Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates has voluntarily taken a 20 percent pay cut in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. The money Coates will forfeit amounts to $119,000 Australian dollars, or roughly $71,300 USD.
Coates’ original consulting fee from the AOC was set at $594,000 Australian (roughly $356,000 USD) for 2020 but will now take $475,600 Australian instead. Coates’ salary is determined by the AOC’s Culture, Remuneration and Nominations Committee, of which he is not a member.
“I have taken this decision as a consequence of the COVID-19 health and financial crisis confronting all sectors of Australian society and from which the AOC is not immune,” said Coates. “While we are in a comparatively strong financial position for a not-for-profit sports organization… these are nevertheless uncertain times and from which the AOC and Foundation are not immune.”
Though Coates is best known for his long-standing role as a member of the AOC and International Olympic Committee, he also has a prominent career outside of sport as the Chairman of William Inglis & Son Ltd, a bloodstock (thoroughbred horses) auction company.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape the world’s economy, organizations in every industry, including sports, have been forced to adapt and reconfigure their finances for 2020. Coates expects the asset base of the Australian Olympic Foundation–which determines the funds the AOC receives–to return to its 2018 end-of-year asset base, at least for the time being.
“However, indications are that the impact of the COVID-19-inspired financial crisis will see the Foundation return to its 31 December 2018 asset base in the short term, if not already, and in receipt of significantly reduced returns as companies underperform and suspend dividends,” Coates said.
Australia has 5,665 confirmed cases of coronavirus and has a total of 34 deaths so far.