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Parr for the course

NEWS STORY
03/08/2011

In the wake of the announcement of the BBC/Sky F1 deal, one extremely vocal inhabitant of Planet Paddock was bound to be in favour of the idea.

Sadly, Williams chairman Adam Parr's comments in reaction to Friday's announcement were lost amongst the various press releases, reports, quotes and other nonsense at the time, so it is only today that that some are reporting them for the first time.

In the relatively short time he has lived in Planet Paddock, Parr has earned quite a reputation for himself, yet he carries on regardless. As the old guard come towards the end of their innings, some believe that Parr represents the future. If so, the future looks cold and bleak.

Speaking to reporters in Hungary, Parr gave his views on the BBC/Sky deal, unsurprisingly he is all for it.

"We understand they will still be doing a full highlights broadcast at 6pm which actually for a lot of people is a better time than it is now," he opined.

"The fundamental challenge is that Formula One is a very, very expensive show," he continued. "It is not two blokes with a couple of tennis rackets and a pair of plimsolls all of which was provided free.

"If you go to Cirque de Soleil and you see cutting edge performers in an amazing facility constantly updating the show it costs you £100 for a good ticket, or you can go to your local circus with a couple of mangy elephants and a rather droopy clown and it costs you £10. People are capable of distinguishing."

Not for the first time, Parr admitted that in his eagerness to see the teams make more money, he feels more races are needed. "I think the number of races can increase a little bit," he said, admitting: "We might have to look at the format of the weekend but we could do a couple more races."

Could he possibly mean reducing race weekend to two days? If so, should those fans being told what good value the new Sky deal is need to take on board the fact that in time they'll be getting less action for their subscription? Suddenly that mangy elephant is sounding better value.

At a time when various elements within the sport are telling us how important the fans are, Parr is of the opinion that they're not doing their bit, not pulling their weight.

"Since I've been in Formula One, I have crusaded to reduce the costs, which would be beneficial for everybody," he said. "The teams would be more sustainable, we would be able to invest more in young drivers. We would be able to potentially have lower fees from motors, lower fees from broadcasters.

"While it costs, on average, each team let's say £100million a year, £1.2billion a year to put the show on... That money has to come from somewhere," he continued. "What I say to the fans is, we understand how you feel and it's a shame the BBC couldn't sustain that. We are trying to put in place the best possible and most accessible deal we can for British fans.

"Meanwhile, we have to balance the books, which let's face it, not many teams in Formula One are doing. And we are trying to keep the quality of the show and everything at the same time.

"I'd like the fans, perhaps, if they felt supportive, to be a bit more supportive of some of the things we are trying to do to reduce the cost in the sport."

The expression 'let them eat cake' comes to mind.

Anyway, talking of droopy clowns, like a stuck record Parr added: "There are ways of increasing revenues."

Of course there are Adam, of course there are.

Meantime, we think this might deserve a Talking Point of its very own.

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