Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Fifth Report



(HC 124) 13 MAY 1999


      • There is no cause for undue pessimism about the British record in staging international sporting events. Sporting bodies have done well in attracting and staging events, but the United Kingdom could do better. This Report examines why this country should seek to stage international sporting events and proposes how it should improve the effectiveness of public sector support for the bidding and staging processes. (paragraph 11)
      • International sporting events can bring considerable gains to a nation. They can promote economic and social development and bring a "feel good factor" to the host country. There is no doubt that seeking to stage events is worthwhile. Indeed, this country cannot afford not to attract and stage international sporting events. (paragraph 47)
      • The Prime Minister said in the House of Commons on 12 May 1999 that the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games "will be a tremendous showcase not just for Manchester, but for the whole of Britain". The Games will take place during the Queen's Golden Jubilee year, a fact which is likely to give the event special significance nationally and internationally. Most importantly, positive perceptions of the event across the world are fundamental to the prospects of future bids for other major events, as Mr Banks acknowledged. (paragraph 78)
      • The commitment of local government to staging sporting events is often crucial to their success. Local authorities are key partners in sporting events. However, major events are not municipal, but national. The Government and national bodies must now recognise this and take a more leading role themselves in partnership with host local authorities. (paragraph 82)
      • We recommend that the Government, as a matter of urgency, examine the financial plans and needs of the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games, accept the necessity for additional central Government support and determine the scope for such support. The Government should also involve itself more closely in the strategic management and promotion of the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games. (paragraph 83)
      • We recommend that the Sports Councils encourage all event organisers in receipt of public support to devise strategies which ensure that some of the benefits of income from broadcasting, sponsorship and ticket sales are passed down to the grass roots of the sport in question. The Sports Councils should make such distribution to the grass roots a condition of grants where necessary. (paragraph 99)
      • We welcome the positive response by the organisers of the Manchester Commonwealth Games to a proposal for a code of practice on ethical trading, which we recommend the Government promote as a precedent for other major events in this country. (paragraph 105)
      • We recommend that the Prime Minister designate one of the present Ministers in the Cabinet Office as Minister for Events and assigns to that Minister direct responsibility for a Government strategy on major events of international status—sporting and non-sporting—and for playing a leading role on behalf of the Government in the organisation of the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games. (paragraph 124)
      • We recommend that the Minister for Events institute a review of all expenditure by Government Departments and agencies in support of bidding for and staging events of strategic importance. The explicit purpose of this review should be to ensure that, where appropriate, such expenditure is given greater priority in future. (paragraph 126)
      • We recommend that the Minister for Events designate certain events and bids as being of strategic significance. The Sports Councils should be required to take account of such designation in their funding decisions. We further recommend that Lottery funding of facilities for events so designated be explicitly excluded from considerations relating to the geographical distribution of Lottery funds. (paragraph 128)
      • We recommend that the Minister for Events assume responsibility for all Government involvement with the Wembley National Stadium project as a matter of urgency. Priority should be given to consideration of the case for direct Government assistance for the development of the wider site. Failing this, there would be a need for fundamental reconsideration of Wembley's viability as a location for athletics and thus for the Olympics. However, this must be done within a timetable and context which comply fully with the requirements of the 2006 World Cup bid. (paragraph 140)


      (HC 286) 28 MARCH 2001

      • The staging of international sporting events must be seen as a means, not an end. Public support for the staging of events must be justified by proper analysis of the extent to which events are an effective means towards other ends, both sporting and non-sporting. The staging of events cannot be justified simply by vague assertions about national prestige. (paragraph 8)
      • We welcome the changes made to the management of the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games to streamline the organisation and to broaden its expertise. (paragraph 88)
      • It is essential that all future accounts from Manchester 2002 Limited distinguish clearly between sponsorship income in monetary form, sponsorship-in-kind that replaces expenditure which would otherwise have been incurred and sponsorship-in-kind which is enhancing the Games but not directly affecting the finances. We would be reassured by a growth in the proportion of sponsorship that takes monetary form. (paragraph 101)
      • The Manchester Commonwealth Games lack the immediate brand identity that helped to give the Sydney Olympic merchandising effort such a high-profile, but the lack of such a clear profile means that the effort should be greater not less. The Sydney Games merchandise was very visible across Australia more than eighteen months before the Games themselves. Effective merchandising creates profit for the organisers and enhances national awareness of, and engagement with, an event. We are concerned that merchandising for the Manchester Commonwealth Games is still almost invisible. We recommend that merchandising opportunities be put in place as a high priority and, in particular, that Commonwealth Games shops should be established outside Manchester, or that a commercial agreement be made speedily facilitating nationwide sale of Manchester Commonwealth Games merchandise. (paragraph 103)
      • We were impressed by the evidence that we received from Mr McCartney and, more importantly, by the clear signs that the designation of a Minister with special responsibility for the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games has had the positive impact that we sought in 1999 on Government involvement with the event. (paragraph 108)
      • Councillor Leese told us that Manchester City Council had made a commitment that council taxpayers would not pay for the Games either through increases in their council tax or reductions in services. He said that the Council would seek to mitigate risk by putting reserves in place, funded in part from capital receipts from commercial development around the Eastlands site. We accept that ultimate responsibility to underwrite certain losses is an important discipline on a local authority engaged in organising a major event. Manchester City Council is seeking clearly identified local gains from the Commonwealth Games and cannot be relieved of all risk. However, the success of the Games is dependent to some extent on the event being seen as a national event with national ownership. The Prime Minister has acknowledged that the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games "will be a tremendous showcase not just for Manchester, but for the whole of Britain". This national element requires a national commitment. It is incumbent upon the Government to keep the finances of the Games under constant review to ensure that opportunities for expenditure on the Games of national benefit are not lost because of Manchester City Council's legitimate primary concern for the interests of the council taxpayers of Manchester. If certain national requirements are identified in the current budgetary review, we would expect them to be funded from the Exchequer. (paragraph 111)
      • We recommend that specific expertise be recruited within the Cabinet Office, initially to support the relevant Minister in his work in relation to the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games, but thereafter to serve as the kernel of a dedicated team within the Government to advise and assist with the staging of major events. (paragraph 113)
      • We are encouraged by the range of investment already attracted to the East Manchester area and by the long-term commitment voiced by the Minister. Nevertheless, it is vital that Sport City itself is maintained and funded appropriately to ensure that it can continue to provide a stimulus to the wider regeneration of East Manchester. (paragraph 115)
      • We recommend that the organisers of the Manchester Commonwealth Games, or the Government as appropriate, contact all local authorities in the United Kingdom to inform them about the national dimension of the event and the many opportunities for involvement by communities and individuals across the United Kingdom with the Games. (paragraph 119)
      • We expect that this Committee or its successor will wish to examine progress in preparations for the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games later in 2001 or early in 2002. (paragraph 121)


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