By Guy Adams
With three weeks to go until we learn who’s won the 2012 Olympics, the leader of London’s bid, Lord Coe, is making sure that – win or lose – he doesn’t end up on the breadline.
Should London emerge victorious on 6 July, Coe will carry on at the bid, and has already committed himself to London 2012 until December.
If London loses, things also look bright. For I gather that – with a nod and a wink to Cherie Blair – Coe intends to explore a career on the lucrative after-dinner speaking circuit.
The former Olympic athlete is on the books of JLA, an agency that counts William Hague and Alastair Campbell among its stars. As a “B-grade” speaker, he can command fees of up to £10,000 a go.
Although Olympic commitments have kept Coe occupied in recent years, there’s a good chance he’ll have time to spare after the International Olympic Committee’s decision. So I gather that – in a move that invites accusations of “cashing in” on failure – JLA is sounding out customers on Coe’s behalf.
“He already has interest in a large number of bookings after 6 July, not dependent on the outcome of the bid,” says the firm’s Jeremy Lee. “This shows that, regardless of what happens, he’s in big demand.”
Coe’s spokesman yesterday denied any profiteering from his position, and stressed that Coe hadn’t yet confirmed any dates. “You couldn’t find someone more dedicated – it would never cross his mind to cash in.”