----- Original Message -----
May 22, 1994
Subject: LETTER TO
I'm stranded in
the Olympic Airways VIP lounge in Baghdad
where I've been in discussions with our Iraqi delegates
the Hussein Brothers. We've been throwing around the
possibility of holding the Games here in 2004. It look
promising. There's plenty of money being splashed around
and a fair slice of it has been earmarked for IOC travel
and expenses. We could call it the Arab Games.
I'm waiting for a
replacement plane to come in from Athens. We were ready
for take-off when the pilot informed us of a technical
hitch and we all had to get off. I think I'll be here
for a couple of hours.
Would you be
kind enough to call Albert in Monaco and let him know
I'll be late for our luncheon engagement. He's had Anne
staying with him for the last few days and I'm looking
forward to seeing her too. Can you also
ring Michael Killanin and let him and his
driver know that I will be a couple of hours late for
dinner. Tell him I will phone him as soon as I
arrive in Dublin's fair city.
Also can you
brush up this email below and send it off to John Coates
in Australia for me? I have mislaid his email address.
I'm stranded in an airport lounge in Baghdad on my way
back from Iraq where I've been holding discussions with
our two IOC representatives there, the Hussein brothers.
They're both exceptionally nice chaps, not a vindictive
bone in their body.
The delay is a bit of a bugger really
because I'm due to see Albert and Anne in Monaco and Killanin in
Dublin before the day's out. Any way it gives me the opportunity to
send you a note bringing you up to date on Olympic
Actually I'm as busy as Bosnian
bricklayer at the moment. After I see Killanin I have to
go to New York to see our new financial adviser, Bernie
Madoff. If you've got any spare cash left over from your
investment in the Cairns Casino I recommend you drop
Bernie a line. He's at 885 Third Avenue and you can
phone him on 212-230-2424. You should have lunch with
him when next you're in New York. He's got a pretty
flash outfit and their investment returns are something
out of this world.
I spoke to your Minister Faulkner in Geneva last week
over lunch. Whilst he doesn't have as healthy an
appetite as his predecessor, Minister Richardson,
he does have a high regard for you and the work you are
doing at the Australian Sports Commission, the
Australian Rowing Federation, the AOC and David Jones.
He told me he's got shares in DJ's.
of Faulkner is that he's completely out of
his depth in this portfolio. He'd be better off in
Defence where his aide de camp could look after him.
Anyway, he did pick up the tab for the meal
- which means Richardson must have let him in on the
secret that there's a bit of nudge, nudge, wink, wink
going on here!
He let it slip that Prime Minister Keating has greatly
appreciated your counsel and has given the quest for the
Sydney Olympics the Government's highest sporting
priority. Your work on the Australian Institute of Sport
has been highly valued and respected. You have stamped
your mark as a leader.
I know former Prime Minister Hawke is an
avid sportsman. Both Hawke and Keating believe the Olympics in
Sydney will put Australia on the map - and will be worth
every dollar of the estimated $10B it is going to cost
the Australian taxpayer.
Faulkner said the Government had got
Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer on side and was bringing
in a PR firm to convince the Australia's mug taxpayers
that the money spent on the Olympics would encourage
more people to start playing sport. They were worried
sports clubs couldn't handle it. He said the Treasurer
had told him that the anticipated fitness benefit alone
will bring about a 40% decline in visits to doctors and
Faulkner and I spoke about the $88m that the NSW
government will present to the Australian Olympic
Committee just prior to the Sydney Olympics. I thought
it was going to be $100m. WTF.
Fahey doesn't know anything about it, so keep this
information under your hat. I've met Mr Fahey.
Since Greiner got the boot he's had a lot on his plate, all the more reason for him to give you the
$88m so he doesn't have to be involved. As you are
aware, we're betting the the Leader of the Opposition,
Bob Carr will win the next election. It's Carr and
Richardson who have stitched up the $88M payment.
John make sure you have a big long lunch
with Richardson every month from here until the Olympics
and if you can make sure Carr is there. If you need
money just give me a hoy.
currently casting around for one of Fahey's ministers who
has the sporting inclination to take over the role of
Olympics Minister. But, in anticipation of a change of
government - sooner rather than later - our sources have
recommended you cultivate a friendship with Mr Knight
from the electorate of Campbelltown. I will pass on the
name of our contact at Burson-Marsteller to get in touch
with you. I heard on the grapevine that Burson want to
have a chat with you anyway, so you could kill two birds
with one stone; are you with me?
Anyway, now the
deal for the transfer of the $88m to the AOC is all
stitched up, I can say without fear of contradiction
that Sydney will get the nomination for the 2000
John, I want to provide you with some highly privileged
information. As you are aware, there are three IOC
organisations, the public face comprised of royalty and
octogenarians, the Executive Committee and the Conclave. The Olympic
Conclave has been modelled on
the Cosa Nostra and the Vatican State. Like the Knight's
Templar it has 9 members. We have established separate
financial arrangements with Madoff so we
can come and go as we please.
John, for some
time now the
IOC Conclave has
been watching your rise to power and influence in
Australian sporting circles. It has been a meteoric
and much deserved rise. You can, as you Australian's
say, 'suck your guts in and puff your chest out' with
pride. You are very persistent and successful in drawing
government attention to the Olympic movement. Don't tell him I said
this, but Richardson said you've been sticking to the
Government 'like shit to a blanket'. Never forget that
as Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Sports Commission
you are our mole, you are our eyes and ears. Keep them
I'm sure you'll soon be wearing an Australian
honour award on the lapel of your suit coat. I also
understand that the Henley Organising Committee will
shortly be in touch with you to present the medals at
the annual regatta. This will be a very big feather in
your cap. It is a highly coveted role, usually reserved
for royalty - but maybe that is something else to which
The members of the Olympic Conclave wish
me to let you know how very much they appreciate your
work on its behalf, particularly the $90m. We will, in due
course, have to work out how the Conclave can
receive it's consideration.
Sydney will be the best Olympics yet. Minister Faulkner
agrees with me as do Kevan and Phil.
There is no
doubt in my mind that after your success in 2000, you
will be invited to join the IOC as a full member for
life, representing not Australia, but us and your good self. This
grace and favour appointment has already been stitched
up by the Conclave. It will involve lots of trips 'down the sharp
end', five star accommodation and plenty of Grange
Hermitage and Krug, something I know you relish. You'll need to watch
Once you are on
the IOC I picture your rapid rise to the position of
first, Vice President and then President. Like yourself,
the Conclave members have high ambition for you. Membership of the
IOC and the Conclave will be assured as soon as the
Sydney Olympics are over.
and despite his own vaulting ambition, Kevan will never
get the top spot. He tries too hard and he's been held
back ever since his little mate, Phil Coles got caught
with his hand in the cookie jar. Our nomination
committee favours Jacques Rogge. But after Jacques has
completed his presidency, there is no doubt in my mind
that you will be our top candidate.
John, as we
have discussed, the final jewel in your crown as a
sports administrator will be the establishment of the
new Olympic State in Avignon, home of the former French
Papal State and close to the birthplace of our dear
founder, the Baron De Coubertin.
Like the Papal
State, the Olympic State will have full rights to govern
sport throughout the world as well as full voting rights
at the United Nations.
The Governing Council of
the Vaucluse Department are excited by the possibility
and have set aside a nominal amount of land for the
purpose. They anticipate a phenomenal boost in revenue
from tourism. It is their hope (and mine) that
eventually Avignon will become the permanent home of the
Olympic Games. It will save us having to get our hands
dirty every four years selecting the next venue.
The French Government is also
enthusiastic about the project, being another
opportunity to stick it up the Greeks, the Swiss, the
English and the Italians.
I'm currently in discussions with the Swiss Guard
regarding the formation of a security detail. They come
with the recommendation and high regard of our Holy
Father. The financial success of the project is assured
since Madoff came on board.
John, your role
in attaining this goal will be pivotal to its success.
Your title will be, the Crown Prince of Sport, His
Excellency, Baron Coates of
establishment of the Olympic State was an ambition I set
myself when I first became involved in the Olympic
Movement just prior to the Berlin Olympics in 1936. It
was a project in which his Excellency, Herr Hitler was particularly interested
and almost came to fruition when the Germans invaded
France. Unfortunately the collapse of the Third Reich
put an end to that ambition, at least until now. It is
definitely on the drawing board of the IOC Conclave.
John, you have been chosen to make the dream a reality.
You have broad Antipodean shoulders and they are about to get a lot
Whilst it is
doubtful that I will see it in my lifetime, I have no
doubt that you will see the Olympic flag flying high at
Avignon in yours.
John, even though I know you share my great ambition, I
also know that there are dark moments when you cast your
mind over the tin pot bunch of sports that are members
of the Australian Olympic Family. Whilst I know we've
shared a laugh about the associations that could hold
their annual general meeting in a phone box and don't
have two sticks to rub together. I know it pains you
that some Australian associations
wanting to compete on the International stage don't have a national club competition.
I know you sometimes think 'Why am I
rooting for a mob of sports that
don't know how to root for themselves?'
John, you are still young. Get over it.
For my part I don't give a shit about
national sporting associations. I know your predecessor, Syd
Grange didn't give a shit about them either. He didn't
even give a shit when Dawn Fraser got rubbed out. He was more
interested in the trips. Dawn has a soft spot for me!
It's what's kept her sniffing around the Games for the
last 40 years.
John, I'll let you in on a little secret,
no-one involved with the Olympic Conclave gives a shit
about national sports associations. We're above all that. I'd
encourage you to take the same attitude. Once you're a
member of the IOC Family it's the big, grande picture you need to focus on. What a spectacle it
is when those teams march into the arena, in lock step
with our ideals.
And never forget that the main reason for
the Olympic Games is for the host country to show off at
the opening ceremony - and for people like us to get
trips. John, I love trips. I know you love trips. Stay
focused on trips. The rest is bullshit.
John, I'm worried about you. Every time I
ring you up at home you're never there, you're off to
some sporting association dinner or awards night. Christ
knows how your wife puts up with all of this; and your
kids. Every time I talk to her I can just see her
rolling her eyes as she tries to explain away the
importance of what ever you've gone to. She told me the
only reason she hasn't bailed out is because of the
frequent flyer points.
Get a grip on yourself. Stay away from
all these pissant functions. They'll only make you
fatter. Get out of Rowing Australia. They're a bunch of
private school poofters. Stay home. Keep your eye on the big picture.
John take heart, ours is a great and
lofty cause. Should you want it, the mantle is yours to wear. Keep your eye
on the world-wide hegemony of the Olympic Movement; the power and the
glory of Sport at Avignon. In a few short years, with
you at the helm; FIFA, IAAF, FISA, UCI, FIBA, ITF and
the rest of the rag bag collection of jumbled letters will bow down at your
Finally, John I have a small suggestion
for you. If you want sleep well at night, in the
absolute certainty that Sydney will be the host city for
the 2000 Olympics, I suggest you offer $A50,000 to each
to the national Olympic committees of Kenya and Uganda
and provided their delegates with expensive hotel
accommodation in London and other gifts. John, you need a bag
man. I'll give Phil Coles a call.
Better still, buy yourself a Gladstone
bag. I have one and carry it around with me every where
I go. It's amazing how much of the green stuff you can
fit into it.
John, I pass the
Olympic torch on to you with all my best wishes. I'm
sure I'll be seeing you again before we meet in Atlanta.
As the Chef De Mission I know your Aussie team will be
cooking up something.
confidence and my very best wishes,
Your dear friend, confidente and mentor,
your little Spanish mate.
22nd May 1994
PS Don't forget to call Madoff.