SBD/April 19, 2011/Olympics

British Olympic Association, LOCOG Settle Protracted Financial Dispute

The British Olympic Association and LOCOG last night "settled their protracted financial dispute with a deal that clears the way for London organisers to focus on preparations for the 2012 Games without the looming distraction of a court battle," according to Ashling O'Connor of the LONDON TIMES. The new agreement "offers the BOA more commercial opportunities through future sponsorship and merchandising." The Court for Arbitration in Sport proceedings between the BOA and LOCOG now "have been dropped." The dispute "centred on the legal definition of 'the Games' in London's host city contract." LOCOG "understood it to include the Paralympics," while the BOA "interpreted it to mean just the Olympics and wanted the cost of the Paralympics, traditionally a loss-making event, to be stripped out before any profit from the Games was divvied up." Under the settlement, both sides "have agreed that the Olympics and Paralympics will be accounted for collectively in a largely philosophical victory for LOCOG as the prospect of a profit from the Games is notional" (THETIMES.co.uk, 4/19). In London, Paul Kelso reports the deal "does not include any cash support from LOCOG and largely endorses existing contractual agreements." BOA Chair Lord Colin Moynihan and CEO Andy Hunt "will be permitted to resume attending LOCOG board meetings having been barred for the duration of the dispute." Also under the settlement, LOCOG "will proactively support the BOA's ongoing efforts to secure corporate sponsors and other commercial partners" for Team Great Britain for the '13-16 Quadrennial, as well as the BOA's "plans for the marketing and sale of two items of iconic Team GB merchandise" (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 4/19).
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