Sport on TV: Ticket to ride gravy train – on the fast track, of course

The idea of a home Olympics is wearing thin for Denis Clayton. He has been to every summer Games since 1960 but having put up £400 for athletics tickets, he got none and won't be going to London 2012. Mind you, they might have seen him coming. In Olympic Tickets for Sale (Channel 4, Monday) he put on a slideshow of his travels and one picture showed him standing on the running track before being escorted off. Clearly there's a security issue, and someone is keeping track of him.

Denis has already arranged his accommodation in London – at £10 a night. Presumably he applied for that way back in Victorian times. But such thrift is of no value to the ticket-sellers, especially as the organising committee Locog reportedly sold 300,000 tickets to Thomas Cook, at a price of £25m, so the travel company could sell them on in packages.

According to Peter Moore of Iluka, a company acting on behalf of Thomas Cook, a six-night stay with tickets for the 100m final – "you can wipe Usain Bolt's brow" – and a few cycling finals comes in at £19,596 per person. You have to bring 22 other people, though, which bumps the price up to a cool £450,708. Start mopping your own brow now.

Moore, who is apparently no longer involved with Thomas Cook, later reveals that customers can use the special traffic lanes reserved for members of the beloved "Olympic family", even if you're just popping out for a bag of chips.

It's not surprising that such gold-medal sums are driving the likes of Denis crazy – his £460, all-in, is of no interest to Locog. Meanwhile Keith Scott, father of butterfly swimming hopeful David, didn't get any tickets either, like so many parents of participating athletes. He says he simply couldn't afford to send any more money to Locog in the ballot because he has to spend it on his son's kit. It's astonishing how much a pair of Speedos costs these days – unless he's investing in some hi-tech sharkskin all-in-ones.

At least there's no plan yet to cordon off one of the lanes at the pool, because that really would get under everyone's skin.

As a private company, Locog is not required to reveal details of its financial transactions. Baroness Doocey complains: "This cloak of secrecy really hasn't helped anybody." Now there's an item of Team GB clothing they could add to the merchandising range.

* One of the great hopes of London 2012 is that it will inspire our children to take up sport. Watching Friday Night Lights (Sky Atlantic, Tuesday), the much-fêted new series about a high school American football team, you can only wonder at how we have been left standing against the gym wall in this respect.

You can't really imagine a whole town being obsessed with the exploits of the local comprehensive's footie team. In the States even a secondary school has a full-blown stadium packed to the rafters, whereas here they would be lucky to have any facilities to use at all. And parents who struggle to buy a pair of swimming trunks are unlikely to splash out hundreds of pounds on body armour for little Wayne.

There are no bulldog-wielding parents snarling on the sidelines in Dillon, Texas, and perhaps this series will prove a little too saccharine for English tastes. As always, the high school heroes get all the girls, which probably wouldn't happen to our spotty, gangling centre-forwards.

Of course, they can get all the girls and money and fame they could possibly want by the age of 17, if they leave school to sign for a club. But that means they might not know what to do with it when they get it.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager (EMEA) - City, London

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?