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Surprise as Games official quits

The second-most senior official behind Glasgow's Commonwealth Games has quit just three months before the event's opening ceremony.

Ty Speer: Claims he achieved everything he set out to in Games.
Ty Speer: Claims he achieved everything he set out to in Games.

Ty Speer announced he would stand down as deputy chief executive of Glasgow 2014, the Games organising committee, saying he was pursuing another unspecified job overseas.

The American, who has been in post since November 2012, said he had already achieved his "core mission" by raising more than £100 million in sponsorship from brands including BP, Ford, SSE, and Virgin Media.

Mr Speer took the job in November 2012 in the reshuffle that followed the shock departure of chief executive John Scott. He will leave early next week.

He declined to say where he is going, citing commercial confidentiality. He also declined to say whether he had forgone golden handcuffs offered to senior executives at Glasgow 2014 to make sure they saw out the Commonwealth Games.

Mr Speer, who previously worked at the London Olympics, said: "I am taking a job outside the UK after seven great years here. I am going to try a new place. The job needs to be confidential but an announcement will be made in due course.

"It is outside of the games and major events industry entirely."

Asked if he was heading somewhere sunny, Mr Speer, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, said he wasn't heading to either Brazil or Australia, which are hosting the next Olympics and Commonwealth Games. "If you are asking about Rio or Gold Coast or any other major event, I can definitely say no. It's time for a new challenge."

Mr Speer would not comment on how much notice he was due to serve, only saying the Glasgow 2014 chief executive, David Grevemberg, was happy.

"This is a departure I am comfortable with and that David is comfortable with. We have talked about the timing and we both feel fine about it and that it makes sense considering exactly where things are.

"I came here to do a core mission of making sure that the funding target that was set by the organising committee of £100m was delivered so that everything that needed to be invested in the games could be invested in the games and they could be as good as they needed to be. We have obviously hit that £100m."

Mr Speer said: "I have been paid to do the job for the time I have been here and that is all." Asked to sum up his performance, he said: "I don't want to grade my own homework."

His departure comes after Glasgow 2014 was forced to drop the big "wow" of its opening ceremony, the demolition of six high-rises in the Red Road. Mr Speer, however, said he believed the Games were going to be fantastic.

He said: "The main advice I would leave this for the organising committee to keep doing what they are doing. I am absolutely 100% that this will be an amazing 11 days for Glasgow and you will have a ball like you have never experienced."

Asked if he would attend any of the events, he said: "Maybe if I am lucky, I shall get an invitation."

Glasgow 2014 Chief Executive David Grevemberg, 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 and wish him every success for the future."

Mr Speer will not be replaced.

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