Commenting on the RCA’s announcement yesterday that it has complained to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) about the BHB Board’s agreement at its meeting on 23rd September that minimum race values should rise by a total of £18m in 2003, BHB Communications Manager Alan Delmonte said today:
“”In May this year, the RCA and racecourses cancelled the Future Funding Plan, an agreement which had been voluntarily entered into by all sectors of the industry and which divided the industry’s incremental income fairly between racecourses, prize money and central expenditure.
“”By abandoning this formula for working together as a united industry, the RCA opened the way for racecourses to decide for themselves how much of the £26 million in annual incremental monies from the attheraces and BAGS deals they wished to contribute to prize money. The omens, based on the evidence that only £3 million of the £45 million downpayment by attheraces found its way into prize money, are not good.
“”BHB’s role is to balance the interests of all sectors of British Racing. In deciding to raise minimum values by £18 million in 2003, BHB took into consideration that, in order to return prize money levels at the bottom end to 1993 levels adjusted for inflation, a rise of £18 million was required. The agreed rise also importantly maintains differentials between race classifications.
“”However, with so many races already run at above minimum values, only £11 million will need to be contributed to cover the increase in minimum values. The Levy Board, which is contributing over £13 million extra to prize money, is more than covering the rise. Furthermore, BHB is contributing £5 million of its own money to a prize money Incentive Scheme, which is open to all racecourses.
“”BHB remains of the view that the principles of the Future Funding Plan are fair and reasonable. It will become clear on 8th November, the deadline for racecourses to sign up to BHB’s Incentive Scheme, as to which racecourses are abiding by these principles and which are not. The BHB Board, at its next meeting on 12th November, will be in a position to consider how to react to those courses who are choosing not to do so.””