line.

“Ultimately, there is always a line in the sand, there is for any federation. We are working very well and collaboratively.

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“I will take my lead from the AIU as well. We have to resolve this and this is neither good for Kenya or global athletics.

“They stand for a lot in our history and I’m really pleased there’s a recognition at every level that matters in Kenya that this has to be resolved.”

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