Olympic bosses slammed for bonuses – despite ‘lacklustre’ legacy

Andrew Boff

Andrew Boff - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Olympic chiefs have been slammed for paying themselves £6.4million in salaries and bonuses last year – despite critics describing the London 2012 legacy as flawed.

Recently released accounts for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) in 2013 to 14 show several corporate bigwigs at the taxpayer-funded body have even enjoyed pay rises, despite cutting their working hours.

Figures show one executive was earning £161,000 per annum for three-and-a-half days a week in 2012, but still coined £71,430 from 2013 to 2014 for just one day a week.

Similarly chief operating officer of the ODA, Gerry Murphy, saw her pay rise between 2012 and 2013 to 2014 from £191,000 to £253,000.

In total 151 ODA board members were paid almost £3million in 2013 to 2014, with a total bill for 66 staff hitting more than £6.4million.

And it is not just the Olympic Park where the legacy is costing the taxpayer cash.

Overall, there has been a 125,100 fall in participation in sport in England according to the latest Active People’s Survey.

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Similarly use of sporting venues at the Olymic Park has been criticised. In 2012 it was revealed the £44million Copper Box Arena was being used by just a handful of people just weeks after opening and the 7,000-capacity arena had no activities planned for children until September 2013 – 14 months after the Games.

Andrew Boff, London Assembly member and leader of the GLA Conservatives, said: “No one disputes that the Olympics Games was a fantastic success that did a great job showcasing London and the UK. However, the legacy has been a lacklustre affair.

“Whether it be the sporting legacy or the creation of new housing, considering the amount of money being sunk into the post Olympics development it just isn’t good enough.

“The poor design of the stadium and the West Ham deal that is such a poor deal for the taxpayer is really the icing on the cake. It doesn’t matter how many world class professionals are brought in to deliver the 2012 legacy, if the mission is wrong it will fail.”

But a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, defended the pay rises.

He said: “London 2012 was a great British success story and the ODA had to recruit the best talent from the private and public sectors. Gerry Murphy’s pay increase reflects her promotion from director of finance to chief operating officer, however the ODA saved £350,000 in 2013/14 by not replacing their former chief executive.

“The ODA’s staff worked to tight deadlines under intense pressure and made savings of over £1 billion for the public purse and their performance-related pay was measured against tough performance criteria.”