Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 77 - 89)

THURSDAY 1 MARCH 2001

MR DAVID MOORCROFT OBE, MR LEN HATTON, MR TERRY COLTON, MR SHAUN DAWSON AND MR SIMON EVANS

  Chairman: Gentlemen, I welcome you here today and Mr Wyatt will open the questioning.

Derek Wyatt

  77. Good morning. I just wonder if you could clarify the position; when you signed for the 2005 athletics, did you sign that with the IAAF? Is that a formal contract you have signed?

  (Mr Moorcroft) When we were awarded the World Athletics Championships in April there was a preliminary document signed by UK Athletics. The IAAF awarded the event and then negotiations take place in terms of the formal agreement. The formal agreement involves a company called ISL who own all the commercial rights on behalf of the IAAF, and it was recognised by the IAAF that there was a certain anomaly (which was London) and the assurance of the Government was sufficient for them and still remains sufficient pending the discussions with the GLA and others.

  78. I am glad you mentioned ISL. As I understand it, their ten-year contract with tennis will make them move into the hands of the receivers within the next six to nine months. What happens in that area? ISL have to return it back to the IAAF? I guess what I am asking is does that make you exposed?
  (Mr Moorcroft) The ISL issue does not involve us and could be more of an opportunity than a threat because primarily it is with the IAAF and the IAAF apparently are comfortable with ISL's position commercially. They have delivered the money to the IAAF that the IAAF are contracted to receive. The issue as far as we are concerned, and it relates to Birmingham as well, is that the contracts for 2005 and 2003 are still in negotiation. We have sent back to the IAAF a number of comments that reflect both UK Athletics' and the NIA and Birmingham's lawyers' views on those contracts. They are with the IAAF. The contract negotiations are still taking place. It is probably in our interests not to be in any great hurry because of the ISL situation, but we are in communication with the IAAF and both organisations are very comfortable with the current situation.

  79. There is a rumour, and I hope you will squash it, that either you or the Government have been to Berlin to discuss with the German Athletics Organisation for them to take the Games in 2005 and we to have it in 2007. Is that true?
  (Mr Moorcroft) That is not correct. I have never been to Berlin. There is a similar rumour about Beijing as well. The most recent conversation I have had with Professor Helmut Digel, who until recently was the President of the German Federation and is an IAAF Council member, is that he is squarely behind the World Championships coming to Britain in 2005. I am not certain of these facts, but he said that Berlin would not want the World Athletics Championships in 2005 because they are organising and very much involved with the World Cup of 2006. Whereas two or three years ago they were potential candidates for 2005 because they have now been awarded the World Cup Football that reduces their enthusiasm. As far as we are concerned, there is no debate either within this country or internationally in terms of any other alternative.


 
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