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Tom McNab's AW letter!

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Tom McNab's AW letter!

Postby bevone » Thu May 11, 2006 10:45 am

Anbody read TM letter in AW this week? Sounds pretty shocking! Does anyone know who Rutherford is coached by now? Obviously this is one side of the story but it sounds like a pretty shoddy way to treat a coach. And if you can treat a coach as respected as TM like that - what about the rest of us!

If it was UKA induced, I think there may be some explaining to do. Anyone got any news about this one?
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Postby Northern Soulster » Fri May 12, 2006 8:10 am

I suspect Tom is the first victim of Central Contracts.

Great coach with a wealth of experience and a history of success. Precisely the coaching profile UKA are trying to cut out of the sport!

Be prepared for a lot more of this in the coming months and years.
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Postby sleady » Fri May 12, 2006 9:52 am

Or is it more to do with commercial contracts and Stella Management ?
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Postby pegleg » Fri May 12, 2006 10:16 am

Or perhaps Frank Attoh (coach to world triple jump champ Trecia Smith) is simply a better coach and, like Rutherford said, provided a better training environment.

While there's no excuse for Greg dealing with it the way he did (apart from perhaps the fact that he is still a teenager), Tom appears to be VERY obsessed with money and you can almost see why Greg was turned off.
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Postby oranges123 » Fri May 12, 2006 2:11 pm

Soon there will be no voluntray coaches left as they will have all got fed up of UKA, it costs my coach a fortune to coach every week, all he gets from it is the enjoyment of seeing his athletes do well. He has coached many international athletes and put so much time and effort into the sport but has never received a penny from UKA.
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Postby Jon Mulkeen » Thu May 18, 2006 2:53 pm

Anyone changed their opinions of the situation after reading Andy Rutherford's letter in this week's AW?
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Postby marknhj » Thu May 18, 2006 7:47 pm

Jon - can you post copies of the two letters?
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Postby Thornhill » Fri May 19, 2006 9:41 am

Very sad that this is aired in public, but it all boils down to money. Most coaches coach for free and I am sure will be shocked by the figures suggested in Mr Rutherfords letter, but at the end of the day this is a business relationship not a coaching relationship between Greg and Tom.

Remember in business you are only worth what people are willing to pay.

I wonder what Fank Attoh is getting paid, if anything at all?
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Postby Northern Soulster » Sat May 20, 2006 2:10 pm

Posted by Beaglex on the BBC Five Live Athletics Forum:

It strikes me that finding out who is telling the truth here would be remarkably simple.

Tom McNab clearly states in his letter:
"I received a performance-based contract from his agent".
He added:
"....everything that I have written above can be confirmed from other sources".

Andy Rutherford's letter states:
"Tom would not take his (Greg's) calls".

So, TM claims to have a contract he was offered and has sources who can confirm his story. AR/GR on the other hand can provide only a telephone bill which will show several calls to TM's number from when messages were left.

If it wouldn't upset UKA too much, perhaps AW could check the details and report the truth? It does appear to me that TM has evidence.

On another point, don't UKA and Stellar have a conflict of interest here? UKA coaches Ayo Falola, Frank Attoh and Tony Lester all have close links with Stellar. Can they or UKA offer unbiased advice?
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Postby Jobo » Sat May 20, 2006 11:56 pm

Northern Soulster wrote:Posted by Beaglex on the BBC Five Live Athletics Forum:

It strikes me that finding out who is telling the truth here would be remarkably simple.

Tom McNab clearly states in his letter:
"I received a performance-based contract from his agent".
He added:
"....everything that I have written above can be confirmed from other sources".

Andy Rutherford's letter states:
"Tom would not take his (Greg's) calls".

So, TM claims to have a contract he was offered and has sources who can confirm his story. AR/GR on the other hand can provide only a telephone bill which will show several calls to TM's number from when messages were left.

If it wouldn't upset UKA too much, perhaps AW could check the details and report the truth? It does appear to me that TM has evidence.

On another point, don't UKA and Stellar have a conflict of interest here? UKA coaches Ayo Falola, Frank Attoh and Tony Lester all have close links with Stellar. Can they or UKA offer unbiased advice?



A coach / athlete verbal agreement that goes wrong is not worth the paper it is written on. TM and AR did not have a written contract so any split no matter who instigates is between themselves and nobody else.

You pay for what you get, TM did not incur any costs whilst coaching AR ( this is not in dispute) so should count himself lucky as most volunteer coaches do incur costs and would have had a moralistic gripe where there is a split but TM was paid so has no moralistic ground to stand on.

TM in my opinion was in a buisness relationship which ended when AR moved on to another service for which TM is now not recieving payments.
It was a buisiness relationship that has ended and that is all it is.
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Postby XCrunner » Sun May 21, 2006 8:52 am

Jobo wrote: A coach / athlete verbal agreement that goes wrong is not worth the paper it is written on. TM and AR did not have a written contract so any split no matter who instigates is between themselves and nobody else.

You pay for what you get, TM did not incur any costs whilst coaching AR (this is not in dispute) so should count himself lucky as most volunteer coaches do incur costs and would have had a moralistic gripe where there is a split but TM was paid so has no moralistic ground to stand on.

TM in my opinion was in a business relationship which ended when AR moved on to another service for which TM is now not receiving payments. It was a business relationship that has ended and that is all it is.


Both TM and AR acknowledge that there was an agreement to coach GR and TM was being paid for this service. Both TM and GR agreed that their coach/athlete relationship was very good and each respected the other. TM is a professional coach and earns most of his living from this work. He will know what other athlete pay for his services.

On the other hand both GR and his father, AR, would not have a detailed knowledge of professional athletes and they would rely on their agent and UK:Athletics for advise.

UKA have introduced performance based contracts for funding athletes and TM points out that this type of contract was being imposed on him via the agent. TM was unable to accept this form of contract – e.g. the contract did not cover any expenses for coaches.

The conflict between TM’s words (e.g. a tiny fraction) and the actual figures (e.g. £200 per month and 20% of winnings) indicate that one of both parties were in serious disagreement.

The strong probability is that the UKA performance based contracts are the root cause of the dispute. The letter in AW from Dave Lewis may back-up this concern.

How much money would an athlete need to earn in order to pay for professional services? These services would include the agent, the coach, and medical back-up, etc.

If an athlete is to make a living from the sport then he or she needs to earn sufficient money from winnings, grants and sponsorship deals.
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Postby Jobo » Sun May 21, 2006 11:24 am

I use AR rather than GR as he stated the family paid for services from TM(as a parent of an athlete myself I can understand that money is tight when you are on the fringes of getting funded), TM is a buisness AR family is the buyer of that service.

If I use my local gym and a new cheaper gym opens then I am under no obligation to stay at my old gym. Wether I get a better service is not relevant but in time if I didnt I would revert back to my old gym depending on how they react when I origanally left.

That is unless TM had signed him to a fixed term contract, as no mention of a fixed term contract exists then either party could finish the buisiness relationship at any point. Which they have....so let themselves get on with their lives and wish each other all the best.
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Postby Power-of-ten-man » Wed May 24, 2006 1:52 pm

What a sad state of affairs this is, it now seems that the only way for a coach to protect themselves is to have a binding contract between themselves and their athletes.

I shall now offer all my over 16 athletes a contract, on a take it or leave basis.

End of problem! :)
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Postby Jobo » Wed May 24, 2006 3:05 pm

Jennifer if you are charging your athletes for your services then that would be the way to go. If you are volunteering most athletes respect that.
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Postby Javelin Sam » Wed May 24, 2006 3:32 pm

The only payment i want from my athletes is their smile and sucess.
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Postby Power-of-ten-man » Wed May 24, 2006 4:05 pm

I appreciate those comments, but have become very wary since all this talk of threats to athletes who qualify for funding, but have to sign UKA contracts and possibly move to another coach to get it.
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Postby Power-of-ten-man » Thu May 25, 2006 10:05 pm

I have just read Mrs McNabs letter in the A.W letters page, doesn't that put a different slant on things?

I also read Mike Winches page and Glen Grants page ( though I do not agree with his assumption that we all want all the Foster report) these top quality letters show that A.W are not in UKAs pocket don't they?
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