FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement On Dispatches By The London Marathon
The London Marathon Limited and the London Marathon Charitable Trust
Limited totally deny any allegations of wrongdoing and are surprised and
shocked at the lack of evidence presented by the programme's so-called
investigative team to support this desperate attempt to undermine one of
the world's finest sporting events.
We have repeatedly offered to meet the programme makers – an offer which
has been repeatedly rejected. They have also refused to allow us on to the
programme to say what we wanted to say unedited.
We have nothing to hide and all our financial activities, whether it is the
actual organisation of the London Marathon, the distribution of grants from
the London Marathon Charitable Trust or our relationships with charities
and runners, are transparent and subject to intense scrutiny by independent
organisations and approved by them.
In attacking the money that The London Marathon Limited gives to its
charity the programme displays breathtaking ignorance about the way
charities trade to raise funds. Virtually every major charity in Britain
has a separate trading company. Just like them the whole of the profit of
our trading company goes to charity but only after the costs of putting on
the event which include costs such as the expense of toilets, barriers,
venue hire, staff, rent and all of the other costs of every year staging 5
world class events, and putting on Britain's largest consumer fitness show.
The programme has also conveniently but not unexpectedly ignored all the
positive responses it has received from the various charities, councils and
others it has contacted during its so-called investigation.
Charities have also rallied to support the London Marathon. Jo Dyson, Chair
of the Event Managers Forum an Institute of Fundraising Special Interest
Group, said, "The London Marathon is one of the most important days in the
fundraising calendar for thousands of charities. We recognise that the
London Marathon can never satisfy all of the demands from charities and the
public for places and believe that in balancing the competing demands it
has made the distribution of places as fair as can be in the
Nick Barrett, Chief Executive of The Outward Bound Trust said, "The Outward
Bound Trust has a number of choices of where to advertise and chooses the
London Marathon packages because in our experience they are effective and
offer good value."
David Bedford, Race Director of the London Marathon, said, "Perhaps we
should not be surprised that a programme that has lied about the London
Marathon previously now broadcasts a toxic mixture of opinions and half
truths masquerading as facts."
The grants made by The London Marathon Charitable Trust have helped over
750 projects in London and in particular have helped save many playing
fields from being developed. Alex Welsh, Chief Executive of The London
Playing Fields Foundation said, "There is little doubt that without the
vision and generosity of the London Marathon Charitable Trust grassroots
sporting provision in London would be a lot poorer."
The London Marathon Charitable Trust is proud of the way in which it has
helped to provide the millions of Londoners with improved recreational
facilities. Only yesterday it announced £500,000 awarded to Hackney Marshes
to transform the home of grassroots football and to improve sports
In addition, in February this year it was announced that The London
Marathon Charitable Trust was helping to save another London playing field
from closure - Camden Community Football and Sports Association had been
awarded £700,000 to purchase Chase Lodge Sports Ground from the London
Borough of Camden - the sixth set of playing fields to be saved with help
from the Trust in the last eight years.
We will be referring the production company, Blakeway, and Channel 4 to
OFCOM to consider its journalistic methods and its failure to meet us to
discuss in detail these allegations.