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SBD Global/October 8, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Clive Woodward Steps Down As Director Of Sport For BOA

CLIVE WOODWARD has stepped down from his role as Director of Sport at the British Olympic Association after six years "marked by medal success and occasional controversy," according to Paul Kelso of the London TELEGRAPH. Woodward announced his departure two weeks after BOA CEO Andy Hunt informed him that his role was "being dissolved as part of a cost-cutting restructuring exercise." It is possible that Woodward may return to the BOA in a part-time role as chef de mission of Team GB at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and possibly Rio if LOCOG Chair SEBASTIAN COE is appointed BOA Chair next month, "as expected." For now, however, Woodward will "concentrate on media work, public speaking and developing his coaching and business ideas." For the BOA, Woodward’s departure is "the start of a restructuring intended to ease the major financial pressures" it faces after '12. The accounts for '11 filed this week show a loss of £421,000 ($665,000) with revenues down £900,000 ($1.5M) and costs rising by more than £1M ($1.6M), with staff costs up by around £800,000 ($1.3M) (TELEGRAPH, 10/4).

WOODWARD TO STAY INVOLVED: In London, Owen Gibson reported that Woodward said that he would continue to chair a British Judo post-Games review, as well as taking up a role as a Team GB ambassador and retaining his position on the IOC entourage commission. Woodward said, "I will now be concentrating on my coaching, corporate speaking, media and other business interests." Outgoing BOA Chair COLIN MOYNIHAN said Woodward's contribution was a "major factor" in the success of British athletes in Beijing and London. Woodward "will remain involved with the BOA in an ambassadorial role and is likely to be used as part of an ongoing attempt to bring in new sponsors," with the rights to the Olympic rings that were subcontracted to LOCOG reverting to the organization at the end of the year (GUARDIAN, 10/4).

NO PERFECT MATCH: Also in London, Alan Hubbard wrote that Woodward "has enough irons in fires not to be first in the Jobcentre queue." Most likely, he "will be taking a call from" England Rugby '15 Overlady DEBBIE JEVANS. Jevans "will be happy to enlist Woodward's expertise in not only constructing the tournament, but helping her sort the current dispute with the Premier League over the use of football stadiums" to host World Cup matches in September '15 (INDEPENDENT, 10/7). In London, Kelso also wrote that the reality of Woodward's time in the Olympic movement "is more complicated than titles or medal tallies." Woodward and the BOA "were never a perfect match, and the only surprise is that divorce took this long." Woodward was "successful within the narrow confines of the organisation, and should take the credit for the exemplary conduct and spirit of Team GB in London." A more critical take is that Woodward "was an expensive vanity hire who did not define a consistently meaningful role, or manage to escape the interminable politics of the BOA" under Moynihan (TELEGRAPH, 10/4).
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