The chief executive of the NEC has unveiled a ten-year plan to free Birmingham's council taxpayers from the shackles of the exhibition group's debt burden.
Andrew Morris said his vision was to make the NEC Group - comprising the National Exhibition Centre, International Convention Centre and National Indoor Arena - self-sufficient by eliminating the "deficits" which have plagued the complex.
Taking into account the interest on the original capital cost of construction, the Birmingham City Councilowned NEC Group loses about £8-9 million a year, a bill the local authority has to pick up.
The interest payments reflect the approximate £500 million cost of building the three iconic centres.
The money was borrowed but has proved expensive because the early NEC was a gamble. A recent partial refinancing has helped, but the legacy remains.
Mr Morris, now nearly a year into the role, said his job was to increase the venues' occupancy levels and so " enhance the bottom line".
He believes that if by doing so he can "eradicate" the ongoing deficits then he will have succeeded. "We will be standing on our own two feet."
Mr Morris said: "I have a ten-year plan to completely wipe out the deficits."
It envisages real progress by about 2008/09 and "full robustness" by 2114/15 and Mr Morris said he was confident it could be achieved.
But he maintained it was not a prelude to a moneymaking buyout.
He and his family made £25 million when he sold the Earl's Court and Olympia venues in London just ten days before the NEC chief executive job was advertised.
At one stage a Birmingham City Council position paper, since binned by Tory group leader Mike Whitby, even floated the possibility of a disposal of the NEC. But Mr Morris said a buyout was not even on the radar. He acknowledged rumours had been circulating and said, that with his background, he could understand why some might suspect his motives.
But he insisted: "There are no intentions, plans or discussions regarding a change of ownership of the NEC."
As for the three-way supercasino battle between the NEC, Birmingham City Football Club and Coventry's Ricoh Arena, Mr Morris was adamant the group's actions had been completely above board.
He rejected allegations that council officials have been unfairly advising on the NEC bid even though it is for the council to recommend to the Gaming Commission which of the Blues/ NEC schemes should go forward.
Mr Morris said the initiative had been driven purely by the NEC team set up to progress the proposal. Council officials had merely been scrutinising the plans rather than helping prepare them, he said.