SBD/Issue 165/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Is Potential New Role For Ecclestone Merely Posturing?

FIA Extends Position To Ecclestone
F1 Management Chair Bernie Ecclestone is “considering removing himself from the role” of F1 commercial rights holder and joining FIA to “oversee the administration of the sport’s development,” according to the PRESS ASSOCIATION. FIA President Max Mosley said that the business of F1 “was taking a disproportionate amount of his time as president and he has invited Ecclestone to accept the proposed new post.” Mosley: “His role would be specifically to deal with the problems of [F1] from the governing body’s point of view.” Ecclestone: “I suppose the job is quite appealing in a sense, dealing with every element of [F1], although I would have to remove myself from the commercial aspect of the sport.” If Ecclestone made the move, he would have to divest his 25% interest in SLEC, which includes the company that deals with the F1’s commercial interests. The remaining 75% is owned by three int’l banks. The PRESS ASSOCIATION writes the “implications of any such move by Ecclestone could be seismic.” The banks recently won a legal action allowing them operational control of SLEC, “but they were anxious to keep Ecclestone on as he provided the necessary expertise to exploit the sport’s commercial opportunities.” However, this scenario could also “be aimed at persuading the banks to sell Ecclestone their 75% stake at a discounted price, giving him back the total control of the commercial rights” (PRESS ASSOCIATION, 5/19).

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