BOA Reveal USD8m Funding Shortfall Ahead of London 2012

March 3, 2011

The British Olympic Association (BOA) have admitted that British athletes are facing a funding shortfall of up to US$8m which could affect their preparations for next year’s Olympics in London.

The BOA plans to support at least 500 athletes in the country’s biggest Olympic team in more than a century with extra athletes featuring in sports where Britain has not previously been represented but can take part next year as host nation.

BOA chief executive Andy Hunt told the BBC: “We’ve still got a gap to close.

“I’m absolutely certain we will have a full team at the Games and the money will not affect that.

“The level to which we can support the team is where the challenge comes.”

The BOA, which will provide help with training and medical treatment for athletes, does not receive any money from the Government, getting funding from commercial sponsorship.

The BOA is understood to be in talks with its partners, including London 2012, the Government and sponsors about ways to fill the gap, with Hunt adding: “We need to make sure we can really do our best to make sure the team can compete on a level field of play.

“The British public will judge the success of the Games on the success of the team.

“At the end of the day, you’ve got to have actors to go on that stage. 

“It’s a bit like creating a theatre. 

“The actors are the athletes and that’s why it’s so important they are properly supported.”

A spokesman for the BOA went on to say: “We always knew that the funding needs for Team GB would be greater in 2011 and 2012 as we will be sending a team to the London 2012 Olympics that is going to be twice the size compared to what we had in Beijing – 550 athletes for London versus approximately 300 in Beijing.

“We delivered a balanced budget in 2009 and 2010 and we are confident we will meet our financial requirements in 2011 and 2012.

“We always knew that 2011 and 2012 would be exceptionally challenging due to the financial constraints which we inherited with regards to the Joint Marketing Programme Agreement with the London 2012 Organising Committee: this sees us receive $30.9m in cash over seven years compared to the $115.5m that the Canadian Olympic Committee received for a much smaller Olympic Winter Games.

“Despite this the BOA has lived within its means, has strengthened the organisation to be world class and continues to work with our supporters and partners to select and support a full team in London 2012. We are confident we will succeed.”