Scrap The Olympics, Says Former Dome Chief

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 105 months ago
Scrap The Olympics, Says Former Dome Chief

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Image / RobBeer
Frenchman PY Gerbeau — you'll recall him, perhaps not fondly, as the Millennium Dome chief during the ill-fated 'Experience' of 2000 — has hit upon a novel way of solving the budgetary excess of 2012: scrap the Games entirely.

Speaking on BBC2's Daily Politics show, Gerbeau, styled the "gerbil" during his Dome-nership, said that he expected the budget (currently £9.325 billion) will grow to exceed £12 billion, and argued that the money would be better invested in the economy. Britain's best interests would, he thinks, be served by touting the Games around other cities like a pair of hand-me-down galoshes. Paris is his pick; an attempt, perhaps, to win back Gallic favour, which he lost after publicly backing London's bid.

The argument brought a strong rebuke from Tessa Jowell. The Olympic minister offered a hostage to fortune by stating categorically that "not a penny more" than the current budget would be spent, and dismissed Gerbeau as a "disappointed Parisian" trying to steal London's glory.

Gerbeau has found himself a niche career sounding the bugle of doom over the 2012 Games. In a Telegraph interview earlier this year he predicted it would "go the way of the Dome, except 15 times more expensive", and would turn out to be the crowning folly of Gordon Brown's premiership, much like the Dome was a hangover from the Major administration. It just so happens that Gerbeau runs a profitable business which successfully turns around failed, or failing, companies: angling for a job much, PY?

Last Updated 12 November 2009