Tag Archives: Jo Coates

Exclusive: UK Athletics’ chief was on £226k salary during controversial period

UK Athletics’ controversial chief executive Jo Coates was earning a salary package of £226,143 before she resigned last month, making her one of the highest paid administrators in British Olympic sport, the Guardian can reveal.

The news, which is contained in the UKA accounts for the 2020-21 financial year that will be filed at Companies House later this week, will upset many in the sport given her 19-month reign was characterised by turmoil, infighting and athlete dissatisfaction.

That anger reached a head in September when a group of Britain’s top athletes and coaches told World Athletics president Sebastian Coe of their frustration with Coates and her performance director Sara Symington. Both women also had their defenders but a month later both were gone following a stormy UKA board meeting.

UKA’s accounts show that Coates earned a £147,500 basic salary as well as another £78,663 in pension contributions between March 2020 and March 2021. However, the wider picture is far rosier than expected with UKA reporting an overall deficit of just £103,000 for the financial year. That is considerably better than the result of the previous two years, where the combined losses were over £1m.

Those results also came about despite the organisation experiencing a £9m fall in income due to the global pandemic. However, a combination of only staging one event – the British championships in September 2020 – and dramatically reduced costs for training camps due to travel restrictions meant that UKA was able to cut its costs by just over £9m.

The accounts show that UKA was also able to claim around £85,000 from a number of government schemes, including placing a number of staff members on furlough. And if it wasn’t for unrealised foreign exchange losses of £148k – as a result of the sport holding US dollars to cover costs including those associated with international events and overseas training camps – UKA would have made a £45,000 surplus.

When approached for a statement, UK Athletics confirmed that the accounts for the 2020-2021 financial year will be published on UKA.org.uk and at Companies House this week.

UKA’s chief financial officer Mark Draisey added: “This is a positive outcome for the sport, with our ambition of a break-even position only impacted by the exchange rates affecting our holding in US dollars.

“In terms of our core activities the organisation is coming out of this challenging period with a much stronger financial position to report.”

Ian Beattie appointed chair of UK Athletics

Former chair of Scottish Athletics gets top job at UKA as he replaces Nic Coward

Ian Beattie will succeed Nic Coward as chair of UK Athletics. The former chair of Scottish Athletics will begin his role in October and will oversee a governing body which is run by chief executive Jo Coates.

UKA say the search for a successor to Coward was “specifically designed to attract a pool of diverse candidates” and there was speculation that someone from outside of athletics might get the role. But instead it has gone to a man who has a rich history in the sport, in addition to being a chartered accountant and chief operating officer of Lindsays Solicitors.

Beattie is a member and endurance coach of Harmeny Athletics Club in Edinburgh and has previously been a member of Portobello, Strathearn Harriers, Central AC and Troon Tortoises, serving on the committee of most of those clubs.

He is race director of the West Highland Way Race – having completed the ultra running event eight times – and has completed more than 100 marathons and 100 half marathons.

Beattie takes over at a difficult time for the sport, amid reports of disillusionment among a number of Britain’s best known athletes. He said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to the chair position at UK Athletics. It is an exciting time to be taking on the role and I look forward to helping the organisation provide a positive environment for athletes, coaches, officials and everyone else involved in the sport.

“Having previously chaired one of the home country athletics federations, I recognise the importance of all the athletics bodies in the UK working together, with each of us performing our roles to the highest possible standard.

“My vision is for athletics to be a sport where everyone pulls in the same direction and feels proud to be part of the athletics family in the UK. It is encouraging that the structures are now in place to allow that to happen, and I look forward to helping UKA play its part in achieving this in the years ahead.”

Source: athleticsweekly.com