Nothing nice about this declaration!

The FIA has issued a "Briefing Note" written by David Ward, the man who runs the FIA International Court of Appeal, attacking the five automobile manufacturers who recently questioned the FIA's appeal system. Ward, who is one of Max Mosley's closest advisors and the man in charge of the FIA Foundation, outlined a series of European policy documents and agreements which suggest that the FIA is completely in line with the general principles by which sports in Europe should operate.

The document suggests that the battle currently bubbling away in F1 is between the FIA and the manufacturers. The manufacturers describe it somewhat differently, suggesting that it is not about the FIA but rather about Mosley and point out that the two are not the same.

Ward quotes extensively from the Nice Declaration of 2000 which says that sporting federations should be left to run themselves, but adds that this is provisional on them showing "due regard for national and community legislation and on the basis of a democratic and transparent method of operation".

The Ward briefing does not mention other clauses in the Nice Declaration which are less supportive of the FIA's current position. Sporting federations, for example, should provide "human and financial support for amateur sports". The vast majority of the money raised in F1 goes out of the sport and does not filter down through the ranks or to the member clubs. The declaration also states that sports federations should support moves to encourage the "mutualisation" of TV revenues so that they are "beneficial to the principle of solidarity between all levels and areas of sport". Once again a large part of the TV money leaves the sport.

What is most interesting about the Briefing Note, however, is that it has obviously not been issued in an effort to smooth over the problems with the manufacturers and may be a precursor to further trouble ahead.

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