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  • IOC to Settle BOA Financial Dispute with London 2012


    03/09/11

    (ATR) The IOC confirms it will mediate in a financial row between the British Olympic Association and London 2012 organizers over the joint marketing program agreement.
    With the 2012 Olympics fast approaching, the British Olympic Association faces a budget gap of $16 million. (Getty Images)

    The cash-strapped BOA argues that the agreement struck with LOCOG in 2004 was worth substantially more than the $49 million in cash and services to the national Olympic committee. With just over 500 days to the Games, the BOA is facing a funding gap of up to $16 million.

    London 2012 has resisted attempts by BOA chief executive Andy Hunt to renegotiate, saying it is a fair deal, triggering the BOA approach to the IOC.

    The IOC said in a statement Wednesday that the joint marketing program agreement (JMPA) allowed for it to make the final decision in a dispute between LOCOG and the BOA.

    "The IOC was asked by the BOA to look at how a potential surplus from the Games would be defined and to offer both parties the opportunity to make their case," the statement said.

    "Ultimately, the agreement allows for the IOC to take a decision that would be final and binding on the parties and the IOC intends to take this decision in line with the JMPA in the near future."

    BOA chairman Colin Moynihan said he will take LOCOG to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if the IOC fails to rule in the BOA's favor, according to a BBC report.

    Since replacing Simon Clegg as chief executive of the BOA in 2008, Hunt has been pushing hard for a renegotiation of the JMPA.

    "We inherited an extremely poor deal... we believe the Brazilian Olympic committee can expect to receive more than £100m [$162 million] through its JMPA with the Rio 2016 organisers," he was quoted by the BBC.
    BOA chief executive Andy Hunt feels the BOA has “an extremely poor deal” with LOCOG over the joint marketing program agreement.

    The BOA today defended its decision to ask the IOC to intervene.

    In a statement, it said that as the National Olympic Committee, its principal responsibility was to safeguard future opportunities for Olympic athletes and sport throughout the U.K.

    "We are engaged in a formal process to ensure that surplus resulting from the London 2012 Olympic Games is available to be used for precisely those purposes," the BOA said.

    "Quite simply, our objective is this: to guarantee that the London 2012 Olympics deliver a meaningful post-Games legacy that is beneficial to Olympic sport and athletes, present and future, throughout the UK. This is about protecting the future for athletes, for Olympic sport and for our national governing bodies.

    The statement added: "We are doing exactly what every national Olympic committee is expected to do we: we are safeguarding a future sports legacy in our country.

    "We have taken these steps with the full support and direction of our Board of Directors. We are confident an amicable and equitable resolution will be reached."

    The financial issue could impact the BOA's support for the nearly 550 athletes in their preparations for the 2012 Games.
    Last week, Hunt admitted that the BOA still had to plug a funding gap but said he was confident Team GB would field a full team at the Olympics.

    "The level to which we can support the team is where the challenge comes," he told the BBC.

    Games costs for the BOA, which must raise all its revenues from sponsorship and is not funded by government, are expected to be well over $8 million, which includes running the Team GB holding camp in Loughborough.

    In its statement, the BOA insisted its call for IOC intervention in the row "has absolutely nothing to do with addressing our funding requirements for 2011 and 2012.

    "We have a plan in place to generate those revenues and are confident we will do so."

    Written by Mark Bisson

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