According to Edwards, who is leaving the team after 19 years at the helm, the rumours aren't entirely baseless, with the team well over-resourced when he arrived in 2005.
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“I joked for many years about the Aladdin's cave that I stumbled upon when I got here with theodolites and radar guns,” he told the latest episode of the Speedcafe Podcast.
“I think the theodolite only ever got used for [FPR engineer] Dave Patterson to build his deck at home, but they had a theodolite 20 years ago. So they'd spent up big, that's for sure.”
But that, says Edwards, is where it stopped.
He says that in his near two-decade tenure the team was run as lean as possible, regardless of the levels of factory backing of big sponsor money.
“Despite the sort of the excesses that [we] talked about when I arrived here, this team has not operated on on these dizzying heights budgets that people perceive,” he told host Mark Fogarty.
“I think part of that is because success, unfortunately, allows you to attract higher-paying sponsors. The forces are opposing, you know, you've got teams that are doing well, so they end up getting more money – that means they carry on doing better, because they've got greater budgets to spend.
“We've never operated like that. I run a very tight ship. We're not wasteful. And that's not the way I operate. I make everybody justify everything that they want to spend their money on.”
“It was quite funny looking at the helmet that was presented to me, because there's a couple of guys who've been here my whole journey – Darren Jones and Ash Campbell,” Edwards said. “They were here before me, still here today.
“And there was a lot of comments from different people on there, but both of their comments were related to my answer to them when they're trying to buy X, Y, Z – can it wait till next month?
“So I do run a tight ship, contrary to popular belief, and we've always spent whatever our particular budget was wisely and very frugally.
“And that's that's the cold, hard truth.”
Here more from Tim Edwards on the latest episode of the Speedcafe Podcast.