BHB Chairman Peter Savill said today:
“It is deeply disappointing that so many racecourses have decided to sign the BAGS offer without hearing the BHB proposals that would have been put to racecourses at a meeting on Thursday 9th May 2002.
“At that meeting an offer of £30 million was to have been put to courses for 2003 and £32 million for 2004 (compared to the BAGS offer of £23 million in 2003 and only £21 million in 2004). This offer would have come from BHB subject to Board approval on 13th May but it was already underwritten by a consortium in the event that the BHB Board did not wish to take the risk.
“Those who say ‘why didn’t BHB come up with this offer before?’ clearly need reminding that it is only seven days since the RCA and racecourses were demanding £40 million a year from the bookmaking industry.
“This sad saga, which has resulted in around £15 million per year being left on the table, started when a strong negotiating hand was lost by the RCA and racecourses insisting on 27th March on separating picture and data negotiations. At that time BHB’s negotiating team of Nigel Smith and myself believed we were on the brink of a combined picture and data deal that would have generated over £35 million per year for pictures.”