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Briatore to take more pain this week?
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Briatore to take more pain this week?
Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Oct 2009   |  4:27 pm GMT  |  21 comments

Disgraced former Renault team boss Flavio Briatore will learn tomorrow (Thursday) whether he is to face exclusion from football as well as motor sport.

 (Photo Darren Heath)

(Photo Darren Heath)


Briatore was banned from motorsport for life by the FIA last month for his part in the Renault race fixing scandal at last year’s Singapore Grand Prix. Now the Football League is set to meet to decide whether the 59 year old meets the ‘fit and proper person’ rule for team ownership.

Briatore’s other great sporting passion is football. Since February 2008 he has been a DIrector and major shareholder of Queens Park Rangers, along with Bernie Ecclestone and minority shareholder Lakshmi Mittal. Briatore is also chairman of QPR Holdings, the holding company of the club.

But according to Football League rules an individual cannot be a director or hold a majority interest in a club if they are banned from another sport’s governing body.

The BBC quotes Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney as saying, “We have a board meeting and have at least a couple of fit-and-proper person issues which we will address.

“I would like to come out of the board meeting with settled policies in general terms which we can apply to future cases that need to be addressed.”

Briatore has clearly brought as much colour and controversy to the football world as he has to F1. Earlier this year, after yet another manager was ousted, Briatore was forced to deny that he interfered in picking the team,
“I never once told Paulo (Sousa), or any other coach for that matter, which team to pick,” said Briatore.

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21 Comments
  1. F1ART says:

    I reckon he will get the BOOT!

  2. Rob says:

    Of course we all know how clean and upstanding football is,so Flav will be ok ( ouch ).

  3. Harveyeight says:

    I talked to a lawyer about this last week.

    She was of the pro bono opinion (I hope it was pro bono. But then I haven’t got the bill and what lawyer waits a week?) that all Flav has to do is to say he will appeal the FIA’s decision and the FA will probably back off. They would not want to take on a protracted battle through the courts when they could just say they will await the case result.

    Further, Flav could suggest that the FA cannot depend on the penalty as the procedure was improper: he was not given the opportunity to answer the charge. Indeed, according to my pet lawyer, he has not been charged with anything so the punishment would appear to be a bit iffy. In essence he has not been found guilty of anything. All that has happened is that Renault F1 decided not to contest the case.

    Mind you there are, I am told, certain precedents for the FA to act in a manner that the more prudent might find difficult to justify.

    Given the stick I’m getting for my rugby team’s Bloodgate, I hope the FA do do something spectacularly silly.

    1. Brace says:

      As someone said “Too many gates – not enough proof” :)

    2. rpaco says:

      He was given the opportunity to answer the charge, he chose not to go. If failing to turn up to your trial was a legal way to get off, then the few criminals that are caught nowadays would even escape their holiday camp prisons. Of course the soft option of community service is more usual, they can then fail to turn up for that as well.

    3. " for sure " says:

      I agree. It will be very hard for the FA to, in effect, endorse the decision made by the FIA when it was so patently badly handled and hardly an example of justice seeing to be done.

      Were they to do so, it would open the FA to all sorts of problems should Flav appeal and succeed against the FIA.

      Should be interesting!

    4. Amanda says:

      He was given a chance to defend at the hearing he choose not to, no more defense for him. His lawyers said he was not obliged to defend since he is no longer part of Renault F1 at the time. Your lawyer forgot a basic very fundamental aspect here. Just shows you what do these lawyers even know.

      Hardly anything iffy about it, several lawyers share the same basic opinion that Flavio refused a chance to defend himself, he rather made his lawyers cheese their way out of it.

      Flavio has no case even a normal civil court will throw out his case on the very basis that he chose to not defend, this can be interpreted as a non contest or acceptance of guilt. Whats worse? Its not like Flavio is some poor soul unable to afford his own lawyers, Its his lawyers who issued the statement that he will not show up at the hearing.

      May I also point out the reason why Flavio cant really pursue anything, the evidence and further investigations will call in forensics and experts who will undoubtedly prove in the court of law once again that Flavio knew about it and the crash was deliberate. He will be facing a jail term for criminal negligence.

      Now you see why all the threats from Flavio to retaliate against the FIA ban have been nothing but empty ramble.

      1. Harveyeight says:

        I’m not defending what Flav did, nor the court procedures – most them are unfocused ramble – but to be fair to him, he had no real opportunity to defend the action. It would appear that he was unaware of all the evidence to be adduced. How could he prepare for that?

        Whilst the hearing has been graced by the word court, is was nothing of the sort. It was just an internal discipline procedure. I’ve been involved in a number: as prosecution, as defence witness often, and once as the defendant, and from bitter and exhausting experience I can say that a challenge through a real court always results in criticism.

        This seems rather odd. The charge was not against Flav, Pat or Piquet, the three principals, but against Renault F1. Once RF1 threw themselves on the ‘mercy’ of the court it left Flav and Pat nowhere to go. The two had been found guilty in their absence. The hearing was nothing more than a declaration of the penalty.

        Given criticisms of previous FIA hearings: the Verstappen fire from George Carman, the one-car Indy fiasco by one of the barristers, Stepneygate via the letter signed by Symonds but written by lawyers, and no doubt many more, I would suggest that the procedures haven’t been refined as the FIA was never challenged.

        As I said, I’m not defending Flav. I should confess to thinking that I will miss him in the same way I missed my car that had brakes on front wheels only and had over 4” of free play on the steering wheel. It made life interesting. But Flav deserves to be treated fairly, guilty or not.

      2. Howard Hughes says:

        Mate, you write great posts.

      3. Amanda says:

        The verdict obviously was reached before the hearing in Paris. But if Flavio wanted to make a case he can very well do so by showing up at the hearing and refuting the accusations. He chose not to. There is no sign of an appeal, the threats of legal action against the Piquets by Renault has been dropped. That’s a telling sign there is no case to fight for. Renault will only drag themselves into even higher penalties.

        All this still brings up the point I mentioned earlier, in civil court he will be asked point blank why did he not make a refutation why not make his case against the FIA in their hearing. This is the basis for even launching a case against the FIA. You do realize the FIA will provide all evidence plus forensic evidence that will follow undertaken by the police and civil court jurisdictions. Flavio has no real case to argue against which is why there is nothing but empty threats and claims.

        Flavio is not one for sitting quiet, the damage is already done and there is no point in remaining silent if he has case to fight against.

        It is quiet surprising some doubt the existence of witness X, this is Max Mosley and his minions we are taking about, they do their home work very well regardless of what we may think of them as politicking evil men. They know more than anyone else if they fabricate anything the european commission will come down on them very very hard. Max Mosley for whatever ulterior motives, has got his homework done solid. There is too much at stake here for the FIA to be bluffing as their bluff will be publicly called and readily challenged.

        Take it to civil courts Renault, Pat and Flavio are all facing charges of criminal negligence.

      4. " for sure " says:

        The outcome of the FIA hearing was determined before it took place. Read the interview with the FIA Vice Pres. Ben Sulayem, I think I saw it on Pitpass. Whether Flav turned up or not, the outcome would have been the same. I am no supporter or defender of Flav and his alleged actions but until the FIA put their house in order and develop fair transparent procedures they cannot be said to be governing the sport correctly.

  4. Williams4Ever says:

    In his defence Flavio can quote recent ruling by Indian Government that “F1 is not sport”
    and the fact that F1 is popularly known as Bernie’s Circus :D. That will technically help him escape “banned in other SPORTS clause”.

    Anyways Bernie and Max can attest that they have single-handedly reduced F1 to a circus/entertainment by their shenanigans.

  5. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Bernie should not have been involved in the World Council since he cannot be impartial given that he and Flavio are business partners.

    He is looking for a way to get Flavio off the hook and will probably, as always, get his way. Flavio will escape the FA ban and everyone will kick up a stink.

  6. Werewolf says:

    Frankly, my dear, I couldn’t give a sham.

  7. Ash says:

    Don’t butcher the RSS feed!

  8. RON says:

    We all know F1 is more fixed then American Wrestling, so who gives a monkeys about what the FIA do… there is no system of justice, when there is no sport…

    Jenson is the DODO WDC that the FIA deserves…

    1. Steve Mc says:

      oh, good grief…

  9. whilyn says:

    The lifetime ban for Flavio in F1 is already too much. Yes, he tarnished the sport but what sport isnt?

    I just hate to think that the downfall of a Flavio Briatore is Nelson Piquet.

    He won’t get the boot in football.

  10. Darren says:

    i do not like the man, always felt the team should have been called flavio racing. never felt it was renault f1. Now he a alonso are gone i may start to repect them a little more, a engine supply to sir frank will please a lot of people around the world..

  11. alex m says:

    Flab has been spanked enough, it would be very unfair to punish him when Alonso has gone unpunished and is free to ply his trade.

    I do not like Flabbio, but the way Alonso’s participation in Crashgate was totally not investigated utterly stinks.

  12. Phil Bishop says:

    the FA let Thaksin Shinawatra own a club and he was surely far less “fit and proper” than Flabbio Briatore. I mean Shinawatra fixed an entire country’s laws for his personal gain, Flabbio only fixed one race (that we are aware of)

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