Paris 2024 dismisses report of €450,000 salary for organising committee head Estanguet
Paris 2024 today vehemently denied a report that Tony Estanguet, the newly-appointed chairman of the organising committee for the Olympic Games in the French capital, is to be paid an annual salary exceeding €450,000 ($532,500).
Estanguet, an International Olympic Committee member, was co-chairman of the Paris 2024 bid team along with Bernard Lapasset, but increasingly became the figurehead of the campaign during the last few months of the race, and it was announced in May that he would head up the organising committee should Paris win the right to stage the 2024 Olympics.
In today's issue of Le Canard enchaîné, a satirical weekly newspaper in France, it was reported that Estanguet would earn €452,000 per year in the build up to the Olympics, while the general manager of the organising committee would be paid €383,000 per annum.
In response, Paris 2024 said in a statement: "The amounts mentioned do not constitute in any way the remuneration of the president and the general manager of the future organising committee of Paris 2024.
"The document cited in this article is a technical note based on the work of a recruitment firm that has carried out a comparative study on the remuneration of the leaders who have worked on the organisation of the recent major international sporting events."
Paris 2024 said it has still to decide on the salaries of key personnel within the organising committee, with talks to be held with the relevant state, city and Île-de-France officials, as well as representatives of the CNOSF and CPSF, the France's national Olympic and Paralympic committees, respectively, over the adequate levels of remuneration.
It is the second time in two weeks that French media outlets have brought up the issue of money related to Paris 2024.
Estanguet was recently forced to defend the bid team’s €1.5-million expenditure at the IOC session in Lima following criticism from Mediapart, the investigative news website, that it was a waste of taxpayers' money as the event in the Peruvian capital was effectively a rubber-stamping exercise.
The Paris and Los Angeles delegations headed to Lima on 13 September knowing they had all but been guaranteed the 2024 and 2028 Olympics, respectively, following the IOC's decision in July to pursue a dual award.
Estanguet told Le Parisien at the time: "In its calculations, Mediapart forgets that this €1.5 million includes all costs associated with Lima: that includes the on-site operations, content production, the presentations…
"Of all the people present, we paid the costs of the 60 members of the official delegation and the eight others who were on stage during the official presentation. The 150 other people who were on the trip paid for their airfares and hotel expenses."
Accommodation in a five-star hotel and dinner in “the 33rd best restaurant in the world” were particular criticisms of Mediapart.
Estanguet said the costs were planned well in advance, and that the total bid outlay still came in around €4 million under the original €60-million budget.