There are very few controversial well known bosses as Bernie Ecclestone, who’s tough stance and ability to bring several dysfunctional motor racing teams together with TV rights, has made him a multi billionaire. Read his biography (unofficial) you gasp what is alleged sometimes and wonder how someone with a questionable background could still be in charge of the massive business of Formula One.
The reality is most fans like him and understand his contribution to the richest sport in the world. The fact that with all these allegations, nothing has been proven and so even into his 80’s he still stands at the top.
His latest challenge involved being accused of bribing a bank to ensure the new owners was that of his choosing, so he could still stay in charge. After many years of preparation and then a trial in Germany, the result is Bernie paying £60 million settlement fee, even though the judge said there were no charges to answer too. Something Bernie says “He was an Idiot ” to do according to a piece on the BBC website F1 section.
The Public Face
So now he is back in charge, as he had stepped down on some roles temporarily whilst the trial was ongoing. This is good news for F1 fans who many could not see the race series without him, even in his later years. Very few sports have a head person, who is the public face and the man who negotiates with world leaders and Hollywood stars to maximise the marketing of the spectacle.
It also has to be said, that most would have fallen years ago with even a sniff of scandal proven or not. Bernie seems to stand up to even the biggest of pressures and gets through it.
What’s to come in the future no-one yet knows although very few want any replacement to be a pen pusher or executive business person looking after the share holders interests rather than the fans or teams. You can’t help thinking, Bernie will have something to say about choosing who the next leader and lets hope it’s someone close to the racing and teams, rather than someone close to the shareholders.
He has driven, although not successfully, owner and won with a F1 team and worked through the ups and downs of motorsport including FIA bosses, driver deaths and the ever changing teams who often struggle to raise finance. any new leader, should have also gone through these times, be a shroud as Bernie and hopefully as likable.