CONFUSION surrounded the apparent £1 million sponsorship deal brokered by John Batchelor for his British Touring Car Championship racing team yesterday.

As revealed in yesterday's Evening Press, the former York City chairman had received the sponsorship/scholarship money from Varta, with £500,000 in sponsorship being matched by a similar amount for the team drivers in the form of a scholarship.

As a result, Batchelor has changed the name of his team, which races in the production class, from York City Racing to Team Varta Racing.

However, it appears the money has actually come from American battery company Rayovac, who are the parent company of the consumer batteries arm of the Varta business.

Angry fans had inundated the automotive batteries arm of Varta with complaints about the deal, forcing the managing director Paul Matarewicz to issue a statement denying they had any involvement with Batchelor or his racing team.

And on investigation, the Evening Press has discovered the money has come from Rayovac - the company Batchelor talked about potentially backing his scheme for a new Football League - via Varta consumer batteries.

Updated: 11:14 Wednesday, April 16, 2003