Could you be British Cycling's next CEO? You have until next Friday to apply

There are quite a few problems for the incoming boss of cycling in the UK to sort out, despite continuous success

British Cycling
(Image credit: Getty)

There are currently hundreds of thousands of job vacancies in the UK, with the Confederation of British Industry calling for a shakeup of immigration rules to fill the gaps in the British workforce this week.

To that list of vacancies you can add the head of British Cycling, which has been without a CEO since Brian Facer stepped down three weeks ago. As a result, you have until next Friday to apply for the top job in cycling in the UK, which will see you head up the national governing body, across BMX, cyclocross, cycle speedway, mountain biking, road and track.

There is a major difference between this and many of the hospitality and care sector jobs that are available in the UK, and that's the pay; the last CEO was on over £200,000, much more than the minimum wage contracts that are around.

What do you have to do for this recompense? Simply take charge of BC at a pivotal time. The job advert calls this a "hugely exciting time" to take charge of the organisation "as it builds towards 2023 inaugural combined UCI Cycling World Championships in Scotland and the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024".

It is not just these high profile events that weight on the shoulders of the BC CEO either, as they will be in charge of "ambitious plans to drive growth across all forms of the sport, to broaden the number of commercial partners, to increase membership numbers, and to get more people from the wider community cycling more often".

It is, of course, a hugely important job at a hugely important time for cycling in the UK. One doesn't need to overstate how big a part cycling could play in a green future, and now is the crucial point.

The difficulty will come in dealing with the many challenges that BC currently faces; it has been a year of controversies for the governing body of cycling, including blocking trans riders from competingU-turning on guidance saying that cyclists should not ride on the day of the Queen's funeral, and British Cycling announcing a partnership with the oil and gas giant Shell. In fact, we've listed five things the next CEO of British Cycling needs to tackle.

Facer's time in charge was a difficult one, as he had to deal with the continued impact of the pandemic. In its accounts for the year to March 31 2021 the national governing body reported its total income fell 26% from £33.5m in the 2019-2020 financial year to £24.6m last year. 

The number of regional bike races across the country has recovered to just 60% of pre-pandemic levels, according to British Cycling’s annual report.

The report, which was published earlier in October, outlined that regional racing was “hit hardest” by the pandemic, with event numbers reaching 50% by March 2022, and rising to 60% by July 2022.

So, it will not be an easy job for anyone, but it has been made all the harder by an eventful year off the bike. At an elite level, British Cycling continues to win world titles and medals, including Tom Pidcock's cyclocross rainbow jersey, men's team pursit glory at the track worlds, and Zoe Bäckstedt's domination of the junior titles on the road in Australia.

According to the job description, the role will mean "full responsibility for the delivery of British Cycling’s strategy, business plans and performance", and the CEO will be accountable to the board.

Last month, the former UCI and British Cycling president Brian Cookson called for current British Cycling chair Frank Slevin, who heads up the board, to take responsibility for a series of controversies in 2022 and leave. 

The new CEO should also secure "new commercial partnership funding and develop close and vibrant relationships with appointed partners to maximise brand awareness and revenue return". Just like the deal with Shell, apparently.

If you fancy the job, you have to do a lot of management-speak style things, including proving that you have a "track record of exceptional achievement in turning strategies into effective reality to achieve sustainable growth through clear articulation of objectives, effectively navigating organisational complexities and challenges and encompassing swift, informed decision-making". Simple.

The successful applicant will have "personal commitment to inclusivity and driving cycling participation opportunities for all". This follows a year in which the transgender debate has been part of the controversy surrounding BC.

If you are someone with "commercial acumen" and you are a "natural and engaging personality", then you might just be successful. Of course, "leadership experience with a membership-based organisation is highly desirable", so this might rule you out. You have until next Friday. Good luck!

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