‘My focus is entirely on Ipswich Town,’ says chief executive Simon Clegg on the eve of Olympic Games opening ceremony
IPSWICH Town chief executive Simon Clegg insists the football club will remain his top priority throughout the Olympic Games.
A major driving force behind the London 2012 bid during his 11 years leading the British Olympic Association, Clegg has remained on the athletes’ commission giving part-time advice on a number of matters.
And he has obtained an access all areas pass to the sporting showpiece in East London courtesy of his role as attach� to the Guam national team, a small pacific island with just eight competitors.
With Town owner Marcus Evans’ business selling top corporate ticket packages for the Games, there have been some Blues supporters questioning whether the club’s top two figures will be focusing all their energies on landing the three extra signings manager Paul Jewell wants before the new Championship campaign begins in little over three weeks’ time.
Clegg, who has not yet had a holiday this summer, says he will be attending events – including tonight’s opening ceremony – in his own time though.
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He said: “The club absolutely remains my upmost priority. I’ve been appointed as the official Olympic attach� for Guam, a small delegation with eight athletes, and that gives me an all-venues, all-access pass so that I can actually watch some sport, but only when my diary at Ipswich Town allows me.
“I’ll be on my Blackberry and e-mail 24 hours a day. Stratford is only 50 minutes away on the train, so I can get back here a damn sight quicker than I would have been able anywhere else on holiday.
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“We’re in the transfer window, there’s still a lot of work to do, but I can do a lot of that work remotely. Primarily I will be based here at Portman Road and when I’m not needed I will watching some sport at the Olympic venues.”
He added: “I look back with massive pride in terms of what was achieved over that part of my career, but now I’m focused on trying to achieve a degree of success here at Portman Road.
“It was my decision to leave the BOA in 2008 and people should not think I’ve spent the last three years thinking ‘I can’t wait for the Olympics to come’.”
– See tomorrow’s EADT for an in-depth interview with Simon Clegg about the Olympics in which the Ipswich Town chief executive talks Tony Blair, Ken Livingstone and almost competing at the Games himself.