Friday, January 12, 2007

Olympics- Even Worse Than Feared

But... but... that can't be right!

Panic. As we know, finance genius Tess was due to update us on the latest 2012 money meter reading this month. But the reading is so shocking she's sent the meter reader back to check the figure:

"CLM, the consultants who will be paid about £200 million to manage the project, have been asked to look again at the costings... Whitehall sources admitted that the new costings were unlikely to be revealed before March. Officials said that delay beyond April could have repercussions for keeping to the timetable. The bill for the Games is believed to be about £5 billion, but this excludes security, VAT and contingency costs, which could push the final costs to £9 billion."

Remember: that £9bn corresponds to the £2.375bn figure faithfully promised by Tess and Tone when they "won" the wretched thing in 2005. And it excludes nearly £10bn of "incidentals" (see here).

As we've noted before, BOM's overall cost estimate of £20bn is starting to look undercooked.

Meanwhile, drastic economies must be made elsewhere. And that includes... er, sport. Tim Lamb, CEO of the Central Council of Physical Recreation is already squawking:

"When sport was sold the Olympics, it was done on the basis of a budget which we all could agree with. But as the costs rise, so do our concerns that funding to community sport could be jeopardised. We have to be very careful that these Olympic Games don't end up actually damaging grassroots sport in the long run."

They reckon "money already siphoned off for the Games could have paid for 453 artificial pitches, 1,133 clubhouses or the set-up costs for 4,533 community clubs."

So when all those couch potatoes, fired up by the heroic exploits of Britain's 2012 super-heroes, rush out to start playing, there'll be nowhere actually to play.

Now, who on earth could have predicted that?

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