Ecclestone The Man, The Myth

Bernie Ecclestone, perhaps the most cunning businessman ever

The BBC's Andrew Benson reported with Ecclestone, the "myth is so much wrapped up in the man that it is often hard to separate fact from fiction."

This son of a Suffolk trawlerman "has ruled Formula 1 for nearly 40 years with a combination of astuteness, cunning, sharp practice and sheer intellectual power arguably unmatched across business and sporting worlds." He "has turned what was essentially a minority activity for enthusiasts into the most-watched global sport outside the Olympics and football's World Cup."

His appearance in the High Court this week "is one of a series of legal problems that present him with his biggest challenge yet." Can he "survive accusations he made corrupt payments to a German banker to facilitate the sale of F1?" In the normal business world, the answer would be "no." Any CEO who has referred to women as "domestic appliances" or praised Adolf Hitler for being "able to get things done" would have been "shown the door with a haste to match the indecency of the remarks."

Not Ecclestone, who "survived those particular storms — and many more." He has done it "because of his remarkable achievements, his all-pervading influence in F1 and, since the sport began trading as a commodity, his success in making money for his bosses." That last attribute "may yet keep him in a job, as long as he can survive the current case in London and the subsequent, arguably more serious, criminal bribery case in Munich." BBC

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