Princess Anne on London bid committee

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The Independent Online

Princess Anne will be one of the directors of London's bid for the 2012 Olympics, it was confirmed yesterday.

The Princess Royal will be one of the non-executive directors on the bid committee alongside the British Olympic Association chairman, Craig Reedie, and the rower Matthew Pinsent.

The trio have to be given a place as they are the British members of the International Olympic Committee, though both Princess Anne and Pinsent are expected to take more of a back-seat role because of other commitments.

The committee will comprise the bid chairman, Barbara Cassani, who was appointed last week, a deputy chairman who is expected to be Granada's chairman, Charles Allen, the IOC trio plus six others nominated by the bid's stakeholders.

Reedie said: "Under IOC rules all three of us will be on the bid committee as what could be termed non-executive directors.

"The intention is that after that there will be six other non-executive directors appointed, two nominated by the BOA, two by the Government and two by the Greater London Authority."

A fourth Briton is expected to be made an IOC member next week - Phil Craven, who is the president of the International Paralympic Committee. However, it is unlikely he will be on the bid committee as that could lead to a conflict of interest with his current position.

The Princess Royal is president of the BOA and at last week's AGM she expressed hope that the bid would boost the organisation's commercial value, but warned that next year's Athens Olympics must remain their priority.

The BOA is in some financial trouble and has been experiencing difficulty in attracting sponsors. The BOA's costs are around £4m a year, and though it receives income in Olympic years it has been forced to eat into its reserves.

Princess Anne told the AGM: "Our athletes will expect us next year to be concentrating on their needs and we have to make sure we have the services and finances in place to make sure we do have that.

The BOA hopes to announce a major sponsorship deal soon, but they need to attract several others. The cost of the bid campaign will be around £15m and half of that is expected to come from private-sector sponsorship.