Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Further letter to the Chairman of the Committee from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport


  During his evidence earlier today, Ken Bates once again said that the question of relaxing the restrictions on the sale of naming rights and other commercial freedoms was discussed as part of the agreement reached on 22 December 1999 for the repayment to Sport England of £20 million of the £120 million Lottery grant awarded for the National Stadium project.

  This is extremely misleading as Ken Bates well knows. Under the agreement reached in December 1999, the FA and WNSL agreed to repay Sport England the £20 million over a five-year period in return for the removal of obligations on WNSL to accommodate athletics. As I said to the Committee during my evidence on 6 February, the agreement reached did not include any relaxation of commercial freedoms, such as the sale of stadium naming rights.

  The application made by the FA and WNSL to Sport England on 29 September 2000 to remove athletics from the Wembley Lottery Funding Agreement did not include any application to relax the restrictions on commercial restrictions such as the sale of naming rights. Sport England agreed the application made by the FA and WNSL on this basis.

  I am copying this letter to the other members of the Committee.

March 2001

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