Mosley hits back at clubs

President and FIA member clubs at loggerheads prior to vote of confidence

FIA president Max Mosley has responded to a letter sent by a number of the world's leading automobile clubs calling on him to quit by deriding their suggestion of a crisis as "nonsense".

The feud that has blown up between the two sides comes days before a vote of confidence is to be held on whether the 68-year-old is fit to remain in office.

In the days that followed the publication of allegations into Mosley's private life, the clubs spoke out individually, urging him to resign or consider his position.

Mosley has stood firm, claiming he has the support of many other organisations - a situation which led to his decision to call for the FIA Extraordinary General Assembly vote that will take place in Paris on Tuesday.

In another attempt to force Mosley out, the clubs have joined forces, putting their name to a letter, dated May 28, which calls on him to stand down.

In the letter they claim: "The FIA is in a critical situation. Its image, reputation and credibility are being severely eroded.

"Every additional day that this situation persists, the damage increases. There is no way back."

But in his reply Mosley has maintained that club presidents have been "overwhelmingly in favour of my remaining as president".

Using a motoring pun, he added: "Although I am personally embarrassed and greatly regret that this affair has become public, no-one fails to call for roadside assistance because of it."

He continued: "I therefore had no choice but to submit the question (the vote) to the FIA membership as a whole. I certainly could not have simply ignored the majority and resigned."


In their letter the clubs also criticised Mosley for refusing the offer of a compromise deal to step down this November in exchange for a guaranteed victory in next week's vote.

Mosley described the suggestion, proposed by the World Council for Automobile Mobility and Tourism (WCAMT), a senior body of the FIA, as "the worst possible solution".

He added: "I would have resigned, yet still spent the summer carrying out all the day-to-day work with neither the time nor the authority to complete the major outstanding tasks.

"Better to stop immediately than accept this muddled compromise."

Mosley also criticises a number of the clubs behind the letter, which is signed by representatives from America (AAA and AATA), Australia (AAA), Austria (OEMTC), Belgium (TCB), Brazil (CCB), Canada (CAA), Denmark (FDM), Finland, (AL), France (FFA), Germany (ADAC), Hungary (MAK), India (FIAA), Israel (MEMSI), Jamaica (JAA), Japan (JAF), Norway (NAF), Singapore (AAS), Spain (RACC and RACE), Sweden (M), Switzerland (TCS) and the Netherlands (KNAC and ANWB).

Although the clubs involved represent around 85 percent of the total membership of the FIA, they control only around 25 percent of the votes at the General Assembly.

It is believed groups like the AAA in America and Germany's ADAC, who have both questioned Mosley's future before, have been looking to break away for some time.

Mosley claims a number of clubs "have been trying to change the structure of the FIA since well before the events they now seek to exploit".

He added: "Several of these same clubs have formed groups separate from the FIA from which the wider FIA membership is excluded.

"Worse, they have obstructed our efforts to improve co-operation between all clubs.

"Combined with a complete lack of transparency, I believe these activities are contrary to the interests of the FIA."


The clubs also refused to accept Mosley's assertion that the FIA is at loggerheads with commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone with regard to the future of Formula One.

Mosley put forward the claim as a reason why he should continue, only for Ecclestone to refute the notion and also state the FIA should be led by "a respected president".

In his latest letter Mosley also states that Ecclestone "is willing to continue working with the FIA because he has a binding contract to do so.

"In his letter to the clubs he says he is now willing to live with this contract. That is a sudden and major change in position."

Mosley sent his letter to all member clubs, and not just those who have voiced their opposition "in the interests of transparency".

He maintains members will be "free to express your views" next week, when the vote may now be closer than previously predicted.