“Exor is the family company of the major shareholder of the FIAT Group,” he explained. “You have other examples in F1 where you have some organisers who are shareholders of some teams. For me, as President of the FIA, we would all be stronger if we worked together instead of against each other. It's a fact of life, and it's what I've been trying to do since I am head of the FIA.”
Meanwhile, sceptical ex-F1 team owner Eddie Jordan has echoed Ecclestone in casting doubt upon the sincerity of the News Corp/Exor bid, contending that the consortium would need to find some £7 billion to successfully complete a takeover – one of a whole series of obstacles.
Whilst acknowledging that the interest is 'complimentary to the sport', the Irishman pointed out that Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive Ecclestone has 'delivered to each and every one of the teams financial stability' – and as such, Murdoch would need to demonstrate that he could do the same since at the end of the day, 'F1 is fuelled by money'.
Another potential stumbling-block, opined the BBC F1
pundit, is the present stipulation under the terms of the governing Concorde Agreement and European law that the sport must be broadcast on free-to-air television, whereas News Corp-owned BskyB
operates according to a pay-per-view model.
has got to put on the table where they think they can match the equivalent of the BBC
, and at this moment in time, it's hard to see where that is,” Jordan told Jeff Randall Live
, adding in an interview with the Beeb: “I feel this is just a little bit of posturing. I'm still concerned as to how it can become effectual. The EU has been promised by Bernie Ecclestone in the past, and in the Concorde Agreement, that everything on TV would be free-to-air.
“If News Corp can find a way around that, then possibly I'll take this more seriously. [Also] there is no Concorde Agreement after 2012. That needs to be negotiated, because you'd have to say [to] the future purchasers, what are they actually buying? What rights do they have?”