Ecclestone denies Mosley plot

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has denied reports that he was involved in an attempt to “destroy” under-fire FIA president Max Mosley.

Mosley has endured a torrid time since allegations were published about his private life, although he successfully saved his job by winning a majority in a specially convened vote on his presidency among FIA members.

Ecclestone, a long time friend and business associate of Mosley, has been fiercely critical of his conduct, calling on Mosley to resign his post in the aftermath of the unseemly stories.

The two men are also in dispute over commercial rights in F1 – the FIA’s World Motor Sport council are expected to be advised by Mosley tomorrow to halt negotiations with Ecclestone until radical amendments are made to the sport’s distribution of funds – but the latter has rubbished suggestions he was responsible for Mosley’s recent troubles.

“It is nothing in the world the do with me in any shape or form,” he told The Times.

“Secondly, this sort of thing is not my style, not the sort of way I would operate. Thirdly there is no way in the world I would want to destroy Max. To suggest I would...it’s not true.”

Regarding Mosley’s desire to see F1’s commercial revenues split differently in the future, Ecclestone was dismissive.

Asked what would happen if the FIA attempted to exert influence over Ecclestone or his company, Formula One Management, he said: “I’m sure if that happened the European Commission would move in.

“Under the agreement with the European Commission, the FIA are the regulators of the sport – like the police – Formula One Management are the commercial rights holders. The money doesn’t belong to Max. It doesn’t belong to him to touch.”

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