Formula One boss Ecclestone gets pounds 54m a year

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Bernie Ecclestone, the behind-the-scenes kingpin of Formula One motor racing, earned pounds 54m in salary in the financial year 1995-96, according to the latest figures released by his company ahead of its planned stock market flotation.

This pay packet makes Mr Ecclestone, 66, the son of a Suffolk trawler skipper, the highest-salaried executive in the world. He earns pounds 147,945 per day; pounds 6,164 per hour; pounds 102.73 per minute;pounds 1.71 per second.

By comparison, Elton John last year topped the rock star earnings league with pounds 12.8m.

Mr Ecclestone dwarfs British rivals for the title of highest-paid director. Crispin Odey, a City fund manager, once earned pounds 19.2m in a year, and Peter Wood, who founded Direct Line insurance, took home pounds 18.4m.

Last week, Terry Crawley, a carpet fitter-turned-bond trader, dominated headlines with news of his pounds 8.4m salary.

Mr Ecclestone own houses in Chelsea and Corsica. Away from the track, he inhabits a James Bond-style office in Knightsbridge and during races he sits inside "The Kremlin", his silver-grey motorhome.