The Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) has added its voice to the ongoing controversy involving the Barbados Auto Racing League (BARL), Bushy Park Circuit Inc. (BPCI), and the use of the redeveloped Bushy Park Raceway in St Philip.
In fact, in a media release today, the BMF accused BARL of not being completely forthright with the public regarding information which it was disseminating via radio, television, newspapers and on social media websites. The BMF accused BARL’s committee of management of venting “grossly misleading” information with respect to the terms of access for BMF members to Bushy Park.
The BMF stressed that BARL was one of its affiliate members and had participated in the establishment of the access agreement for all member clubs.
The release stated the access agreement originally contemplated two methods for using the facility. One of these involved a revenue sharing agreement where the member club paid neither a rent nor fee for the use of the facility but rather earned a share in the net income from the race meeting. The other method related to a flat rental fee for the facility wherein the member club would keep the total revenue and pay all expenses for the race meeting.
According to the statement, BARL concluded that neither of these methods were acceptable to their club and the BMF formed a special committee including BARL to review alternative method(s) that would be acceptable to BARL, the BMF and BPCI. The release revealed that an invitation was made to Government to sit on this committee but it was declined.
“At the meeting, BARL’s chairman Mr Stefan Hinds suggested a mechanism where a reduced rental fee would be paid plus a portion of the revenue would be shared with BPCI. This methodology was accepted by all parties and the reduced rental fee per revenue day usage was set at $25,000 at a meeting attended by BARL’s secretary Mr Nigel Austin.
“This revised access method was agreed by the BMF and was sent to Government on August 20. The agreement was further ratified at a General Meeting of the Federation. These terms are available equally to all members of the Federation,” the release stated.
The BMF continued: “BARL continues to mislead the public in a material fashion by stating that they can only access the facility through a $75,000 per day rental arrangement. This is not true and has never been true. At all times BARL’s management has participated in the arrangements for access to the facility and have known of the multiple avenues to have access to the facility. In summary, BARL and all other members of the BMF can access the facility either for free with an income sharing agreement, or for a reduced flat fee with a percentage of the gate going to BPCI, or for $75,000 where all revenue and expenses are for the account of the Club.”
The BMF said that all of its other member clubs had reached an agreement with BPCI after constructive engagement and negotiation within the framework of the access agreement.
“The federation continues to work with BPCI to develop opportunities for our members to develop the sport for the advancement of all Barbadians. Without the commitment of BPCI to the development of the sport, the support of the Ministers of Housing, Tourism, Sport and Finance we would today not have the world class facility that sits on Crown land and will provide benefits for generations to come,” the BMF concluded.
Over the past few weeks suggestions have been made in some quarters that race is an issue in the ongoing feud between BARL and BPCI. However, BPCI chairman Mark Maloney has rubbished such claims as having no basis. Minister of Sport Stephen Lashley has also dismissed such claims as nonsense. He said the agreement in place between Government and the BMF was that the St Philip facility should be made available to all motor racing clubs under its umbrella under conditions that were fair and reasonable to all.
Efforts to reach Hinds tonight were unsuccessful.
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