BOA in crisis over Lord Sebastian Coe"s bid for top job: Charles Sale

BOA in crisis over Coe bid for top job

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UPDATED:

22:15 GMT, 20 September 2012

The British Olympic Association are in turmoil just weeks after the momentous success of Team GB at London 2012 because of bitter in-fighting at the top of the organisation.

The divides have been sparked by chairman Lord Moynihan’s surprise decision to quit a year early with the BOA facing financial problems and many staff unsure of their futures in the downsizing after a home Games.

Even with hot favourite Lord Coe waiting to take over and his stardust urgently required to bring in missing sponsorship, the BOA board have been split over the succession process.

BOA lawyers, faced with an unclear rule book, persuaded the directors to keep to their agreed election date of November 7 even when some board members wanted to fast track Coe in a fortnight earlier because of the impending sponsorship crisis.

Hot favourite: Lord Coe

Hot favourite: Lord Coe

The mess was summed up by chief executive Andy Hunt in first rushing through his re-structuring agenda before the election of the new chairman and then jetting off to Brazil on a 2016 Games recce.

Yet his priority had to be to talk over proposed changes with his department heads.

Director of sport Sir Clive Woodward, whose role is not part of Hunt’s leaner blueprint, was due to leave the BOA in any case after London.

But a Coe-led regime would want Woodward to stay on in a part-time capacity as the potential chef de mission for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 and Rio.

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Even if the acrimony between Hunt and
Woodward meant Sir Clive leaving before Coe’s arrival, it’s likely he
would be immediately re-hired for one or two days a week.

To
add to the debacle, Hunt is being advised to consult with Coe before
making any staff alterations. Yet he can hardly do that with GB Hockey
chief Richard Leman due to stand against Coe in the election despite
having no chance of winning.

And
Leman, a board ally of Lord Moynihan, who has influenced him to
challenge Coe, intends to canvass the 40-strong electorate on the
grounds that his leadership style would put more emphasis on minor
sports.

Arch politician
Moynihan’s exit strategy is confusing, to say the least. Having urged
Leman to stand, he was one of those wanting an early election that would
have hurried his foe Coe into office.

To
cap it all, suppliers Next are still trying to shift Team GB scarves,
the BOA merchandise which failed to sell during the Games, by slashing
the price to 50p.

Gold medals for all

The
awards season which stretches from October to May 2013 — when the Sport
Industry Group will be dolling out an absurd 19 gongs — is going to be
one long lap of honour for the Olympics.

So the short-listed Premier
League chief executive Richard Scudamore will know Lord Coe is certain
to be named City AM’s business personality of the year on October 17.

Roy does the rounds

Building bridges: Hodgson

Building bridges: Hodgson

After
the next international week in October, England manager Roy Hodgson and
assistant Ray Lewington intend to visit every Premier League club to
build relationships.

Following
Sir Alex Ferguson’s recent upset at the FA revealing an Ashley Young
injury, Old Trafford is unlikely to be the first port of call, although
Hodgson has said his relationship with Sir Alex remains cordial.

Pitch battle

Grassroots
Gloucestershire rugby club Drybrook keeping their main pitch in
pristine condition for the unlikely England kit launch there this week
meant a recent match between Cirencester third XV and Drybrook seconds
took place on a far less manicured surface.

Sadly, Daily Telegraph
sports journalist Matt Scott, a Cirencester back row forward, lost a
stud in the extra long grass shortly before snapping an anterior
cruciate ligament.

Data supply up for grabs

The
Premier League, on course for a 5billion haul from domestic and
overseas TV contracts, can even make plenty of money from their official
data supply contract.

The
Press Association, who hold the rights, are likely to be outbid in the
current tender by digital media companies Perform or Opta.