We asked FDs two questions: Is the UK and London in particular capable of hosting the 2012 Olympic Games? AND Are budgets drawn up now unrealistic for an event to be held eight years later?
More than three-quarters of finance directors believe it is unrealistic for the 2012 London Olympic finance team to draw up budget plans eight years in advance of the event taking place (see graph below).
As bid FD Neil Wood prepares the capital and operating budgets as part of the 600-page bid document to be submitted on 14 November, just 16% of the 258 FDs polled in the latest Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Big Question survey saw any value in doing this now.
Paresh Samat, finance director of Croner Consulting said the bid team should ‘learn the lessons from the rebuilding of the Wembley Stadium’.
‘The figures will end up 30% to 40% higher than estimates. Maybe we shzould go to Japan and learn from their experiences of building an infrastructure from the last World Cup,’ he said.
Another FD was even less convinced: ‘Whatever you budget for now you need to double the figure that you ask for.’
FDs were, however, more supportive of the UK’s and London’s ability to host the 2012 games, with more than two-thirds believing the capital will be able to stage the event (See graph left). One FD said: ‘Having hosted the Commonwealth Games successfully, I do not see why we should not host the Olympics.’
London 2012 says it will have access to £2.2bn of public funds if the bid succeeds – with £1.4bn coming from the National Lottery, £581m from London residents via a local tax and the rest coming from the London Development Agency.
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