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Elite candidates sought for the Sport Liverpool Board

A search is under way to appoint experts who can play a pivotal role in securing major sporting events for the Liverpool City Region.

Following success in securing host City status for the UK and Ireland UEFA EURO 2028 men's football championships, as well as staging the World Gymnastics Championships 2022, and the Netball World Cup in 2019, the hunt is on for a new Chair and members of the Sport Liverpool Board.

Now in its 2nd term, the board is keen to refresh its membership, to advise, inform and make recommendations to the Local Visitor Economy Partnership Board (LVEP) and the 6 boroughs that make up the Liverpool City Region, to drive the delivery of the City Region's major sports event strategy.

1 of the key responsibilities is to oversee activity around events which take place in the City, ensuring there's a boost to the local economy and civic pride.

Ensuring the involvement of the City Region's residents, regardless of their age, background, or disability, is key, as well as making sure the events are sustainable and leave a legacy for future generations.

Candidates should ideally have significant experience of working in the sporting sector and have previously worked at a strategic leadership level. As part of the role the successful individuals will be expected to attend board meetings, events and be a spokesperson in the run up to major events.

Experience in areas such as:- sports event bidding, sponsorship, commercial and grant funding, social impacts, marketing, media and PR, and national or international governing bodies is particularly welcomed.

The Board would also like to recruit an athlete voice, and would welcome current or former sportspeople who can provide relevant experience.

The Board is particularly keen to receive applications from people with disabilities, people with ethnically diverse backgrounds and people from the LGBTQ+ community.

The successful applicants will receive expenses, but not an allowance, or remuneration.

More information can be found at:- MarketingLiverpool.Co.UK. The closing date is:- Sunday, 25 February 2024.

Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Councillor Harry Doyle, said:- "Liverpool City Region is synonymous with sport, ranging from the 3 football clubs, being home to Open Championship golf courses and the world's leading steeplechase at Aintree, or for hosting boxing, gymnastics and netball competitions. We already have a proud history of hosting incredible sporting events which have come to the City, but we are always wanting to up our game and reach the next level. The Sport Liverpool Board is dedicated to looking out for the next major event that is going to shine a spotlight on the Region, boost the local economy, attract visitors and support future generations of sports stars. If you have the relevant expertise, along with a love and affinity for the Liverpool City Region, please get in touch to express interest."

Outgoing Chair of the Sport Liverpool Board, Brian Barwick OBE, said:- "It is very rewarding as a Sport Liverpool Board member to try and secure major international, national and Regional sporting events for the City and the surrounding Region. Our area is renowned for staging great sporting occasions; and delivers them in a 1st class manner. They make lifetime memories for participants and spectators alike."

Profit warnings issued by listed companies in the North West fell by more than 20% in 2023

A total of 27 profit warnings were issued by UK listed companies in the North West in 2023, down by more than 20% from 34 in 2022, according to EY-Parthenon's latest Profit Warnings report.

Despite the overall decrease in 2023, 7 profit warnings were issued in the Region during Q4, up from the 5 issued in Q4 2022. Warnings in the Region were also up quarter on quarter compared to the 6 issued in Q3 2023, marking a challenging end to 2023 for listed businesses in the North West.

Companies operating in consumer discretionary FTSE sectors in the North West issued the Region's highest volume of warnings across 2023 with a total of 8 warnings, while industrial and technology companies in the Region issued the joint 2nd highest volumes of warnings, with 5 each.

Sam Woodward, EY-Parthenon UK&I Turnaround and Restructuring Partner in the North West, said:- "Companies in the North West displayed resilience in 2023 so it was positive to see a year on year fall in total profit warnings in the Region. However, the challenges facing the economy certainly haven't subsided, particularly the lagged effect of high interest rates which was highlighted by the Region's uptick in warnings in Q4 2023. It's unsurprising that companies operating in consumer discretionary sectors issued the highest volume of warnings in the North West in 2023; in line with the national trend - with household disposable income challenged by high inflation and borrowing costs. Meanwhile, companies operating in industrial sectors continued to weather persistent headwinds. Listed companies within the technology sector also faced challenges in 2023, however the sector's potential growth, driven by heightened interest in Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI), suggests a more optimistic outlook for the year ahead. There are further reasons for positivity looking ahead to 2024, with GDP growth expected to be boosted by falling inflation and cuts to the base rate, along with prospective tax cuts that are expected to be announced in the Chancellor's Spring Budget. However, the North West's Q4 profit warning figures are an apt reminder that, although prospects may be improving, scenario planning and stress testing will continue to be crucial as businesses look to safeguard their future."

18.2% of UK companies issued profit warnings in 2023

Across the UK, the percentage of listed companies issuing profit warnings in 2023 exceeded the levels seen at the peak of the financial crisis in 2008 with 18.2% of firms issuing warnings.

In total, 294 profit warnings were issued in 2023, a small decrease of 11, from 2022, when 305 warnings were issued. However, the percentage of companies warning was still exceptionally high at 18.2%, higher than 17.7% at the peak of the global financial crisis in 2008. In 2023 26% of warnings were attributed to delayed contracts or decisions, 19% were due to increased costs and a further 19% cited the impact of higher interest rates.

In Q4 2023, 77 warnings were issued versus 76 in the prior quarter. Cost pressures appeared to ease towards the end of 2023, causing just 10% of warnings in Q4 compared to 41% in the same period the year before. However, corporate spending delays and higher interest rates became an increasing issue in 2023, with the latter prompting 24% of profit warnings in H2 2023, compared with 14% in the 1st half of the year.

Smaller companies, which are more vulnerable to demand and margin pressures, dominated warnings at the start of 2023. However, by Q4 pressure had broadened as 33% of the companies warning had annual revenues of over £1 billion, more than double the average number of warnings given by businesses of this size.

In 2023, 39 listed companies issued their ⅓ or more consecutive profit warning in 12 months, representing 18% of all companies that issued a warning in 2023. This compares to 31 companies that issued their ⅓ or more consecutive profit warning over a 12 month period in 2022. To date, 13% of companies that warned over profits for a ⅓ or more time in 2023 have gone on to de-list.

Jo Robinson, EY-Parthenon Partner and UK&I Turnaround and Restructuring Strategy Leader, said:- "Pervasive uncertainty in 2023 created major challenges for businesses around earnings and forecasting, and this is reflected in the number of profit warnings issued in 2023. While pressure around costs eased somewhat toward the year end, the uptick in warnings caused by delays to business decisions and weak consumer confidence indicates an ongoing reluctance to commit to discretionary spending. In 2024, businesses will hope for a quicker than expected fall in inflation and interest rates, but many moving parts need to slot into place before we can be sure of an economic:- 'soft landing.' We expect to see increasing disparity between businesses that are positioned to capitalise on still limited growth and those that are hampered by the impact of recent earnings pressures or their access to and the cost of capital. It is shaping up to be an easier year for many, but not all UK companies."

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