Racing: Sparrow expects to survive

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THE CHAIRMAN of the Levy Board expects that there will still be a role for his organization when his term of office ends at the start of 1997, despite the desires of the British Horseracing Board to take over the role of collecting punters' contributions from the bookmakers.

Sir John Sparrow, whose reappointment by the Home Secretary as Levy Board chairman for another three years was announced yesterday, said he did not expect to be the last chairman of the board.

The BHB, which today takes over the function of racing's governing body from the Jockey Club, has stated its wish to negotiate directly with the bookmakers without the mediation of the Levy Board.

'I hope this indicates that the Levy Board will continue for as long as I have been appointed,' Sir John said. 'If somebody thought of another effective way of getting comparable sums of money, it would be taken seriously.

'The (BHB's) idea is for one party to take over a quasi-taxation activity and taxation is not normally privatised.'

The Levy Board's contribution to prize money for 1994 is set to rise by pounds 1.2 million to pounds 27 million.