15 JULY 1995, Page 26

Covent Garden F.C.

Sir: Eight months into its first ten years, no one would claim the National Lottery is perfect, but it does seem a bit odd to attack it, as you did ('Let them eat cake', 8 July), for favouring opera over football, since that is directly the opposite of the truth.

Parliament decided that lottery funds available for distribution, a quarter of the whole, should be split equally, five ways. Charities and the Sports Council receive exactly as much as the Arts. Football there- fore will benefit as much as opera.

It just happens that the Arts Council has its act together, and has begun distribution rather promptly. Three years on, let alone ten or twenty, what appear now to be anomalies will, I guess, have been evened out.

Incidentally, 500,000 come to the Royal Opera House each year, thrice as many as see county cricket, and more than watched Chelsea at home last season.

Jeremy Isaacs

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London WC2