The Olympics

The Olympics

Text

News, information and stories about the 2016 Brazilian Olympic Games and the Olympics in general.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Building With No Name

There seems to be something of a problem brewing with the O2 Arena (no longer called the Millennium Dome because of it's association with white elephants).

AEG, the owner of the O2 arena, has had to remove the O2 branding from the building for the duration of the London 2012 Olympics as a result of a sponsorship clash with 2012 telecoms sponsor BT.

The building will be unbranded during the games, as AEG will not allow another brand to sponsor the venue.

Olympics organiser LOCOG is now in a flap, because the O2 Arena is to be used to host badminton and basketball events. Clearly it will look quite ridiculous to host the events at a building that has no name!

Needless to say this issue has been known about for several years. It is rather puzzling that it has only just come to a head.

As ever, the Olympics are not about sport but are about money and corporate image.

Feel free to make suggestions as to what to call the O2 Arena (Millennium Dome).

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Breaking The Rules

Baroness Ford, chairwoman of The Olympic Park Legacy Company (tasked with attracting developers to take on the Olympics site after 2012), is refusing to take on a £800M debt from the LDA (incurred in buying up the land for the 2012 Olympics).

The Evening Standard claims that she has been successful in convincing the Department for Communities and Local Government to take the loan on to its books.

However, if this is the case, this will breach Treasury rules on departmental borrowing.

The LDA, as you will recall, has a £160M black hole in its accounts as a result of lousy internal financial controls; it refuses to hold onto the debt, without mincing words, because it can't honour it without cutting back on other projects.

Ever get the feeling that there are simply too many agencies trying to "run" the 2012 games (ie stick their snouts into the Olympic trough)?

Ever get the feeling that the Olympics budget is out of control?

A mess by anyone's standards, courtesy of Nu Labour!

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Friday, September 18, 2009

Woolwich Barracks Obscured

The London Olympics bid showed an artist's impression of a female competitor aiming her shotgun in full view of the grade II-listed frontage of the Royal Artillery barracks Woolwich.

The reality will be somewhat less impressive.

Owing to health and safety issues the backdrop for the Olympic clay pigeon shooting competition will be a 62ft (19m) high "ballistic screen", this will stretch across the shotgun range to prevent lead from pellets hitting nearby homes.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cuts

As the old saying goes:

"Famine follows Feast"

Therefore we should not be surprised to learn that in the wake of the £160M blackhole, discovered in the accounts of those allegedly "in charge" (LDA) of the London 2012 Olympics, cuts have to be made.

Projects intended to deliver a legacy of the 2012 Olympics have been cut by the London Development Agency. There will be cuts of over £21M this year affecting 2012-related programmes run by the LDA.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, September 14, 2009

The £160M Black Hole

In June I noted that:

"a £100M black hole has appeared, as if by magic, in the 2012 Olympics accounts of the London Development Agency (LDA) - the budget for which is not included in the £12BN Olympics budget".

Unfortunately, it seems that the size of this black hole has increased by over 50%.

The Times has obtained the unpublished report by KPMG into the black hole, which states that the black hole has expanded to £160M.

Unsurprisingly the report, according to The Times, "hints at a cover-up by officials who waited more than a year before alerting senior managers to cost overruns".

A £1.4BN compensation deal was agreed with businesses who were forcibly removed from the Olympics site. However, approximately 70 firms have yet to receive their money.

Seemingly the LDA has not set aside enough to settle the outstanding claims.

KPMG noted that staff in the Olympic Legacy Directorate, the department in charge of the scheme, should have been aware of spiralling costs as early as April 2008.

Neither the person overseeing the budget nor his finance manager were qualified accountants. A remarkably inept arrangement, even by the standards of the Labour government and the London Labour administration (under Ken Livingstone) at the time.

The report states:

"The basic requirements for managing and accounting for a budget were not met. None of the senior officers of the LDA to whom we spoke accepted responsibility for checking the accuracy of the accounting information."

It would seem that those "in charge" of the Olympic finances couldn't "run a piss up in brewery", and then did their best to try to hide their failings. Hardly surprising that the budget for this Labour "ego fest" has ballooned from £3BN to £12BN (including £2BN running costs).

BTW, isn't funny how those "in charge" conveniently forget to add on the £2BN running costs whenever they talk about the costs?

For why?

They are trying to keep the headline figure reported in the media below the psychological break point of £10BN.

Unfortunately for the politicians, they will learn that the trouble with black holes is that they just keep growing.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Friday, September 11, 2009

Disastrous Figures

The government claims that there will be a "sporting legacy" from the London 2012 Olympics. The government has made much of a target to increase, by two million by 2012, the 6.8m people playing sport, or doing some form of physical exercise for 30 minutes three times a week.

However, quarterly figures just released show that only three sports (athletics, canoeing and cycling) have recorded an increase in the number of people participating at least once a week; all the others have flatlined.

Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat shadow culture, media and sport secretary, is quoted in The Guardian:

"These disastrous figures show the government's Olympic legacy strategy is going badly wrong. Many sports which have had huge funding increases are actually witnessing a decline in participation."

Throwing money at a problem is not always the best way to resolve it.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kickbacks?

Lord laird has set the cat among the Olympic pigeons by questioning the integrity of charter deals for a fleet of boats intended to be used for corporate entertainment, media, accommodation and other purposes for the London 2012 Olympics.

Lord Laird has asked the Government to investigate whether Olympic officials were offered or requested "financial and other inducements, including vacations, periods of stay or trips on sea-going vessels for individuals and their family members".

Lord Laird named two British boat-charter companies (Top Sail Events and Charters Ltd) and has asked whether directors or staff members working for the Olympic Delivery Authority, the London 2012 Organising Committee (Locog), the Olympic board and the British Olympic Association had received or asked for on-board hospitality.

I wonder what has prompted Lord Laird's question?

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

BBC Olympic "Budget"

The Sun has outed the BBC's travel "budget" for the London Olympics.

"The BBC is to land licence-payers with a £3 million bill to send sport staff to cover the London Olympics from Manchester – just a year after it relocates from the capital....flights, train fares, taxis and accommodation".

The reason that the BBC, based in London, is expecting to spend so much money is that (for reasons that only a "detached" and poorly managed bureaucracy such as the BBC can understand) the BBC sports department are moving out of London to Manchester one year before the Olympics.

Clearly an intelligent plan would have been to move after the Games.

The BBC then go on to dig themselves into a deeper hole by saying that, because plans are still being developed, they "can't speculate on the costs involved".

In other words, they have no budget (clearly taking their cue from the organisers of the London Olympics!)

Not very impressive is it?

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Brown's Bankrupt Britain

Gordon Brown, now so desperate to cling to power, has tagged on to the Olympics bandwagon in the hope of salvaging his reputation.

Brown took the Cabinet on an "away day" to the offices of a building contractor at the 2012 Olympic Games site.

Brown claims that:

"Thanks to the Olympics, thousands of jobs are being created and protected in some of the industries worst hit by the recession - and in some of Britain's most deprived areas."

1 The Olympics "budget" now stands at £12BN (including £2BN running costs), the original budget was around £3BN. A monument to Labour's inability to manage projects and costs.

2 Many of the jobs being created are short term construction jobs, which employ non British short term immigrants. Yet was it not Brown who came up with that absurd phrase "British jobs for British people?"

The legacy will be a deficit to be funded by the taxpayer.

Brown will have left office long before the games begin.

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

Don't forget to visit www.theolympicswarehouse.com
www.olympicsdiary.com brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"