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Page last updated at 22:48 GMT, Sunday, 27 March 2011 23:48 UK

Olympic cash row has long been brewing over 5m payment

The Olympic Rings at St Pancras International Station
The BOA wants a bigger cut of any surplus from the Games

By James Pearce
BBC sports news correspondent

The Olympic cash row which has dramatically escalated in recent weeks began 18 months ago with a dispute over a payment of £5m, BBC Sport can reveal.

The details of the row are disclosed in the British Olympic Association's legal submission, which the BBC has seen.

The BOA's chairman Lord Moynihan sent the submission to representatives of all 33 Olympic sports on Sunday.

Moynihan is trying to rally support ahead of a meeting of the BOA's National Olympic Committee on Tuesday.

Last week Moynihan and the BOA's chief executive Andy Hunt were suspended from the Board of London 2012, a move that will remain effective until the dispute has been resolved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

The BOA has never spoken publicly about the disputed £5m payment.

The revelation that the sum of money which triggered the dispute - £5m - gives the best indication yet of the amount of money which might be required to settle it

BBC sports news correspondent James Pearce

This money is entirely separate from the 20% share to which the BOA is entitled to from any surplus left over after London 2012.

The cash row - and the definition of the word 'surplus' - have caused divisions between the BOA and the London 2012 Organising Committee, but it all began because of a disagreement over that initial £5m payment.

Under the terms of the Joint Marketing Programme Agreement, the BOA would be entitled to a £5m payment at the end of the Games, as long as Locog had raised $815m (just over £500m) from sponsorship.

The other condition was that the Games would have to make a profit.

About 18 months ago, that sponsorship target was reached, prompting the BOA to open discussions with Locog about when the £5m would be paid.

The BOA's financial position has been extremely weak in recent years, and earlier this month the organisation admitted that it still did not have sufficient funds to support Team GB during the London Games.

An early payment of some, or all, of the £5m would have solved many of those problems.

London 2012 cash row goes to court

However, Locog pointed out that the money was conditional on the Games making a profit and emphasised to the BOA that there would be no payment at all unless there was a surplus after London 2012.

It was at this stage that the BOA asked its lawyers to look into the definition of the word 'surplus' in the Olympic documents.

Earlier this year, the BOA asked the International Olympic Committee to adjudicate on whether any surplus should be from just the Olympics, or whether it should also take into account the cost of the Paralympics.

While the Olympics is likely to make a profit, the Paralympics usually runs at a loss, meaning the amount of any potential surplus would be affected by its inclusion.

The IOC ruled against the BOA, but the organisation is now taking its case to the Cas in Lausanne.

There has been no sign that either the BOA or Locog is prepared to back down.

However, the revelation of the sum of money which triggered the dispute - £5m - gives the best indication yet of the amount of money which might be required to settle it.

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see also
Hunt wants end to Olympic dispute
27 Mar 11 |  London 2012
2012 Games board suspends BOA duo
24 Mar 11 |  London 2012
IOC favour Locog in 2012 cash row
18 Mar 11 |  London 2012
Minister urges Team GB change
14 Mar 11 |  Northern Ireland
London 2012 cash row goes to CAS
10 Mar 11 |  London 2012
BOA Olympic cash row intensifies
09 Mar 11 |  London 2012
Team GB bosses clash in cash row
03 Mar 11 |  London 2012
Team GB facing financial crisis
02 Mar 11 |  London 2012

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