BRITISH Olympic chiefs say they do not have enough money to give the team full support at the London 2012 Games next year.
Board members of the British Olympic Association were told at an emergency meeting last week that they currently have less than half of the £5m funding they need.
“We’ve still got a gap to close,” said BOA chief executive Andy Hunt. “I’m absolutely certain we will have a full team at the Games and the money will not affect that. The level to which we can support the team is where the challenge comes.”
Hunt’s comments will be seen as a plea for investment from the public sector, less than 18 months before the world’s biggest sporting event gets underway in the capital. The BOA does not receive any government funding and its provisions for the Games include the Team GB holding camp in Loughborough.
“The work we need to do, to make sure we meet the aspirations of the British people, is an immense task,” Hunt added. “We need to make sure we can really do our best to make sure the team can compete on a level field of play. The British public will judge the success of the Games on the success of the team.”
Former sports minister Richard Caborn, meanwhile, suggested the BOA needed to take a more rigorous look at its finances.
He said: “Tens of millions have been put into the BOA and really they have got to be looking at themselves and say ‘why have they got into this situation financially?’”