Friday, July 19, 2024

Commonwealth Games row simmers in Scotland

cggraphicSquash body takes Commonwealth venue concerns to Salmond

From IAN BELL in The Herald

SQUASH’S governing body in Scotland has written to the First Minister with concerns that current plans to showcase the sport at Glasgow 2014 will cost organisers up to £100,000 a day, with claims the event will create no lasting legacy for the game.

John Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Squash and Racketball Ltd (SSRL), has long objected to setting up a temporary all-glass show for the duration of the 11-day event which will be dismantled and sent overseas at its conclusion.

Glasgow 2014 organisers have claimed the construction of six new permanent courts at Scotstoun Leisure Centre will insure interest in the sport will be secured over and beyond next summer and struck a balance between the needs of the games and the longer-term needs of the community.

Dave Grevemeberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014, has said he will no longer communicate directly with Mr Dunlop over legacy issues given the increasingly bitter row between the two.

Mr Dunlop, in his letter to Alex Salmond, said he wants the current plan redrawn immediately with claims it will “destroy value”.

He said: “2014 plan to spend nearly £1 million of public funds, all of which comes from the public purse, on facilities which will not exist after August 4, 2014.”

The letter, which was also sent to Sports Minister Shona Robison, added: “The current 2014 plan for squash destroys value, delivers no return on capital whatsoever, excludes the obvious events legacy opportunities, adds nothing to the civic estate and wastes money.

“SSRL believes this plan should be called in immediately and redrafted to deliver the legacy on which the Games was founded and which the city and Scotland expected.”

Mr Dunlop has claimed removing the all-glass court will jeopardise any attempt to bring a world-class or European-level tournament to Glasgow in the future.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Squash is benefiting from six permanent squash courts at Scotstoun which provide a legacy which all with an interest in promoting squash should be proud of.

“In addition, there continues to be an opportunity for squash to feature within the National Performance Centre.”



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