The passing last week of an 85-year-old American watch-tinkerer-turned-investor is unlikely to have registered on the radars of most Formula 1 fans unless their sporting interests are split between two teams of eleven players knocking about a ball, and eleven racing teams, each entering two drivers.
However, perusal of obituaries published in the wake of the death of Malcolm Glazer (d. May 28, 2014), president of First Allied Corporation and owner of various sports properties - including Manchester United - provides a fascinating study in parallels between the approach adopted by the club and that of CVC Capital Partners, holder of F1's commercial rights lease via Formula One Management.
True, there exists a raft of differences between the world's most valuable football club (at £2.4bn) and the globe's largest continuous sporting block, but the similarities, particularly with regard to their respective commercial philosophies, are such that the current custodians of F1 could do well to study Man U's recent humiliating fall from grace.
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South African-born Dieter trained as industrial engineer before holding down a variety of senior motor industry marketing and manufacturing positions. At the age of 40 he decided to follow his passion, and became the first and only South African journalist to cover Formula 1 regularly. Dieter joined AtlasF1 at the beginning of 2004 – a year prior to its merger with Autosport – and his regular column offers an intriguing analysis of F1’s politicking and commercial chicanery. Although now also proudly Belgian, he gives his domicile as "Wherever F1 duplicity lurks".@RacingLines More features by Dieter Rencken