BOA and LOCOG in peace pact

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Updated: April 20, 2011

The unseemly row between the British Olympic Association and the Games organising Committee LOCOG has been settled amicably but not until damage had been caused to the United Kingdom in the Worldwide media and among sporting organisations.

A statement issued today said: “Following a series of meetings in the last fortnight, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the British Olympic Association (BOA) have today reached an agreement to expand the levels of cooperation and partnership between the two organisations prior to, during and immediately after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The agreement, which is welcomed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), also brings to an end the request for arbitration that had been filed by the BOA with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to resolve a contractual dispute with LOCOG.

The BOA and LOCOG reaffirm they are united in jointly supporting the vision outlined in the bid, of a joint festival of sport encompassing the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

The agreement provides greater clarity to existing contractual agreements and identifies specific areas of expanded partnership between LOCOG and the BOA, including Confirmation that monies due to both the BOA and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) after the 2012 Games will continue to be prioritised and delivered should LOCOG’s Final Audited Statutory Accounts show a sufficient surplus.

. Confirmation that once any other financial obligations are met, any remaining surplus resulting from the financial results of both Games will be distributed on the basis of 60% for the benefit of sport in the UK, 20 per cent to the IOC and 20 per cent to the BOA;

. LOCOG will pro-actively support the BOA’s on-going efforts to secure corporate sponsors and other commercial partners for Team GB for the 2013-2016 Quadrennial;

. LOCOG will support the BOA’s plans for the marketing and sale of two items of iconic Team GB merchandise through its official retail outlets and in conjunction with the Torch Relay. Further, LOCOG has offered to waive its royalty fee on these items so that the proceeds are designated exclusively for Team GB/BOA; BOA will have access (subject to availability and not before 31 July 2011) to purchase additional Olympic Games tickets, which will be designated for two purposes: 1) for use with the Team 2012 Appeal, 2) for British Olympians who competed in previous Games. LOCOG has also agreed to increase support for Team GB operational planning prior to, during and immediately after the Olympic Games including access to venues contracted to LOCOG between the Olympic and Paralympic Games, subject to agreements from other contracted parties

To provide the BOA with the opportunity to build upon the successful Get Set Olympic Educational Programme, which is now in more than 16,500 schools across the UK, LOCOG and the BOA will work together to develop a detailed business plan to expand the impact and reach of the programme as part of the London 2012 legacy and to attract future commercial support.

Commenting on the agreement, LOCOG CEO, Paul Deighton said: “I am glad this issue has been put behind us and we can all get on with delivering Games next year that will make this country proud. I would like to thank Andy and his team for creating the right environment for us to reach this settlement.”

BOA CEO Andy Hunt said: “We appreciate the spirit of partnership and cooperation that LOCOG brought to our discussions. We are proud of our long standing partnership with LOCOG and the outstanding work being done by all of the sport stakeholders to deliver what will undoubtedly be a successful Games. With this matter now resolved, the BOA will be able to keep its attention focused entirely on our preparations to support Team GB at the Games.”

The LOCOG Board has agreed, in principle, that both Colin Moynihan and Andy Hunt will resume participation in the LOCOG Board Meetings. The decision will be confirmed by the members of the Board prior to the next meeting.

It was a disagreement which should never have occurred and both Lord Moynihan and Andy Hunt have been severely criticised for their actions both in the Media and according to sources in the British capital , even by members of their own organisation.

The influential “Inside The Games” website sums up today’s deal thus:

“A deal has been reached in the bitter financial dispute between the British Olympic Association (BOA) and London 2012 with BOA chairman Colin Moynihan being forced to accept defeat in his argument that any surplus from the Games should be calculated before the costs of the Paralympics are taken into account, it has been announced.

An agreement between the two parties was signed last night which means that the BOA will drop its threat to take London 2012 to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

But Moynihan failed in his main goal which was to raise extra cash for the BOA, who are struggling financially, and the agreement is heavily weighted in favour of London 2012, who were supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and Britain’s Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson.”

The “Evening Standard” took a similar view in its evening editions and on the paper’s website:

“The British Olympic Association today dropped its legal action against London 2012 organisers in an embarrassing climb-down.

A lengthy dispute was ended without the association making any substantial gains in its attempt to secure a larger share of any financial surplus from the Games.

The stand-off had pitted BOA chairman Colin Moynihan against fellow Conservative peer Sebastian Coe, head of the Games organising committee, Locog.”

Peace for now , and hopefully, until the Games are over but then it is more than likely that major questions will be raised particularly once the full cost of this dispute is known.

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