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UK Athletics will not give up London Stadium without a fight

The new head of UK Athletics (UKA) said the organisation’s finances would take “a hefty blow” if she can not stage July’s Anniversary Games at the London Stadium.

Chief executive Joanna Coates who previously worked for the London Stadium told BBC Sport she is “not prepared to walk away” from talks aimed at resolving a dispute with West Ham over the venue.

West Ham are principal tenants and enjoy primary use of a venue owned by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).

“We still want to continue conversations to see whether or not it is possible that we can all have our events,” said Coates

The Premier League haven’t said when their season may restart, so while there’s a hopeā€¦ we don’t want to walk away.

“It’s been reported a lot of the conversations are between ourselves and West Ham. They’re not actually, they’re between ourselves and… the LLDC because we contract with them.

“So if government is saying that we can have mass gatherings, we still really want to hold that. It is very important for us, it’s important for athletes.

“If we don’t have the Anniversary Games in July that is not good because that’s a big income generator for us.

“We do understand that the Premier League are controlling fixtures so there’s a lot of parties at work here, and we understand that West Ham want to play their remaining fixtures. But we are still having conversations in the background that we want the Anniversary Games to go ahead.”

UK Athletics is furloughing a quarter of their office staff this week as they look to cut costs, but says there is no immediate threat of bankruptcy.

“From a cash position, we’re in a very strong position at the moment,” she said. “So I don’t think that’s right for us to go to (funding agency) UK Sport and start asking for additional funding.”

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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

2 comments on “UK Athletics will not give up London Stadium without a fight

  1. I think it’s about time Joanne Coates and the LLDC are clutching at straws and should be thinking of the country and the situation the whole country and the whole world is facing at the moment. The British tax payer and specially those who live in London could do with a major cash boost at the moment. Once we are clear of the Coronavirus and we are allowed to attend sports events, the tax payer should not be forking out to get the London Stadium transformed from football to athletics and back again. In fact, the best thing to do financially would be to sell the London Stadium to West Ham United. The money from the sale can be used to buy much needed supplies and equipment to help rid the world of the Coronavirus and would save tax payers having to pay for the upkeep and the expenses needed to run the London Stadium. The quicker the London Stadium is sold the better it will be for Londoners and the whole country.

  2. Hopefully now Belgium have cancelled their season other leagues will do the same. Absolutely pointless imho to think about finishing it. What they should be doing imho is devoting all of their time to making sure their employees are safe, the stadiums will be safe to return too and modelling options for different scenarios for next season, this season is just a distraction to that more valuable choice.

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