By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Adrian_Christy_head_and_shouldersDecember 30 - Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy (pictured) has pledged to restore stability after a year of turmoil damaging to the sport's preparations for London 2012.

In a strongly-worded statement, Christy has also warned coaches of the price of failure and acknowledged shortcomings on the part of the governing body.

Christy, however, has defended his position against criticism by voicing his determination to resolve a number of issues.

Badminton England are currently looking for a new head coach for the Britain's Olympic team following the sudden resignation of Andy Wood this month.

Wood's departure came after that of performance director Ian Moss earlier in the year, a £540,000 cut in UK Sport funding and the controversial defection of doubles player Robert Blair from England to Scotland.

Christy said: "The past 12 months have been really challenging for our Olympic programme and I don't hide from the fact that it has caused far too much disruption to the development of our players.

"Our focus now is very much on rebuilding an environment that achieves success and to do that we need a team of coaches and athletes that are all working as one. When we feel that is not the case, we have to make changes.

"While I appreciate that causes some short-term disruption, we know we don't have much time and, if changes are necessary, we have to make them.

"We have lost some key staff in a short period and, of course, that creates uncertainty and a lack of continuity but it is critical for our world-class programme to establish a cohesive training and competitive environment.

"We need to build trust and respect back into the programme.

"We must establish a more effective dialogue between coaches and athletes. Players need to know where they stand, they need honesty at all times, and they need to feel they are integral to the success we want to build.

"I am just determined to have a team in place that is able to work as one to deliver success for our Olympic programme."

Gail Emms sat downThe funding cut was the result of a failure to reach major tournament targets although several senior players have retired since the 2008 Olympics, including Gail Emms (pictured), and Christy is confident of recovery.

He said: "Despite our funding reduction, UK Sport have retained a great deal of faith in our programme and I am determined that we bounce back quickly and clearly demonstrate the potential we know we have."

Wood quit because he claimed that he was not able to do the job the way he wanted to do it, blaming interference from unnamed officials at Badminton England. 

Christy accepts that mistakes have been made but insists the system is not failing and he is fully committed.

He added: "I have reflected long and hard on some of our actions and decisions over the past 12 months and, with hindsight being such a wonderful gift, recognise some matters could have been handled differently and in a more timely manner.

"I care passionately about success for British badminton and every decision I have made or have been involved in making has always been made with the greatest of integrity and made in the best interests of Badminton England and the GB Programme.

"When that stops being the case, I will not need anybody to tell me.

"We have not buried our head in the sand. We are acutely aware of some of the deficiencies in our programme and have begun to tackle many of the areas that have rightfully been criticised.

"This is not a programme that is failing; it is a programme that has had a tough year but knows where it is going and I am determined we will get there."

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