February 24, 2024

UK Athletics reported record losses but stayed afloat by renegotiating its Nike kit deal

The deficit is more than double the loss recorded in 2021-22 and comes just two years after the UK secured £2.2 million in cash reserves.

Laura Muir won the women’s 1500m at the 2022 Birmingham Diamond Meet which cost the UK nearly £800,000 for the stage.(Getty Images)

UK Athletics has revealed an annual loss of £3.7 million just seven months before the Paris Olympics.

The British governing body for the Games’ most popular sport needed to renegotiate a deal with kit sponsor Nike to avoid bankruptcy. UKA boss Ian Beattie said: “The accounts at 31 March will show net liabilities of £3.2m. This is clearly not sustainable going forward.

The deficit for 2022-23 is more than double the loss recorded in 2021-22 and comes just two years after the UK secured cash reserves of £2.2 million.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland enjoyed their best World Championship performance since 1993 just over three months ago. Ten medals in Budapest, including golds for heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and men’s 1500m star Josh Kerr, took them to seventh place in the world table. However, this paper successfully filled in the cracks in the house where hosting events accounted for £2 million of the total losses.

The Birmingham Diamond League, the test event for the Commonwealth Games, suffered losses of nearly £800,000. The in-house world tour lost about half a million.

Beattie continued: “We expect a loss of £1.6 million for this year, 2023-24.” “And a loss of £400,000 for next year, 2024-25 – and then moving to a break-even position in 2025-26. But we have a reasonable expectation that the company is still viable and we have spoken to insolvency practitioners to make sure we are right on this.

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The source of this confidence is UKA’s long-term kit deal with Nike which has been extended until 2040 and renegotiated to pay a significant chunk up front. It allowed the organization to close the financial year with £6.5 million in cash in the bank.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson won the British World Championships in Budapest in August(David Ramos/Getty Images)
Josh Kerr celebrates winning gold in the 1,500 meters at the World Championships(Palestinian Authority)

“There’s a big difference between what a profit loss account shows and what a cash position does,” Beattie added. “The reason we are confident about this is because we have a strong cash position that gives us time to return to profitability before we run out of cash.