Rumours of Bernie Ecclestone's eventual retirement as head of F1 continue, with potential successors remaining the basis for the speculation.

Ecclestone, now 82, insists that he has no plans to step back from running the sport he transformed into a multi-million dollar global spectacle, but a series of embarrassing issues, for F1's rights holder CVC at least, continue to suggest that his time may be being marked by others.

The former Brabham team owner was recently hit by a $400m demand by German bank BayernLB, which claims that it lost a similar amount when former chief risk officer Gerhard Gribkowsky accepted a 'bribe' - allegedly from Ecclestone - to sell its stake in the sport to CVC in 2006. While Ecclestone denies that the payments amounted to bribery, insisting that he was paying out to avoid details of his finances being revealed, Gribkowsky was jailed for eight-and-a-half years after being found guilty of taking $44m from the Briton's Bambino Holdings trust.

With reports that CVC may be tiring of Ecclestone fronting its interest in the sport, and a delayed flotation bid meaning that it is likely to be involved for a while longer, the list of possible replacements continues to grow.

The latest stories see Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore added to the potential successors, having guided Britain's senior football competition to new heights, and in line to collect around ?5bn from global television rights. According to the UK's Daily Mail newspaper, however, prising Scudamore away from his current role may not be the work of a moment, especially with the promise of a multi-million pound bonus for his TV work being payable over three years, and subject to review by a remuneration committee next June.

CVC, meanwhile, maintains that it is not looking to replace Ecclestone in the immediate term, but acknowledges that a succession plan is required should the octogenarian be forced to stand down.



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