Feuding British bodies settle revenue dispute

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The Independent Online

Britain's two major Olympic bodies have settled the financial dispute which had threatened to overshadow preparations for the 2012 London Games.

The British Olympic Association dropped its legal case against the 2012 organising committee, known as LOCOG, over its share of any surplus from the Games and accepted the original contract terms.

In return, LOCOG agreed to waive rights to royalties on some British team merchandise and allow the BOA to buy extra Games tickets.

"I am glad this issue has been put behind us and we can all get on with delivering Games next year that will make this country proud," the LOCOG chief executive, Paul Deighton, said yesterday.

The BOA chief executive, Andy Hunt, welcomed the "spirit of partnership and co-operation" which had been shown by LOCOG.

"With this matter now resolved, the BOA will be able to keep its attention focused entirely on our preparations to support Team GB at the Games," Hunt said.

The conflict flared last month just as London marked the 500-day countdown to the Olympics and launched the sale of 6.6 million tickets. The dispute shattered virtually six years of harmony among local organisers in a generally smooth build-up to the Games.

The issue centred on the cash-strapped BOA's claim to a greater cut of any profit from the Olympics.

The BOA, which is entitled to a 20 per cent share under a joint marketing agreement signed in 2005, claimed the figure should be calculated without the potentially money-losing Paralympic Games being taken into account.

LOCOG and the International Olympic Committee insisted both events should be counted, as they have in the past. The BOA decided to file a case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland after rejecting a ruling by the IOC.

Under the settlement announced yesterday, any surplus distribution will be based on the financial results of both the Olympics and Paralympics. The BOA and IOC will each receive 20 per cent, with 60 per cent going to British sport.

LOCOG will waive its royalty fee on two unspecified items of "iconic" British team merchandise and give the BOA the opportunity to purchase additional Olympic tickets, including for British athletes who competed in previous Games.

LOCOG also said that it would "proactively support" the BOA's efforts to secure more corporate sponsors for the Games.