Inside Lines: Fall-out worry as Lords of the rings clash over cash

With exactly 500 days to go from tomorrow before the curtain goes up on the London Olympics, a new event has been added to the programme: the tug of war. Pulling in opposite directions, much to the embarrassment of the International Olympic Committee, are the organisers, Locog, led by Lord Coe, and the British Olympic Association, headed by fellow Tory peer and Olympic medallist Lord Moynihan.

This complicated and increasingly bitter wrangle concerns the divvying up of an anticipated £400 million surplus once the marketing revenue is counted. Locog reckon this should subsidise the loss-making Paralympics while the BOA argue that as the Government are committed to underwriting them, 60 per cent should go into a legacy pot for grass roots and facilities. The IOC have been asked to arbitrate but Moynihan has already passed the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). A legal punch-up between Olympic Board members is rather unseemly at this stage of the Games. While to the public it may seem a tiresome tiff, ominously it is the first major rift in what had seemed to be a smooth passage towards 2012.

Moynihan declines to discuss the issue, saying it is now sub judice, but he insists he remains on good terms with Coe and London mayor Boris Johnson (co-respondents in the case): "This is purely a commercial dispute and should not affect our relationship." Nor, he says, do the BOA need the money to plug the black hole in their own finances, over which eyebrows have been raised as high as some of the salaries paid to senior staff, not least Sir Clive Woodward's reputed £300,000 a year. At the heart of the matter is Moynihan's long-held desire to make the BOA the hub of British sport, rather than the Government agency UK Sport, as is the case with corresponding Olympic bodies in Italy and Germany. It could prove an expensive ambition.

Hoop dreamers

Another reason why the BOA may be strapped for cash is their apparent determination to adhere to the admirable De Coubertin philosophy of taking part being more important than winning by sending even no-hopers to the Games. Costly team sports such as handball, volleyball and water polo have been given the nod without being in sniffing chance of a medal. Today in Lyon, GB's basketballers seek clearance from the international governing body, Fiba, whose secretary general, Patrick Baumann, says: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make Team GB one of the powerhouses of world basketball." Not sure about that, but at least London deserves to see the great Luol Deng of Chicago Bulls grace the Olympic arena in a GB shirt.

Now here's a funny thing

Some funny things may be happening on the way to 2012 but surely none so hilarious as the new cod series on the Games run-in which begins on BBC4 tomorrow night. Twenty Twelve is a satirical skit on what may – or may not – be going on behind the scenes at Games HQ, with much merriment promised. It is along the lines of a smash-hit series on Aussie TV before the Sydney Olympics. Lord Coe was sufficiently unfazed by a script which features the organising committee as a secret front for drugs trafficking and sex slavery to have a cameo role. The fictitious press chief is depicted as something of a harridan, a character far removed, we hasten to add, from 2012's ever-bubbly and helpful Jackie Brock-Doyle.

Garden memories

Exactly 40 years ago last Monday we were privileged to be ringside at Madison Square Garden witnessing the first of Ali and Frazier's titanic trilogies. The $5 million fight changed the face and finances of world heavyweight boxing, for which Messrs Haye and Klitschko should be eternally grateful. Apart from the fantastic duel, our abiding memory is standing next to a trilby-hatted bloke in the gents before it began and being asked: "Who do you fancy, fella?" The enquirer was Frank Sinatra. We hacks were all advised to wear specially provided baseball caps and when we asked why, the wonderfully laconic Garden PR John Condon replied: "Well guys, there are thousands outside fighting to get in and if there's a riot the cops will know which heads to hit and which not to hit." Happy days.

Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture