A TOP Tory MP secretly slated Manchester after its failed Olympic bid declaring “no-one in their right mind would spend three weeks” there.
At the time, Green was not an MP but was working with Prime Minister John Major on his policy unit.
He said: “The reason for Manchester’s failure, is the obvious of one.
“No-one in their right mind would spend three weeks in Manchester rather than Sydney.
“It is hard to imagine Manchester ever being successful.”
Ironically the city would go on to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games to huge success, with London eventually hosting the Olympics in 2012.
‘DIDN’T WIN ANY FRIENDS’
The comments are in files released by the National Archive today of the February 1994 report, which also saw sporting legends referred to as “old buffers”.
Downing Street aide Alex Allan said: “We have also adopted rather an arrogant attitude, based either on past glories or on a belief that many of those now running international sporting bodies are corrupt and/or power-mad.
“Some probably are – but we didn’t win any friends by saying so.
“We have had too many nice old buffers running things or representing Britain on international sporting bodies.”
FLAVOUR OF WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN
His note to Mr Major went on to cite as examples Mary Glen-Haig, an Olympian at the London Games in 1948, and sports administrator Marea Hartman, who died aged 73.
The secret files also gave a flavour of what might have been, with details of what the PM would have said if Manchester had won the bid.
Mr Major planned to say: “We faced some stiff competition. This success shows that when we put our minds to something in Britain, we are world-beaters.
“We went for gold and got it.”
There was also some intelligence on members of the International Olympic Committee, which claimed the Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg was “a potential Manchester supporter.”