BRDC still warring over Silverstone plans
|By Jonathan Noble||Wednesday, April 19th 2006, 09:44 GMT|
The fight over the future of Silverstone and the British Grand Prix shows no signs of being resolved ahead of next week's BRDC Annual General Meeting after the warring camps openly moved to criticise each other.
The fate of Silverstone is set to be voted on at the AGM of Silverstone's owners the BRDC next Friday, after a previous attempt to rubber-stamp a proposal to have the track redeveloped by St. Modwen was delayed to allow more time for members to consider the idea.
Those plans have been rejected completely by a faction of the BRDC led by Harry Stiller, however. They believe their own plan, which has the blessing of Formula One commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, is much better for the future of the circuit.
And although there had been hope last week that Ecclestone's involvement would perhaps be a catalyst to find a compromise solution for Silverstone, the situation actually appears to have deteriorated ahead of a forum at the track today to present the St. Modwen plans again.
On Tuesday, BRDC president Jackie Stewart suggested that Ecclestone's endorsement of Stiller's plans was not as secure as had been suggested - and he revealed that a request had been put forward to delay an EGM vote of no confidence in the BRDC board in exchange for legal fees being paid.
Stewart was quoted as saying by PA Sport: "He (Stiller) suggested he would like the EGM postponed or put off. In return for doing that he would like us to pay his legal costs.
"We do not wish to do so but it gives some idea of the kind of person we are dealing with.
"I am confused by his tactics. I rather suspect he's been told by Bernie that all the things he has said are not reality and he wants more time to pull together the proposal."
Stiller wasted little time in responding to Stewart's comments – accusing the BRDC board of spreading 'misinformation'.
"Whilst there is some element of truth in the reports, the main report is incorrect," said Stiller in a statement he issued on Tuesday.
"I did in fact contact the Chairman last Friday morning in an effort to try and bring about a peaceful settlement to the current differences of opinion between us and avoid further hostility for the sake of the Club and the membership."
He added: "I offered (BRDC chairman) Stuart Rolt the following deal:
"Back the plan we have laid out to the membership, give it full air time at your four forthcoming forums for the members to discuss and ask questions. Give us a day at Silverstone, in May, to present the plan in a proper professional presentation format and, let the members then decide if they would like it to go forward or vote on it if they so wished.
"I would ask Mr Ecclestone to be present at that presentation. Pay our costs to date, which 30 odd members have contributed to. If he agreed to this, I would postpone the EGM.
"The President's attempts to discredit any possibility of this offer of Mr Ecclestone's having any reality attached to it, is purely a figment of his own imagination exacerbated by the failure of the St Modwen plan to have been found acceptable to the membership."