OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Moynihan slams 'unacceptable' empty seats
BRITISH Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan has labelled the number of empty seats at London 2012 venues as 'unacceptable' and detrimental to the home team’s performance.
UNACCEPTABLE: Thousands of seats unfilled during USA versus North Korea at Old Trafford
Moynihan has had a somewhat fractious relationship with London 2012 chairman Seb Coe in the past 12 months, highlighted by an unseemly row over the distribution of Games profits.
Locog insist venues are full and they are working with members of the Olympic family, including athletes, officials, media and sponsors, to ensure they take up their full allocation of seats or allow them to be sold.
But Moynihan believes more needs to be done.
"This is an issue that seriously concerns me," he said.
"This has to be sorted, it is unfair on Great Britain not to have maximum support and it is absolutely unreasonable to the public who are so supportive not to come to the Olympic Games and have that experience that they are never going to have again.
"This is a major takeaway issue that the IOC will need to look at very carefully but every empty seat disappoints me.
"It goes wider than that. It is about great blocks of seats that are empty when we have thousands of people who have desperately been trying to get tickets and it is not acceptable."
Moynihan also stopped short of calling Bradley Wiggins Great Britain's greatest ever Olympian, an accolade he has previously bestowed on fellow rower Sir Steve Redgrave.
Redgrave has won six Olympic medals, including five golds, while Wiggins has now claimed seven podium places but only four golds.
"He is at the very top in hallowed territory and it was so good to see him perform so outstandingly well," he said.
"Above all, nothing can take away from him that he is unquestionably one of the greatest athletes we have seen in Team GB."
Team chief Andy Hunt also stopped short of bestowing the greatest-ever label on Wiggins.
"I use the phrase top table because a number of people can sit around that table but what you can say is that he is absolutely rightfully at that table," he said.
"He is entitled to celebrate, it is extraordinary what he has done and I don't think there is a person in the country who wouldn't want to buy him a drink."
© Sportsbeat 2012