Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 18

Letter, 14 September 2000, from Sport England to the Football Association


  Following our meeting yesterday afternoon at DCMS, and recent correspondence between ourselves and WNSL/FA, I am writing to describe the process agreed in respect of the proposal to removal of athletics from the above project.

  We agreed that the process would be as follows:

    —  In relation to Lottery funded projects, it is the responsibility of the applicant to apply for any change to the purpose of a project. Therefore, we understand that the applicants (WNSL and the FA) wish to re-submit to Sport England on the following basis:

      —  The removal of athletics will be requested.

      —  A payment of £20 million will be proposed, to be paid by the FA/WNSL to Sport England over a five-year period commencing December 2000. Payments will be as follows: £3 million in each of December 2000, 2001, and 2002; £5 million in December 2003; and £6 million in December 2004.

      —  A progressive reduction in grant under the Lottery Funding Agreement of 12 January 1999, from £120 million to £100 million, will be requested.

    —  Upon receipt of the application, Sport England will consult formally with the DCMS, UK Athletics, the BOA, and any other appropriate party, to seek their views on the proposals.

    —  The application, together with formal responses to the consultation exercise, will be presented to the Council of Sport England for formal decision. It should be noted confirmation of the acceptability of these proposals is at the discretion of the Council.

    —  Subject to written confirmation that these proposals are acceptable, as regards the athletics issue, we are happy that the syndication process can commence. Final details, including the mechanics involved, will then be discussed and agreed formally prior to entering into the Co-Financing and Priorities Agreement at financial close.

  It is acknowledged that these proposals do not fetter the ability of the FA and/or WNSL to apply for further changes to the LFA after the Co-Financing and Priorities Agreement is signed, although I hope we clearly stated the Council's current position on such matters as any relaxation of commercial restraints.

  At the meeting, you confirmed that you were representing both the FA and WNSL. However, on our return to the office, we received a fax from Ken Bates which appears to contradict this. I would be grateful, therefore, if you could confirm in writing by return the following:

    —  The formal acceptance of the proposals described in this letter by the FA and WNSL;

    —  The FA and/or WNSL will not proceed with the judicial review application referred to in the letter from Allen and Overy to Lovells dated 12 September 2000.

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