Tag Archives: From my cold dead hands

Rupert Murdoch called

“Bernie,” he says expansively, “you don’t seem to me the type of man that wants to stand in the way of progress.”

Oh dear. It’s going to be one of those conversations, eh? “Progress, Rupert? Me standing in the way? Of course not. Which type of progress are you talking about anyway?”

“Why, Bernie, 3D of course. Haven’t you heard of it? Don’t you want to see those splendid F1 motors literally exploding out of TV screens around the world?”

‘Exploding’ doesn’t seem to me the most fortunate choice of words here, but I decide to let that go. “Rupert,” I tell him, “let it be said that Formula One always is, always has been, and always will be at the forefront of technology.” I learned that from Winston Churchill. Always say something three different ways if you can get away with it. “But we’re serious professionals too. So we’ll take something on board when everything’s ready, and not before. We’re giving the UK everything in HD, don’t we? Did it in Singapore last year, by the way. Like I said, we’re at the forefront. We’ll do the same with 3D when it’s ready. But thanks for offering your help. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

“Bernie, if you sell me the broadcasting rights we’ll be ready much sooner than you think. Let me do my work and you won’t be sorry. We’re the best of the best and we’ve got the audience to prove it.”

If I let you do your work, old scoundrel, you won’t rest until you’ve Continue reading

Rupert and Carlos: you can have F1 if you take it from my cold, dead hands

Some of you may have read about persistent rumours of an impending takeover of F1 by Rupert Murdoch and Carlos Slim.

I have a message to Messrs Murdoch and Slim: you have no idea what or who you’re dealing with.

First, there’s me. I’m not sure if you’ve read any newspapers during the last few decades (well, Murdoch’s read The Sun, of course), but if you haven’t, here’s the news: the first bloke who beats me at negotiating has yet to be born. I know, I know, you’re a bunch of wily old foxes who’ve made a billion or two playing the markets, but trust me, if you haven’t been inside the world of motor racing, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Ask anybody who’s been around F1. Anybody at all.

And then there’s the sport itself. Mind you, F1 is not a market: it’s a sport. One that happens to be owned by me. (I know I’ve said it before but here it is again, just in case you didn’t get the message.) There’s a difference, and it matters. Let me explain.

Markets are populated by pitiful little people who have few interests except making money. They have no imagination and very little intellect. So they’re easy to play. Formula One, on the other hand, Continue reading