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UK Athletics won't go bankrupt - chief

 

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UK Sport chief Katherine Grainger has suggested governing bodies may face bankruptcy, such is the financial impact of the pandemic. (Guy Hinks/PA)

UK Sport chief Katherine Grainger has suggested governing bodies may face bankruptcy, such is the financial impact of the pandemic. (Guy Hinks/PA)

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UK Sport chief Katherine Grainger has suggested governing bodies may face bankruptcy, such is the financial impact of the pandemic. (Guy Hinks/PA)

New UK Athletics chief executive Joanna Coates has dismissed fears of bankruptcy amid the coronavirus crisis.

The body will start furloughing staff this week as it looks to cut costs. Yesterday, British Cycling put 90 staff on furlough ahead of an anticipated £4m drop in revenue while UK Sport chief Katherine Grainger has suggested governing bodies may face bankruptcy, such is the financial impact of the pandemic.

But Coates, just three weeks into her role, believes while cash reserves need to improve UKA will survive.

"We're not in a position where we're looking at bankruptcy, we're not one of those Katherine is alluding to because we have a strong commercial arm," she said. "Our reserve position is low and that's something I will be looking at with Nic Coward, the chair, to address in the near future. It needs to be much stronger but we're not worried about bankruptcy.

"With furloughing we probably would have done it a little sooner had I been in the post for a longer time. We had to get all the paperwork and have the conversations to go live. We're looking at 10-12 but that's nearly a quarter of our head office staff.

"It's not one of the first things I wanted to do. We're looking at a small amount of head office staff and anyone from the performance side. That's a bit trickier with it getting Lottery funding.

"At the moment, senior staff and the rest of the staff aren't taking pay cuts but this first round of furloughing is the start of a series of measures we'll have to undertake.

"If we don't have some of our major events it will definitely have some impact."

Belfast Telegraph