Glasgow 2014: Boss quits just 3 months from Games

THE deputy chief executive of Glasgow 2014 has stepped down from his role just three months before the Games begin, it was announced last night.

Team Scotland Badminton players Kirsty Gilmour and Jillie Cooper with Ty Speer. Picture: PA

Ty Speer said that he was departing from the Commonwealth Games organising committee next week in order to pursue a new “non-event related” job overseas.

The American joined the committee in November 2012 to lead the Games’ commercial programme, including ticketing, which Glasgow 2014 management said had now exceeded £100 million in sales.

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They said Mr Speer had succeeded in attracting big-name sponsors, and demand for tickets has been high, with more than 90 per cent sold during their initial four-week release.

News of Mr Speer’s departure emerged just 89 days before the sporting event starts, on 23 July.

Announcing he was stepping down from Glasgow 2014, he said: “It’s clear from the commitment shown both from businesses and the public that Glasgow 2014 is generating real excitement and creating fantastic opportunities around showcasing world-class sport from Glasgow and Scotland on the global stage. I’m delighted to have led a commercial programme which has exceeded £100m in revenues, which is a real vote of confidence in the ability of the city and Scotland to put on a great Games.

“It’s been a real privilege to be part of a great team that I know will deliver an outstanding Commonwealth Games.”

Last night, Games chief executive David Grevemberg thanked Mr Speer for his service on the organising committee, which he said would help make this summer’s the best ever staged.

He said: “Ty has led a successful commercial programme and his knowledge and experience have been great assets to the organising committee. Glasgow 2014 will be a world-class sporting and cultural celebration and it’s our ambition to make them the greatest Games the Commonwealth has ever staged.

“I thank Ty for his contribution to the organising committee and, on behalf of the winning Glasgow 2014 team, wish him every success for the future.”

Before joining the Glasgow Commonwealth 2014 team Mr Speer was client services director of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Prior to that he was the sales and commercial manager for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

A Glasgow 2014 spokesman said there were no plans to appoint a successor to Mr Speer.

He said: “As the planning phase for his areas of responsibilities is now finalised and much of the work on the commercial and ticketing programmes complete, his executive responsibilities can be distributed amongst the other members of the executive team.”

Mr Speer’s departure comes just weeks after the Games organisers faced a barrage of criticism after revealing they planned to demolish the five tower blocks of the Red Road flats as part of the opening ceremony of the Games.

More than 17,000 people signed a petition opposing the move on the grounds that it was insensitive to former residents and to the asylum seekers who continue to inhabit a sixth block. The plan was cancelled when police raised concerns over

locals refusing to leave the exclusion zone in protest.