UK Athletics remains upbeat despite jarring Financial Year results
UK Athletics (UKA) has reported a substantial £3.7 million loss for the 2022-23 Financial Year.
The Diamond League’s Birmingham race, a flagship one-day series in athletics, incurred a a loss of approximately £800,000, while the World Indoor event experienced a financial setback of £500,000.
Despite the success of the July Diamond League event in London, which boasted a sold-out crowd exceeding 50,000 fans, the UKA still faced losses ranging from £100,000 to £500,000 from the high-profile gathering.
Compounding these challenges, the absence of a title sponsor since the departure of Müller in 2022, coupled with the loss of a £3 million-a-year broadcast deal with the BBC in 2020, further strained the event’s financial viability.
UKA Chair Ian Beattie sought to allay concerns about the organisation’s financial viability, however. He attributed optimism to a contract extension with Nike spanning from 2030 to 2040, which involved a significant upfront payment.
While projecting a predicted loss of £1.6 million for the current financial year, Beattie expressed confidence that the organisation would achieve a break-even point by 2025-26. He acknowledged the need for a swift adjustment of the financial model to align with the disappearing revenue streams, emphasising the ongoing efforts to adapt to the changing landscape.
“We’re coming through a very tough period where revenues have just disappeared. We’ve lost sponsorship money and broadcasting money,” Beattie commented.
“The model hasn’t been changed quickly enough to reflect that. And then we’re left with a cost base that’s too high for the income coming in – being blunt. But we’re not having sleepless nights. Everybody’s working very hard to keep us resourced, and we’re moving in the right direction.
“We’ve closed the year with cash in the bank of £6.5 million. Now that’s going in quite the opposite direction from the accounting loss. And that was due exclusively to Nike. We renegotiated our agreement and they made a significant cash payment to us.”
In addressing the financial situation, Beattie also acknowledged the potential for some British athletes, particularly cross-country runners and teams at junior championships, to seek additional funding in the future. He also clarified that preparations for the British Olympic and Paralympic teams for Paris 2024 would remain unaffected.
Image credit: Paul Foot