Government Refuse to Mediate in BOA-LOCOG Cash Dispute

By Community | March 30, 2011

Following a meeting with British Olympic Association (BOA) chairman Colin Moyniham yesterday, March 29, UK Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson confirmed that the British Government have refused to get involved in mediating the cash row between the BOA and London 2012 (LOCOG).

Robertson said that it was not the Government’s role to get involved in a dispute between two private companies following a meeting with Moynihan, stating: “I met Colin Moynihan at his request to discuss the current dispute between the BOA and LOCOG.

“The Government is not and cannot be a mediator in a dispute between two private companies and I reiterated that there was no additional Government money available to help solve the dispute.”

The dispute centres on the distribution of any surplus money after the Olympics, with the BOA claiming that they should be entitled to their 20 per cent cut of any surplus before the Paralympics costs are taken into account.

Robertson added: “I have encouraged the BOA to resolve the matter as quickly as possible in order to allow everyone to get back to making preparations to ensure 2012 is a great success.”

The lack of support for the BOA decision to take legal action against London 2012 over the surplus from next year’s Olympics from Robertson, whom Moynihan considered to be a close political friend, is another big blow for the chairman.

Moynihan now finds himself isolated from those who were previously regarded as his closest allies, including London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Following a meeting of the National Olympic Committees, a group made up of all the Olympic sports, at the BOA’s Charlotte Street headquarters vice-chairman David Hemery compared the dispute to a marriage breakdown.

Hemery stated: “I find it very sad that the focus has moved to almost a marriage dispute going on. I would have liked to see greater harmony expressed between the Olympic authorities and ourselves.

“We have for many years had a great relationship with LOCOG and Colin [Moynihan] and Seb [Coe, London 2012 chairman] have been friends for many years.

“To have this kind of public dispute, I do not think is good in general. For me it is about the distribution of the surplus. 

“If we are going to host the 30th Olympiad surely the whole of Britain should get some benefit from that endeavour. There needs to be some common sense spoken.”

Moynihan claimed that “progress has been made” in the last 24 hours, adding: “I do not think the row is in the interests of sport and I hope that it will be decided.”

He vowed that the row would not hurt his friendship with Coe, whom he praised as a strong leader for London 2012, adding: “The idea it would have an impact on our relationship is something that I would not countenance.”

Earlier, Coe claimed the situation had been correctly ruled upon by the IOC, stating: “We maintain focus on what we were actually put on this planet to do, which is to deliver the Games.

“This dispute is narrow and technical. The right organisation to resolve that dispute has resolved it. The IOC has made a judgment, that judgment is full and binding.

“This really does not impact on the delivery of Team GB or Paralympics GB. The Government has funding in place for the athletes.

“It does not impact on the staging of the Games and that is what we do. The Government have made it very clear they are not mediating in this and there is no public money.”