Mosley Offers Ecclestone an FIA Role

Bernie Ecclestone is considering giving up his role as Formula One's commercial rights holder for a new job with the sport's governing body, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday

The paper quoted FIA president Max Mosley saying he had offered Ecclestone a new post overseeing the administration of Formula One development.

"He hasn't said yes and he hasn't said no," said Mosley, speaking at a lunch in Monaco ahead of this weekend's highlight Grand Prix.

"I have millions of things to do to keep me occupied and recruiting Bernie would be a very satisfying way of dealing with the current situation.

"His role would be specifically to deal with the problems of Formula One from the governing body's point of view."

The FIA is separate from the commercial side of Formula One and if Ecclestone accepted the offer he would have to turn his back on the SLEC holding company that is controlled 75 percent by three banks.

Ecclestone and the banks, Bayerische Landesbank, JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers, have fought several legal battles in recent months for control of the sport with the banks gradually weakening the 74-year-old Briton's grip.

"I am trying to decide whether this is what I should do or not but I would have to say I am seriously considering the proposition Max has put to me at the moment," Ecclestone told the newspaper.

"Is he pressing me for a decision? Well, sort of.

"I suppose the job is quite appealing in a sense, dealing with every element of Formula One, although I would have to remove myself from the commercial aspect of the sport.

"The trouble is, Max currently can't do everything at the FIA and he is spending a great deal of time with car-industry matters", Ecclestone added. "So perhaps the teams, who are always complaining about how Max carries on, might find me a little easier to deal with."

That would have major implications for the future of Formula One, with Ecclestone the man who has built the sport into a billion dollar business over the last three decades.

The Guardian suggested, however, that the manoeuvring could be aimed at persuading the banks to sell Ecclestone their shareholding cheaply, giving him back complete control of the commercial rights.

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