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Bernie Ecclestone on the leak of Grand Prix licence fee: "I don't really mind"
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has spoken exclusively with 3AW following reports Victorian taxpayers were paying more than $30-million a year for the right to host the Grand Prix.
It was speculated yesterday that the leak of the confidential figure could jeopardise Melbourne's chances of retaining the event but Eccelstone says "it doesn’t make any difference".
"The first thing the figure that has been published that may not be the correct figure. I don't really mind. People can report what they like" Mr Ecclestone told Justin Smith.
"It doesn't really make any difference. It's good for the newspapers to write things. They have to write something" he said.
Mr Eccelstone would not disclose the actual Grand Prix licensing cost citing confidentially restrictions.
"I mean I don't discuss our contracts with people. I discuss it with our lawyers and the people we are doing business with" he said.
LISTEN BELOW: Bernie Ecclestone speaks with Justin Smith
3AW TRANSCRIPT 24/01/12:
JUSTIN SMITH:This figure that has been thrown around has been put down as kind of a license fee, a rights fee for us to be able to call it a Grand Prix and for us to be able to run the even with you support. Are you saying it just doesn't work that way? Is the what you are saying?
BERNIE ECCELSTONE: Yeah exactly
JS: Are you disappointed that this figure has been thrown out there?
BE: I mean have you spoken to whoever pays to see if the figure is correct?
JS: The whole figure is part of, we have been told, a confidentially agreement and people have said that because it is part of a confidentiality agreement that you might be unhappy that this figure has been released and it could actually jeopardise the Grand Prix.
BE: No but the newspaper might have said 100 or 10 (million). They should find out exactly what the figure is, they should ask the people that pay the amount how much they are paying.
JS: Let's clear it up with you. Are you telling me that you do not get that $30-million a year. Just to be clear.
BE: No I am not telling you anything because you started the conversation, or part of the conversation with confidentially. I mean I don't discuss our contracts with people. I discuss it with our lawyers and the people we are doing business with.
Personally, I find the Grand Prix boring, as I do current tennis (tennis was good in the days of Newcombe, Roach, etc.). Now, give me V8 saloon car racing any day; at least there is some excitement.David T. Saturday 26 January, 2013 - 5:32 PM
Loved listening to this interview - Bernie just didn't buy into the hype & basically told Justin Smith nothing - and I couldn't help but agree with his finishing remark about newspapers having to publish something & it doesn't matter if the detail is correct or not!! It's a shame 3AW gets sucked in by the sensationalism time & time againAnnie Friday 25 January, 2013 - 12:13 PM
Of course he doesn't mind, there is a queue of cities vying for the opportunity to host an F1 race. Only the ignorant and short sighted would want to get rid of an event of world interest such that it is.Lukew Friday 25 January, 2013 - 3:23 AM
People people, this is all about kickbacks, the politicians involved all receive healthy kickbacks for being involved in this, it's standard issue, they live in their own little world, 'you scratch my back... I'll scratch yours' mentality. Big money is changing hands.... Seriously, why else would, really the only major event that year after year has to be up-funded by government, be staged year after year.... It's a scam. The public are suckers, and cowards for not standing and marching in the streets. Yes, the money would be better spent in the hospital system or schools, but don't just talk about it, do something!Mark Thursday 24 January, 2013 - 6:33 PM
You should have asked him about the four Billion dollars he gave to one of his daughters and another 3 Billion to another daughter.These two females own the biggest and most expensive houses in the United States.Thirty million is pocket change for Bernie but a lot of hospital beds for melbourne hospitals.I've been to the race twice and didnt think it was that good. Never again!Fay silk Thursday 24 January, 2013 - 4:19 PM
If the Grand Prix is to remain in Melbourne, it should be fully privately funded. The businesses that benefit financially from it being here (eg hotels, restaurants, sponsors) are the ones who should be funding it.
I am toally against taxpayers' money being used to prop up private enterprises. It creates a fake economy and it also means there is less money to give to the things the taxpayer actually owns, such as public hospitals.jason Thursday 24 January, 2013 - 1:46 PM