SBD/March 10, 2011/Olympics

IOC Asked To Intervene In Dispute Over Distribution Of Profit From London Games

Moynihan unhappy with BOA's joint marketing agreement with LOCOG
The IOC yesterday confirmed that it "had been asked by" the British Olympic Association to intervene in a dispute with LOCOG "about the share of any profit" from the '12 London Games, according to Ashling O'Connor of the LONDON TIMES. The dispute "relates to the share of any cash surplus made by LOCOG, which would be split three ways: 60 per cent to the IOC, 20 per cent to the BOA and 20 per cent to grassroots sport in the UK." The BOA "argues that it should take its cut before the cost of the Paralympics, a loss-making event, because the British Paralympic Committee has a separate agreement" with LOCOG. O'Connor notes the BOA's request "follows an admission last week by" CEO Andy Hunt "that it faces a budgetary shortfall of about" $8.1M (all figures U.S.) next year. The funding gap, "if not closed in the next 15 months, would force the BOA to downgrade plans to send 550 athletes to the London Games, the biggest team in a century and 245 more athletes" than traveled to the '08 Beijing Games. Tensions are "common between host National Olympic Committees and organising committees but the IOC has never been forced to step in." BOA Chair Lord Colin Moynihan has "long had complaints about the terms of a joint marketing agreement with LOCOG, worth" about $43.6M over seven years that was negotiated by his predecessors. The IOC said that it "would take a 'final and binding' decision, expected this month, in line with the joint marketing agreement" (LONDON TIMES, 3/10). The GUARDIAN's Owen Gibson reports the BOA has indicated that it "will consider taking the case to the court of arbitration for sport" in Lausanne, Switzerland, if the IOC "does not reach a satisfactory decision." But LOCOG sources "believe a case could only be brought against the IOC itself and not the local organising committee" (GUARDIAN, 3/10).

ASSIGNING BLAME: In London, Paul Kelso writes the "carefully-nurtured myth of harmony within has exploded less than a week before tickets go on sale for the Games." For "many of the stakeholders the finger of blame should point in only one direction, at Moynihan," whose "attempts to overhaul the organisation since 2005 have won him few friends inside London's big tent" (London TELEGRAPH, 3/10).
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