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  • Neil Black Stepping Down?

    Hi, long time reader and first time contributor to the forum.

    Just came across an article suggesting Neil Black may step down, in light of the recent controversy surrounding Alberto Salazar. This may of course be lip service, or indeed a convenient excuse for leaving after a poor World Champs (vs his own publicly stated target).

    This brought a couple of questions to mind. First of all, how much control over athletes choice of coaches does UKA have? Are funded athletes essentially centrally contracted, or are they free to use funding as they wish?

    If athletes aren't centrally contracted, could a system where UKA have a more active role in an athletes season have positive implications for championship performances?
    Last edited by Salad_Days; 07-10-19, 16:40.

  • #2
    FYI
    Alberto Salazar: Neil Black to review his future as UK Athletics boss

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/49962599

    Comment


    • #3
      His fullsome support for Salazar does put him in a precarious position, even though I would suggest that everything that Salazar has been actually sanctioned for was already in the public domain (bar the advice not to declare injections as infusions, which was both legally correct but questionable in the "spirit" of the rules). I suppose if Black / UKA considered everything that Salazar had done to be acceptable, and now they discover that they are technically illegal under WADA (even though they weren't actually doping anyone), then his judgement is called into question. Stick alongside that some of the criticisms of UKA athlete performance in Doha (much of it OTT imho) then he might well be considering pastures new.

      Comment


      • philipo
        philipo commented
        Editing a comment
        black could always go back to massaging

      • larkim
        larkim commented
        Editing a comment
        I think there's a bit more to physio than just massaging, but they do say people get promoted up to the point at which they fail...

    • #4
      Apparently its confirmed that he will leave at the end of October after supporting Mo at the Chicago marathon this weekend.

      Comment


      • #5
        Official Statement is at:

        https://www.uka.org.uk/media/news/20...nt-08-10-2019/

        A very short statement so a recent decision, for whatever reason.

        Comment


        • philipo
          philipo commented
          Editing a comment
          great news

      • #6
        That statement is so short and terse it makes one think he might have been pushed rather than going voluntarily. Nothing about all the good work he has done as one usually gets when someone leaves without a cloud ...

        Comment


        • #7
          Originally posted by Occasional Hope View Post
          That statement is so short and terse it makes one think he might have been pushed rather than going voluntarily. Nothing about all the good work he has done as one usually gets when someone leaves without a cloud ...
          Completely this. Even when someone’s pushed you normally get the platitudes........so I suspect there’s been a major bust up somewhere.

          Comment


          • #8
            The bulk iof the article is behind a firewall, but the Times headline says he's been sacked: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/n...ndal-xvgc8jsv2

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by Salad_Days View Post
              This brought a couple of questions to mind. First of all, how much control over athletes choice of coaches does UKA have?
              I suspect what may happen sometimes goes something like this:

              1. Youngish athlete performs at a level that appears to demonstrate great potential.
              2. The senior coaching/development staff at UKA agree that he or she is an outstanding talent but have concerns about their coaching set-up. Either they think the coach doesn't have the expertise required to coach an athlete to elite senior level or the facilities where they are based are inadequate or they train in a squad that isn't conducive to elite level (too big, older member is a malign influence etc.)
              3. If the athlete continues to progress or establishes themselves as an elite performer they are allowed to stay on funding and retain their existing set-up but if their progress stalls they are told that to retain funding they need to go to coach x.

              Worth pointing out that in 1993, the UK coaching establishment were expecting Paula Radcliffe to burn out.
              Last edited by trickstat; 08-10-19, 23:22.

              Comment


              • Stew-Coach
                Stew-Coach commented
                Editing a comment
                Personally, never been a fan of that whole situation.

            • #10
              Originally posted by Occasional Hope View Post
              That statement is so short and terse it makes one think he might have been pushed rather than going voluntarily. Nothing about all the good work he has done as one usually gets when someone leaves without a cloud ...
              Yes when a football manager gets sacked after some poor results, the statement from the club tends to thank them for their hard work during their tenure.

              Comment


              • carterhatch
                carterhatch commented
                Editing a comment
                the phrase I always look for is 'sterling efforts ...' and he doesn't even warrant that

            • #11
              Who will replace Neil Black? Or for this forum Who SHOULD replace him? Hopefully NOT the former weightlifting guy presently dealing with younger athletes who seems to identify junior talent with a dice!

              Comment


              • carterhatch
                carterhatch commented
                Editing a comment
                I would like to think someone with a great deal of technical expertise, a lengthy CV in coaching talented individuals and an ability to inspire ... fat chance.

            • #12
              Originally posted by LoveSprints1 View Post
              Who will replace Neil Black? Or for this forum Who SHOULD replace him? Hopefully NOT the former weightlifting guy presently dealing with younger athletes who seems to identify junior talent with a dice!
              I believe Alberto Salazar is looking for a job !!

              Comment


              • #13
                I wonder if the new head of UKA wanted to make a firm stance of her position!

                Wonder if the whispers that Toni M is interested are true

                Comment


                • #14
                  Given the speculation in the press before the annoucement, it is odd to have such a brief statement. I've no ill feeling towards him or what he's done individually (that I know of!), but it does feel like a change is due and in the light of Doha and Salazar this is as sensible a time as any for either a forced change or a mutually agreed one.

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    Surely the best person for the job should not be a coach but a man manager. People are always calling for somebody with coaching experience but then arguing that UKA shouldn’t interfere in the coaching. Why would you want an experienced coach in this role unless they are going to interfere. The role isn’t head coach it’s Performance Director. You don’t need to be able to coach all of the events to be performance director.

                    Comment


                    • philipo
                      philipo commented
                      Editing a comment
                      goodness we dont want an experienced coach blah blah... just the sort of crap i expected from the above.
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