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Bernie Ecclestone's perfect Christmas present

NEWS STORY
20/12/2012

Christmas is coming so what do you get for a billionaire who runs the world's most-watched annual sport?

It is a question which was puzzling Pitpass' business editor Christian Sylt so he asked Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone. The response is one which may send a shiver down F1's 11 teams.

"Really and truly, what would be easy for me is if we did a bit more like the NFL or something like that where we take over all the things that the teams have, all the sponsorship, everything. They have a race car and they get paid on results," says Ecclestone.

The teams are already in a plum position compared to most of the other stakeholders in F1. They receive a total of 50% of the sport's annual profit and don't have to pay a penny to the F1 Group which Ecclestone runs. In contrast, the race promoters have to pay average annual fees of £16.6m in order to host a Grand Prix and they don't get any share of the F1 Group's profits.

Bearing this in mind it's easy to see why redressing the balance may be on Ecclestone's mind. That said, if anything, the F1 Group's agreement with the teams is going in the other direction in that whenever it is renegotiated they end up with more money not less.

So it doesn't seem likely that Ecclestone's wish will be granted in his lifetime which just goes to show that you can be a billionaire, and one of the most powerful men in sport, but you can't always get what you want.

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