Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 16

Letter, 9 February 2000, from the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to the Chairman of the Football Association

  Thank you for your letter of 31 January seeking confirmation of your understanding of the Association's offer to return £20 million to Sport England following agreement to remove athletics from the new National Stadium.

  As I made clear in my evidence to the Select Committee last week, I accept that all parties have acted in good faith. However, we have accepted the offer by the FA to return £20 million to Sport England over five years, with a clear commitment to use its best endeavours to ensure this happens sooner if at all possible. We have discussed with Derek Casey some of the issues in relation to their role as a Lottery distributor, and have confirmed that it seems wholly reasonable to consider, with legal advice, amendments to particular conditions of the Lottery Funding Agreement which are requested by parties to the original agreement. While this could include relaxation of the existing commercial constraints upon WNSL, such as naming rights, we will have to take a view on the proposals once the detail has emerged. I also note your concerns about the effect of any perceived liability on the part of the FA.

  I understand that a meeting between the FA and Sport England is already scheduled for later this month, and I am confident that the spirit of constructive co-operation you mention will realise a solution acceptable to all parties.

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