I have recently posted about what ails F1. The new Qualifying format is a joke, passing appears to be more difficult than ever and the gap between the haves and the have nots is wider than ever. However, if you ask most people the number 1 thing that needs to change is Bernie Ecclestone. His chauvinistic views on women are well documented. In addition you have his tax evasion and bribery scandals. To his credit, Ecclestone has called current F1 “crap” never mind that most of F1’s crappy-ness is a result of Ecclestone himself. Basically he’s Donald Trump with a British accent and he is completely F***ing F1 up.
There may be a glimmer of good news on the horizion however. Ecclestone has hinted to The Sun (The British news outlet and not the big yellow thing in the sky) that he might be willing to sell his 35% stake in CVC. CVC Capitol Partners is the company that currently owns F1.
“I think CVC will make a decision on the sale sooner or later,” Ecclestone said. “There are people who want to buy. Actually, two of the people have agreed the price. It’s just a question of whether CVC wants to sell or not.”
What is Bernie’s asking Price? £6 billion (roughly $8.55 billion American). That is an extraordinary amount of money. Or is it? When you consider it is now routine for new NFL stadiums to cost in excess of $1 billion. The New York Yankees, Real Madrid and Dallas Cowboys are all boast individual worth’s around $3.2 Billion. The numbers in sports right now are completely insane. So $8.55 Billion isn’t as ridiculous a number as it would appear.
CVC paid £1.2 billion ($1.71 billion at today’s exchange rate) to take over the series in 2007. Since then CVC has sold off about half its original stake. The holding company has since sold off roughly half of its original stake in the series, leaving them with the 35.5% stake it holds today. Ecclestone still has the controlling interest in CVC. Ecclestone has hinted in the past, as recently as October 2015 that CVC is looking for a buyer. Is the latest report more rumor and here say? Or are we finally getting close to the end of the Bernie Ecclestone era in F1?