Cash-strapped UK Athletics will bid to stage Diamond League event in 2021 but future of London Anniversary Games and Gateshead event still hang in the balance after loss of £2m-a-year broadcast deal
- UK Athletics will submit bids to stage a Diamond League event before deadline
- But there remains major possibility they will have to give up their place
- Both Anniversary Games in London and Gateshead event cancelled this year
- UKA in financial difficulties after expiration of their £2m-a-year TV contract
UK Athletics will make a submission in the next three weeks to stage a Diamond League event during the 2021 season – but there remains a major possibility they will give up their long-held place on the international events circuit.
The struggling organisation must make a proposal to the Diamond League by October 31 if they want to retain their place for either the Anniversary Games in London or their event in Gateshead, both of which were cancelled this year because of Covid-19.
It is understood they will table a submission for next year’s calendar imminently, but it could yet prove to be a futile exercise in light of the financial difficulties at UKA, which is currently pursuing a new broadcast deal after the expiration of their lucrative £2million-a-year contract last month.
The Anniversary Games at the London Stadium could fall by the wayside even though UK Athletics will bid for a Diamond League event next year
British track star Laura Muir wins the 1500 metres at the Anniversary Games in July 2019
UKA CEO Joanna Coates admitted at the start of last month that Britain could lose one or both of their Diamond League meets, and there are significant doubts separately that the successful Indoor Grand Prix meet could also fall between the cracks.
All indications suggest Gateshead is at major risk of being sacrificed, but to lose London as well would be a significant dent to the sport in this country, which has long been a hub for international athletics.
UK Athletics announced last month that there will be considerable redundancies at the organisation, with their major events staff reportedly among those at greatest risk.