25 millions. This is the sum that Bernie Ecclestone, great financier of Formula 1, proposes to pay to the bank Bayern LB with whom he is on trial for corruption, in order to obtain a dismissal and to classify the case definitively.
To better understand this story that everyone is talking about and that will surely continue to sink a lot of ink in the days and months to come, let's go back a little in time. Bernie Ecclestone becomes the boss of Formula 1 in 1970. In 2006-2007, Bernie Eccclestone wants CVC Capital, an investment fund, to buy the rights of the F1, belonging to the German bank Bayern LB. This purchase would allow him to keep his hand on Formula One. A few years later it was discovered that Ecclestone had paid nearly 44 million bribes to Gerhard Gribkowsky, an employee of Bayern LB, in order to facilitate the sale of the rights of F1. Following this story, the banker Gribkowsky is sentenced to 8 and a half years in prison for corruption in 2012. Ecclestone, pleads innocence by claiming that he felt threatened by the banker.
Bernie Ecclestone risked up to ten years in prison if convicted by the German courts. The lawyers of the British businessman considered that the criminal charges against their client were "highly doubtful" and that it was a "very cumbersome procedure" according to the person concerned.
On Tuesday, Bernie Ecclestone has proposed to the German court to directly pay 25 million euros to Bayern LB in order to obtain a no place and to be able to file the case without further action. If this announcement is like a pavement thrown into the pond, it is nonetheless asserted that this practice is relatively common in Germany. This case will be resumed at the beginning of next week by the public prosecutor's office. If Bernie Ecclestone confirms his willingness to pay 25 million and if Bayern LB accepts this deal, the 83-year-old boss will have a good chance of glimpsing the end of the tunnel.