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
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

Recruitment Genius: Advertising / Media Sales Executive

£15000 - £22200 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious candidate is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Sub-editor - Editorial - Publishing

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A sub-editor is required to joi...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Media Sales Professional - Work From Home

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Enjoying rapid growth we contin...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate