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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/23/2018 in all areas

  1. 15 points
    Today's bad news that Workington have withdrawn from the 2019 Championship (second tier), despite winning the treble last season, should provoke the BSPA into a crisis meeting. In our last issue of Backtrack (No.89) we listed 56 British league venues that have closed since 1970. Since the edition came out, the loss of Rye House, Buxton and now Workington has seen the death toll rise to 59. It is doubtful if any will ever resume league status. If the Comets, a track that opened in 1970, cannot sustain second division speedway after winning three trophies, what chance does the sport in this country have of survival? Glasgow have arguably the best PR machine in the sport behind them right now, earning lots of national coverage in Scotland and beyond. They have invested heavily in riders. But where has it got them? Their owner's recent statement should be taken as another warning shot. No-one can be surprised if the Tigers' management don't decide to cut their losses and come to the conclusion that they've given it their best shot but enough is enough. The odds on them coming to the tapes for 2020 must already be slim, or lengthening. Leicester, Rye House in recent times have found to their cost that chucking good money at top riders is no recipe for success and, more likely, a quick path to financial disaster. I was especially alarmed by the recent announcement that Buxton, the archetypal third division venue where many a young Brit was discovered, has pulled out of the National league due to unsustainable rising costs. They have been around for years but, sadly, have been betrayed by their own peers - the third division glory-hunters who ignored the ethos of what was meant to be a training, development league for young British riders in pursuit of silverware. Buxton's withdrawal should have served as a neon warning sign to the sport's governing body but their story seems to have been glossed over, ignored, outside Derbyshire. What are experienced 'old hands' doing nicking a living from a league meant for novices trying to learn the game? If there isn't already an age or experience limit, the Nl should impose one so that only one rider per team is over, say, 25. And NO-ONE who has any real experience of top flight or Div 2 racing should be occupying a team place. So what should happen to stem the tide? BRITISH SPEEDWAY has to become amateur, riders must go part-time and return to the days of the old BL1 and BL2/NL of the 60s, 70s & 80s, when many racers had a day job to supplement their speedway earnings, or vice-versa. If today's riders are performing in front of mere hundreds of spectators, rather than thousands, then they are really operating in an amateur sport and should not be paid as professionals. Speedway needs to take a long, hard look at itself and reality must finally kick in. Most non-league football teams are part-time. Players train Tuesdays and Thursdays and play Saturdays and midweek. They fit it in around their 9-to-5 job. Speedway riders must accept how small what they do really is in terms of spectator sports. As former Ellesmere Port middle order rider Duncan Meredith says: "Most of us back in my day had a job and my job subsidised my racing. We loved racing - the money was just a bonus." It's time to go back to those days. A backward step? Not if it stabilises the sport in the immediate short-term and enables it to survive and weather the current UK economic storm. Promoters need protecting from themselves and stop burying their heads in the sand. They must stop 'thinking big' - look where that got Leicester, Rye House and Glasgow, among others, in recent times and by propping up the Premiership Buster Chapman is merely applying a tiny sticking plaster to a large, gaping wound requiring major surgery. The BSPA has to start thinking SMALL and apply self-imposed reality checks that are long overdue. Scale down budgets to realistic levels and don't pay out more than you take at the turnstiles and sponsorship. It's simple economics of life. There is a chronic rider shortage across the board, the use of guests and R/R has escalated out of all proportion. I'd love to see a study of how many DIFFERENT riders appeared in each of the 3 divisions last season, and another list showing how many appeared for multiple clubs. The result would be eye-bulgingly horrific. So come up with a revised race format for six or even five-men teams. Six-men teams were used in the 60s and in the top flight in 1998. If there aren't enough riders to fill 7-men teams, then change the format. Doubling-up is killing what little credibility British speedway has left. If, in 10 years, British speedway has unearthed a new wave of young talent, then a return to 7-men teams can be considered. Until then, the BSPA must immediately go into crisis-survival mode, cut its cloth accordingly and stop paying out money to riders that it simply cannot afford, before more tracks are lost forever. Of course, reducing team members and changing race formats won't bring many, if any, new fans through the turnstiles. But what it will definitely help to do is RETAIN the current, rapidly declining fan base. Promoters should stop thinking of ways to try and lure a new, younger supporters (if any do), because 98% of teenagers will never be interested in speedway, and focus fully on keeping their existing customers.
  2. 14 points
    From the man who made stupid comments to someone months ago and when an insult was "thrown back" at him, got the bloke banned and whined for days about it. Maybe when someone asks a civil question, give your honest answer and just leave it as that. No need to insult someone for asking a question.
  3. 13 points
    No truth in the suggestion whatsoever.
  4. 13 points
  5. 12 points
    Hi Chris , if you are interested I would be willing to pick you up from Peterborough train station and take you back there after meeting(s) at the showground . I don't want anything for this just trying to get you some speedway action , if you are interested please pm me and we can get something sorted.
  6. 12 points
    that's correct, and I really do see great value in reading through the posts on the forum. It gives me an insight to people’s views, some of course you read more quickly than others but in general I find the forum informative and insightful. It also enables me to see the pitfalls of other clubs as well as feedback of my own and ways in which fans feel the product could be generally be improved. My personal view is we must all look to the future and not back. Yes we can enhance the future from the experience of yesterday but the future market for speedway is a very much different playing ground. To go back to the point of the post about 2019, what I can tell you all is that we have proven that a very positive outlook, continual strive to improve our product, entertainment, facility and overall performance (and ensure that we make as many people as possible know what and how we do it) and a general feeling of a community driven fun filled night out, really has worked. Let me give 2 examples….. Last season we had an individual meeting where through no fault of our own (travel problems and then no time to replace due to ferry) we were 2 riders down for an individual meeting. To be honest I was horrified… what do I tell our public, how do I tell them… In truth I sought the opinion of fans and asked their view before the meeting….. I was actually told by the fans not to worry it will be OK… however, while taking this onboard I still got on the mic and explained the situation and invited everyone for a free tea, coffee or cold drink…. Complaints zero… people who actually requested their free drink, zero. Finally, our shale issue… many clubs include us had the 2018 shale disaster…. Let me tell you for us it was a nightmare, not only financially but also track preparation. Basically, the shale produced too much dust due to the clay being reconstituted and not natural clay, that meant every meeting we spent a day relaying the track and slowly removing the unusable shale. Every meeting I stood before the crowd and told them where the dust would come, the status of our complaint with the vendor and how we progressed. Complaints about dust -zero. New sponsors 1. Positivity and belief in your show is a very powerful thing to have and once your crowd and sponsors join it with this the momentum could be huge. Our momentum continues to grow and I very much hope that we can continue to build upon our first three years. Thanks again for your continued comment, I hope that some of you can make it to the island this season or even to one of our away meetings – I will be very happy to meet you. Really finally, if any of you are interested to support our club (we have many long distance sponsors) then please do get in touch. Amazingly, I can prove how sponsorship works with us for business and how we cater for sponsorship at all levels. Email speedwayontheisland@yahoo.co.uk if this is for you. See you trackside, stay positive and constructive and we will come out the other side and remember your thought and comment is appreciated, at least where I am sitting anyways. All the best
  7. 11 points
    Nah I'm sorry. I don't buy the whole "use it or lose it" speedway is way beyond point now. The diehards don't cut it anymore. Promoters need to work on the sport and make it worth the admission and the only way they're going to do that is working on the overall presentation and quality. If it's not there, the sport will die regardless. The sport is absolutely on its arse and scaremongering has never saved a club and it never will.
  8. 11 points
    Gavan is by far not the worst disliked poster on here at all. There are way more candidates that fill that role with much more ease. Gavan makes many reasonable and sensible posts. Some posters do have serious issues with some others on here! Still, each to their own!
  9. 11 points
    That sounds terrible imagine regular speedway on regular nights during the summer, even worse if it was first week of May until end of August, all those dreadful nice warm evenings with reduced threat of rain and the whole of September reserved for Play Offs, Cup finals etc. Thankfully everyone will see sense and run erratically, enjoy the Easter weekend washout and embrace the rush of fixtures before the cut off dates / freezing their toes off watching the season wimper out in late October.
  10. 11 points
    I don't post a great deal these days but must admit I'm on the verge of giving up on the forum, I come on here to hear about speedway not the rubbish posted on just about every thread now. Probably get abuse for posting this.
  11. 11 points
    Time for some on this forum to turn over a new leaf in 2019. Sponsors and potential sponsors will carry out "diligence" on any rider/club they are thinking of putting money into. If you search online, stuff from the BSF comes up. Just ask yourself: Are my comments helping destroy the sport and clubs I love? There are some, who no longer attend, that have a devil-may-care attitude – they should now pipe down, And, for those of us who watch speedway week in week out – and often at a number of tracks – should speak out against the terrible negativity. Let's try and be positive in 2019.
  12. 10 points
    That’s the attitude that closes clubs down your called a supporter to support the club through good and bad times how many worky fans are now thinking wish I had supported my team now they don’t have a one
  13. 10 points
    The track i visited in the 1980s which hosted WTC rounds (ect) ( Lee took Penhall from the back in one round) was far superior to today's track.
  14. 10 points
    I don't think Richard is saying that everything's perfect in any way whatsoever. I also think he's absolutely right to make the point that he has. It sometimes seems to me that the majority of members of this forum actually don't go to meetings and have little - if any - interest in speedway at all other than to slag every aspect of it off. The rules, the racing, the riders, promotions - even its fans. If they have no interest, why are they members of a speedway forum ? I attend regularly and, all being well, will continue to do so in 2019 and for years to come. There are thousands like me. However, to suggest that all those who continue hand their money over every week have a ridiculously one sided view and believe that everything is fine is nonsense. In my contacts right across the country, I don't know a single person like that yet it does not stop those who no longer go from wheeling it out every single time as a justification for their own negativity. On occasion, I have used the pages of this forum to be extremely critical of the actions of the BSPA, individual promoters and riders. I believe that as a paying customer that is my right and do so with an entirely objective view. Again, there are many like me. However, when I have cause to give credit, I again take to the forum and say that, too. For example, I have made no secret of my admiration for the efforts of the Isle of Wight promotion or the quality of the racing at the NSS. There's no doubt that for all its self interest, crap tracks and lack of customer care, speedway can be bloody fantastic to watch and I would say that the only ones who have 'blinkers' are those who are overwhelmingly negative all the time (because, unlike me, they do see only one side).
  15. 9 points
    Arguing with yourself now Geoff!!
  16. 9 points
    I run the Newcastle Training school usually on a Sunday afternoon, and have done since I started it 10 years ago. Riders are provided with all the gear and the bikes, and they can be of any ability or sex. I have little starter bikes (80 and 90 cc's) and the 125/140cc's bikes as the limit for my type of training school is limited to 150cc by SCB regs. I charge £3, and that is for the medical cover I have to pay. Riders are supervised at first to determine their ability, and so beginners start with a trainer on the bike, who eventually hands over control of the bike. The new riders are then out on their own and given instruction what to work on and what to do. My Gems team has 5 riders to pick from who all had their first rides on a speedway bike at the training school, and they ride in the only home grown team in the country. Currently we have Archie Freeman(14 years old)l who last year was British Youth Champion at 150cc level, and NJL 125 champion, and the highest average in the NJL. He is now a member of the No Limits squad mentioned above with Rory Schlein. Josh Embleton(22) is the 2018 Champion of the NJL at the 500cc level, rode for Birmingham in the NL last year and is currently looking for a place in the NL in 2019 . There are other riders who started with us who have moved on to other NJL teams and one at Championship level. As others have hinted at, the junior scene is currently way more advanced that the sport was a few years ago, under the umbrella on Neil Vatcher and now SCB. We have probably got the best crop of young British riders for over 10 years.
  17. 9 points
    The last 7 or 8 pages of this thread is utterly ridiculous. Why the chuff do a number of you respond to anything the forums most famous troll posts? He just sits in his bedroom creaming his pants over your responses!! I bet he's got his hand in his trousers already after reading that The only positive thing out of all this is the fact he makes Starman appear a teensy weensy bit intelligent Seriously though, this forums lack of moderation has been a joke for a very long time and is the reason many 'adult' posters (including myself) don't bother logging in very often. Right....back to topic PLEASE. I thank you
  18. 8 points
    The day we all expected but hoped would never come. Extremely heartbroken, not just for fans and riders, but for Laura and family who as a fellow fan, put everything into the club for the last 6 years. Along with THJ and everyone that contributed to keeping the comets alive. Comets fans will forever be grateful. Memories of all the trips away, that feeling of winning the treble, the friends made and love we have for Workington speedway will last a lifetime. Up the Comets
  19. 8 points
    Been on this forum a long time over 5 years..............took plenty of abuse , flack call it what you like But ive never felt the need to either delete my account and start again or change my name which makes people look a bit sad, needy and a tad pathetic Never had more than the one account.....if people dont like me or what i post then it doesnt affect me that i feel the need to be someone else. To be fair even people like Starman and Shovlar with the amount of stuff they get thrown at them have only ever had the 1 account
  20. 8 points
    No real need for third party moderation... It should just be self moderating by the 'normal' people on here.. If trolls take over a thread then no one quote their posts or rise up and reply to them.. Keyboard warriors are often socially inept misfits, whose only recognition of their own pitiful very existence comes via responses gleaned on forums full of people they will never meet. With them getting some kind of kicks to offset their often shallow soulless, friendless lives... There are only a few prats on here anyway so not difficult to pin point them, even if a 'multi', as they always use the same M.O. So after a few posts of a 'newbie' it is self evident who they really are/have been.. Don't give them the oxygen of acknowledgement and they will soon get really peed off as the debates carry on around them... Really. Really. Peed off I would imagine...
  21. 8 points
    I'd be ok with that as I agree with him. If they can't be taken back to the French coast they should be left at sea or put on a plan back to where they originated from. This is a country that can't look after it's own homeless people, we shouldn't be taking on others until our own house is in order.
  22. 7 points
    Workington was probably one of the best race tracks in the country as well.
  23. 7 points
    Fans through the gates aren't enough to pay the riders, who in turn want to take their money out of the sport by spending on tuners etc. Time to cut costs and at the same time restructuring the whole league set-up. It is speedway's lifeblood.
  24. 7 points
    Top 4 Sheffield Redcar Edinburgh Somerset Workington to do a Sheffield and finish bottom , they would have been top 4 if they had got Rasmus Jensen back strange they didnt sign him up again.
  25. 7 points
    At this time of festive cheer, I would to wish you all a very merry Christmas and thank you for your support of the Wightlink Warriors and Wizards. It means the world to Martin and I the feedback across the forum on the Warriors and Wizards. It is all very useful for us as we slowly develop our product further and within budget. So thank you, whether you are a season ticket holder, member of staff or someone who just looks in from a distance. Thanks. Have a great Christmas with those you love, and I look forward to seeing you, hearing from you or pondering your thoughts on here in the future. All the best Barry (and Martin)

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