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CVC ownership of F1 should serve as a warning to Premiership Rugby | Giles Richards


On the eve of Premiership Rugby’s decision over the purchase offer from CVC, they may want to consider how the private equity firm’s tenure in charge of Formula One turned out

Should Premiership Rugby’s club owners reject the purchase offer from private equity firm CVC on Tuesday, as is expected, they might consider this a hospital pass rightly declined. The owners and rugby fans should be under no illusion about what to expect if the experience of Formula One’s ownership by the company is anything to go by. CVC expect a return from investment and they pursued that ruthlessly in F1.

CVC owned F1 between 2006 and 2017, when it was taken over by Liberty Media. The then deputy team principal of Force India, Bob Fernley, accused CVC during that time of “raping the sport”. In 2016 he summed up everything abut the firm’s relationship with F1 in a single sentence. “All their actions have been taken to extract as much money from the sport as possible and put as little in as possible,” he said.

Related: Rugby union: talking points from the Premiership’s weekend action

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