FORMAN’S GAMES: The Dark Underside of the London Olympics – Forman & Field

The Dark Underside of the London Olympics

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On 6 July 2005, the world held a collective intake of breath as IOC president Jacques Rogge declared: ‘The Games of the 30th Olympiad in 2012 are awarded to the city of … London.’

Despite the images of jubilant crowds in the streets of Britain’s capital, there were some, like Lance Forman, for whom those words spelled only dread and uncertainty.

Forman’s Games lifts the lid on the acrimonious battle that pitched Forman’s, the country’s finest purveyor of smoked salmon, against the combined might of the UK authorities and the International Olympic Committee in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics.

Facing eviction to make way for the Olympic stadium, Forman’s teetered on the brink of collapse. Lance Forman’s fight to save the firm brought him into open conflict with many powerful figures, including the then Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, and Sebastian Coe.

This is the story of one family business, established in 1905, fighting the might of national and local government, the London Olympic Games Organising Committee (LOCOG) and of course the Olympic Movement, which operates above the laws of the countries who host its activities. It is a story of skulduggery and bullying, mounted against 350 local businesses, employing over 12,000 people, who stood in the way of a huge sporting event and an opportunity to develop the land on which they had successfully run businesses over decades. Lance Forman became their most recognisable spokesperson.

It got nasty, and until now the full story has never been told.



“An exquisitely score-settling book.”


“Amid what is an undeniably fascinating insider account of skulduggery and double dealing with businesses that had the misfortune to be located on the land earmarked for the Olympic Park, there is a good-news story of success by a little guy against all the odds.”


Forman’s Games is a fascinating insider account of what happened in the aftermath of London’s successful Olympic bid. Lance’s account lifts the lid on his relentless fight, his sheer chutzpah and how he forced the establishment to sit up and listen.”


“Lance Forman’s tale of the shady deals, covert negotiations and backroom operators of London makes the world of Machiavelli appear humdrum and straightforward – a truly gripping read.”




“A fascinating, eye-opening account! The author is to be congratulated on his display of belief, courage, enterprise, persistence in the face of much and varied adversity and sheer bloody-mindedness, as required when dealing with an uncaring bureaucracy apparently living in cloud-cuckoo land!”

By Andrew Dobrzynski 28 July 2016

“This is a thoroughly enjoyable rip roaring read, and illustrates that behind the headlines all is not what it seems. All from the perspective of a business owner who had everything to lose and ultimately triumphed against mighty odds. And with great humour and pathos. There is much to enjoy, and learn, in this book. Very highly recommended.”

By Spencer 31 July 2016

“A real page-turner! Thoroughly enjoyed for its wit, panache, and deep reflection. The Olympics, Livingstone, LDA, Lord Coe and so many others are shown to be awful, manipulative and hypocritical. This is not fiction, but a dreadful period for one man, his family and co-workers. This book is a lesson to us all, especially those who believe we live in a principled democratic nation where rule of law and honesty is paramount in high office. Makes for a great read though…”

By Jeremy 6 September 2016

Further information:

  • Hardback, 368 pages
  • Published by Biteback Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781785901157
  • Publish date 12 July 2016