Exclusive: British Government eyes bigger slice of London 2012 pie

Friday, 08 February 2013
By David Owen

London 2012 Olympic Park at nightFebruary 8 - The British Government has hiked its potential share of any London 2012 surplus to over £100 million ($158 million/€118 million).

The move - revealed at a time when Ministers are coming under increasing pressure to demonstrate that the Games will leave a meaningful sporting legacy - lifts to more than £110 million ($174 million/€130 million) the size of the surplus that would be required before any funds are channelled specifically "for the general benefit of sport in the UK", as set out in the host city contract with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

insidethegames revealed nearly 18 months ago that up to £36 million ($57 million/€43 million) of Government money made available in connection with the Olympic Village and other venue change-related costs would be repayable in the event of a surplus, along with another £27 million ($43 million/€32 million) that would be repayable if drawn down.

Now it has emerged that the terms of a grant agreement between London 2012 and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have been revised such that up to £104 million ($164 million/€123 million) made available to London 2012 would be repayable.

This would be after up to £8 million ($12 million/€9 million) that might be payable by London 2012 to the British Olympic Association (BOA), the British Paralympic Association (BPA) and British Paralympic Enterprises under a separate deal, but before taking account of host city contract commitments.

The revision comes to light in new London 2012 accounts for the 18 months ended September 30, including the period of the Games, which were published today.

The accounts show a cumulative operating loss of £53 million ($84 million/€63 million).

However, London 2012 pointed out that deferred revenue at the end of the period totalled £78 million ($123 million/€92 million).

Paul Deighton with MandevilleLondon 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton again donated his bonus to charity

"This deferred revenue, together with other small revenue streams, such as royalty income, will be sufficient to cover the brought forward loss and the cost to dissolution, placing the company in a position to proceed on schedule towards a solvent liquidation in mid-2013," London 2012 said.

The accounts disclose that Lord Deighton, the chief executive of London 2012, was paid over £1 million ($1.6 million/€1.2 million) for the 18 months covered; however, just over £330,000 ($521,000/€390,000) of this was a performance-related award that, as announced in previous years, he will donate to charity.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe was paid £535,500 ($845,000/€632,000).

The accounts state that total grant funding committed from the Government Olympic Executive was £989 million ($1.6 billion/€1.2 billion), including £111 million ($175 million/€131 million) for the Government obligation to fund 50 per cent of cost incurred for staging the Paralympics.

London 2012 expects a final set of accounts, for the six months to March 31, to be filed in June.

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