There is no risk to the success of the World Class Performance Programme relating to the relationship between British Cycling and Team Sky, according to a review undertaken by auditing and consultancy firm Deloitte, details of which were released on Wednesday.
Deloitte also concluded that there was actually a benefit to Olympic and Paralympic riders from their relationship with the Sky programme.
The review was commissioned jointly by British Cycling and UK Sport in early 2010 to look into the relationship between UK cycling’s governing body and the newly-formed Sky team, which shares many of the same staff as the WCPP.
The WCPP was created to nurture cycling talent in Britain with the aim of producing medals in cycling disciplines at the Olympic Games. Team Sky started racing as a ProTour-level (now Worldtour) team at the start of the 2010 season aiming for success at top international road races.
Concerns were expressed after the formation of Sky that shared management staff and British riders would be spread too thinly, leading to poor performance in top-level events. For example, British Cycling performance director David Brailsford was also appointed as Team Principal for the Sky squad – two jobs with distinct roles.
Despite the positive outcome of the review, Deloitte did have several recommendations, including the formation of an operational document to clearly outline the roles of staff involved in both BC and Sky team organisations – this would form the backbone of regular reviews to highlight any conflicts. It was also recommended that BC appoint a finance director, a role which is currently being advertised.
“The Deloitte review has done exactly what we hoped it would,” said chief executive of UK Sport, Liz Nicholl. “It has provided us with very good insight at a crucial time and helped to give us assurance about our investment.
“British Cycling has long been one of the outstanding performers in British Olympic and Paralympic sport and it was very important that this review was conducted, in order that any potential risk to our significant investment in the sport was highlighted and managed appropriately.”
Ian Drake, chief executive of British Cycling, added: “We have learned a lot from the early days of Team Sky and are indeed continuing to learn as we look to constantly improve the way we operate.
“This review has been an important part of aiding that process and, whilst we’re obviously pleased that no major risks have been highlighted, we are working alongside UK Sport to implement recommendations that will help maximise the benefit of the relationship with Team Sky to the World Class Performance Programme.”
For an in-depth look at the relationship between British Cycling and Team Sky, take a look at our Who owns Team Sky? article from January 2010.