John Fish is reportedly set to be replaced as Boston 2024 chairman by Steve Pagliuca ©Getty Images

Boston 2024 are set to replace chairman John Fish with Bain Capital executive and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca in a leadership shake-up, it has been reported. 

Fish, the driving force behind the Olympic and Paralympic Games bid since 2013, will step down voluntarily and become one of several vice-chairmen, The Boston Globe reported today.

Pagliuca, currently a vice-chairman of Boston 2024, will formally accept the new role after liaising with fellow Bain Capital executives and officials within the campaign and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), an associate who declined to be named told the newspaper.

According to people familiar with the reorganisation, the USOC has become increasingly agitated by the lack of public support for the bid and Boston 2024’s failure to publicise a clear plan.

The USOC also wanted more Boston 2024 leaders to have a background in sports, whether they be former athletes or executives with experience in the business of sports.

Last week, the USOC reportedly sent an “unsettling e-mail” to Boston 2024, leading to a conference call between the two parties on Friday (May 8) when management changes were discussed.

Additionally, Boston Red Sox President and chief executive Larry Lucchino and city businessman Jack Connors, who co-founded the advertising agency Hill Holliday, will apparently join the city’s bid efforts as strategic advisers to the Boston 2024 senior leadership, while Peter Roby, the athletic director of Northeastern University, will supposedly serve as a vice-chairman.

A significant amount of time is expected to be devoted to the bid by Lucchino and Connors, who would advise on a wide range of issues, from operations to personnel.

“This is only a plan at this point,” Lucchino told The Boston Globe.

“It requires further discussion with the USOC and the Boston 2024 Board.

“Until all of that happens this is simply a restructuring plan and nothing more.”

Steve Pagliuca (left) is the co-owner of the Boston Celtics basketball team
Steve Pagliuca (left) is the co-owner of the Boston Celtics basketball team ©Getty Images

Fish has already withdrawn noticeably as the face of Boston 2024 in recent weeks, allowing chief executive Richard Davey to take his place at long-planned speaking engagements on at least two occasions.  

Fish, chief executive of Suffolk Construction Company, recruited Pagliuca to oversee budgeting and other financial issues for Boston 2024, while Pagliuca and his colleagues at Bain Capital were key contributors to the group’s initial phase.

Boston was considered a surprise choice from USOC to be the United States' bid city for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics after they beat off competition from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

They could come up against Rome and also Hamburg after the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) announced in March they were putting forward the city ahead of Berlin.

Paris are also expected to bid, while there are increasing signs Budapest will also be put forward by Hungary. 

The campaign does not even properly start until September 15, when countries have to officially inform the International Olympic Committee whether they will bid or not.

But "No Boston Olympics",  one of the groups in the city campaigning against the bid, claimed that a change of leadership would not increase support. 

"The public's opposition to Boston2024 is about the bid itself, not about who is delivering the message," they said in a statement.

"A change in leadership doesn't change the fact that the bid requires building the three most expensive Olympic venues from scratch.

"Boston2024 remains a risky deal that asks taxpayers to foot the bill for cost overruns."

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