Head of Paris bid team claims London made 'promises not linked to reality'

The spiralling budget of the 2012 Olympics is due to false promises made during the bidding process, the head of the Paris bid team for the Games has alleged.

Philippe Baudillon, who led the Paris 2012 team, told the BBC: “London underestimated a lot of costs and we can now see the real costs were much higher than they were in the bid.

“The people from London 2012 were much better salesmen than the people from Paris. But it is much more difficult when you have the contract and you've made a lot of promises that are not linked to reality.”

Olympic village
The Olympic village has suffered particularly bad funding problems

Baudillon acknowledged that the impact of the global credit crisis could not have been foreseen; however, he said that because of its less ambitious plans Paris would have coped better with the problem.

He said: “It would have been easier for Paris to deal with the crisis because our bid was linked to [former International Olympic Committee vice-president] Dick Pound's recommendations in 2003 about the size of the Games, the legacy and the use of temporary venues. We worked hard on that.

“I am sure London will organise the Games perfectly because the British people are very good at that. But London's bid was not done on this basis, it was based on a huge operation to improve east London.”

He added that the International Olympic Committee [IOC] needed to scale back its own expectations of host cities. “The IOC itself has to realise you cannot use the Games to make revolutionary changes in a city or country. It is too expensive, too huge. The times have changed. Beijing is the last Games that can be done like that.”