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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/17/2018 in all areas

  1. 19 points
    RECENTLY I was invited to meet a member of the BSPA to discuss their relationship with Speedway Star and, indeed, the media in general. I told him that in my opinion the BSPA had become more of a secret organisation than the Vatican. It is all well and good publishing daily news items, which are fine, but there is no official spokesperson for the BSPA empowered to make official statements. It is only after an AGM that any official announcements are made and then, a few days later, changes are often made which are not made public. They are their own worse enemy in this respect. It is no wonder that the general speedway public are suspicious and often put two and two together to make five because no one says otherwise. Quite often one promoter will say one thing and another something totally different. Many years ago when Martin Rogers, a journalist by trade, was a member of the BSPA Management Committee he would brief the media, and especially Speedway Star, after meetings, some of which was "off the record" but at least we would know exactly what was going on and could do our best to keep the paying punters properly informed. With regard to the current situation with Rye House ... I am sure there are people that know as much as I do, which frankly isn't much. But it is situations like this which the BSPA as an organisation handle so poorly. Of course, they can not be expected to release confidential information but just a holding statement along the lines of "the BSPA are in negotiations with the Rye House management to resolve their current difficulties and in the meantime their immediate fixtures have been suspended" would have been better than total silence which invites fans to draw their own, frequently inaccurate, conclusions. What is not in doubt is that British speedway is facing a crisis the like of which I have not witnessed in over 50 years of covering the sport.
  2. 16 points
    I still don't understand all the "experts" on here who claim to have THE solution to British speedway's problems. There is no SINGLE cause, and there is no SINGLE solution. As far as fans wanting a fixed race night - which again, they wanted largely because it suited THEM - I was always against the idea. My main concerns were that : 1) The lost revenue because of the large number of fans who travelled as neutrals to meetings several times a week. 2) Because of the majority of clubs not owning their own stadium, it was always going to be difficult for some to fall in line. 3) The switch from being a weekend track to a midweek one was ALWAYS going to be a financial disaster for certain clubs. Again, the post above suggesting that speedway is a "£10 sport" is way off the mark. I - and others - have repeatedly stated that, while the cost MAY be prohibitive for some (particularly those with families), that is a relatively minor issue. The REAL issue here is the quality of product, and yes, that does include the value for money. The thing to remember is that IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW CHEAP A PRODUCT IS, IF THE PRODUCT ISN'T GOOD PEOPLE WON'T GO!. The comments posted on other threads reiterate the facts about tracks opening the season with a meeting free of charge; very few - if any - new fans would return the following week, EVEN IF IT WAS FREE. It hurts me to see Rye folding, as it was one of those tracks I would often visit as a neutral. As has been mentioned, moving away from Sunday was never going to solve anything. As was said elsewhere, speedway doesn't seem to catch the imagination of the British public these days, and nobody seems to be able to come up with a solution for that. Don't worry, I have no idea either... The thing is, everybody wants to blame everybody else, but then, lack of accountability is commonplace these days. Of course, the authorities have a lot to answer for, and the promoters themselves must shoulder a lot of the blame. Not that I have any personal knowledge, but to see that so many promoters seem to think "everything is rosy" is astounding. I do feel for them as most are gambling with their own money, but that should be more incentive for them to get their houses in order. The riders too could help. Yes, they DO deserve good pay, but I am tired of hearing how they "put their lives on the line for OUR benefit". It is their chosen job, and I understand why they ride abroad to make more money, and NOBODY should criticise them for wanting to do the best for themselves and their families. However, as is frequently stated, it seems like every rider - however mediocre - seems to believe that they have the "right" to be a full-time speedway rider. If the money is physically not there, then don't expect to get everything you want! If you need to get another job, oh well... Now, the fans... Yes, the fans believe they know everything, but it is incredible how many THINK that they have a solution, yet don't even consider the practicality and viability of their ideas. In many cases, they don't look at the big picture, just what suits THEM, or THEIR TEAM. Sometimes - a lot of the time, actually - a seemingly nonsensical idea is dismissed when the reality is that discussion of the basic idea can actually be fruitful. I am heavily involved in sports administration, and I am used to hearing crazy stuff that the so-called experts demand. However, I study the overall concept, and see if it can actually be modified in order to improve matters. The problem with British speedway is that nobody - fans, riders, or authorities - are willing to engage in sensible discussion. Everything - as is often seen on the BSF - just descends into totally useless dismissal, accusations and name-calling. I love the sport, and I hate to see what is happening... Steve
  3. 13 points
    I feared a few clubs would hit the wall this season after seeing the outcome of the AGM. When I was in 'the club' I was always amazed at the amount of ideas coming from promoters which increased costs and when ever I had an idea that increased revenue they would turn their nose up. Seems the boat has now sailed and nothing but a complete reset will fix the mess the sport is now in. When the whole lot collapses I may put a plan together for a few clubs to break away and start a new league based around British riders on club supplied equipment with standard engines. Numbers drawn out of a hat for who rides what bike before the start of a race with team selections made after practice. From there the sport can grow again.
  4. 13 points
    It's just too expensive to attract and keep new fans and particularly families. My speedway experience is to pay £16, enter a stadium which is dilapidated and, (unless I want to watch from behind the glass, which I don't), is in a worse condition now than it was in 1974 when I started going. There are no seats, just dusty steps. The pre-meeting entertainment is to listen to Now That's What I Call Music number 124 and watch a pathetic introduction of the riders by a half-hearted announcer. There is then about 13 minutes of action over the next hour and a half to two hours with a raffle akin to the ones people used to have for a tray of meat in the Working Men's Clubs of years gone by. There is no second half, nothing to entertain the kids or anyone else - nothing. The riders all seem to manage to ride around in vans as big as a starter home and even the reserves at 'Championship' level appear to be full-time. So, the equipment costs a fortune and riders want paying a fair return for the expenditure and the risks they take. I have no problem with that, but the situation cannot continue. The sport has to find a way of reducing costs of equipment and riders have to realise that it is not sustainable to be full time when they are riding in front of crowds of 500-1500 people. Promoters have to promote. All they do is to open the gates, expect people to come and pay their money and come back again the next week when many of them do absolutely nothing to encourage a return. Times are hard for a lot of people and there is better entertainment to be had elsewhere. I've been to the ice-hockey a couple of times recently and it's not my cup of tea to be honest. But there were thousands there, many in replica kits, games and entertainment for the kids, a brilliant arena and cheaper than the speedway. I prefer the speedway because I've been brought up with it but in terms of value for money there was no comparison. Speedway, on its's day, can be the best sport in the world but it needs someone in charge who has a vision and some radical ideas. The promoters have to promote and the riders have to be more realistic and realise that they can't all be full time.
  5. 12 points
    Southern fans don't seem to like to travel North for some reason - although there were a few Panthers fans there. You would have enjoyed it if you had made the effort Excellent contingents from Berwick, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle. Nice for the Northern tracks not to have to travel massive distances for a change.
  6. 12 points
    I liken British Speedways problems to the British Superbikes series' predicament in the early nineties.... When Carl Fogarty was in his pomp and Sky fell in love with the World Superbikes series, giving it the massive exposure which resulted in 'Foggy' becoming a well known sportsman across all mainstream sport followers. BSB didnt try and compete. How could it? WSB had the best riders, BSB had the next level down. But instead of trying to match the WSB they ensured they delivered a great weekend of racing with the calibre of rider that they had which then grew their own 'brand'... They also realised that inevitably their best would eventually go off to seek fame and fortune in the WSB or Moto GP and test themselves in the 'higher standard' of racing. Therefore BSB invested in plenty of track time over their race weekends for the next generation of riders. With standard 'out of the box' one make Championships included to keep costs down and attract 'entry level' riders in.. The result? Thousands still attend their race weekends and plenty of British lads have made succesful careers racing at no more than a 'domestic' level.. If the likes of Dan and Robert can earn vast amounts elsewhere and improve quicker by racing against the Worlds best then good luck to them. 100% let them ride in the 'WSB' that is Poland.. However any rider wanting to ride in the 'BSB' of British Speedway needs to understand that British Speedway, and that alone, is his priority.. British Speedway has two options... Run itself like a 'proper team sport' on days and nights it's fan base can attend, paying for itself from an income delivered via a price point the fan base sees as value for money, and be as radical in delivering this as they need to be.. Or... Carry on doing what it always has.... And we know how tremendously successful that has been... The current model simply does not work and is miles away from what they need.. And as is blatantly obvious. The sport is down to the bare bones of its fan base.. Opening Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday days, are a one million percent fundamental necessity for any business running in the entertainment sector, which is unsurprisingly why Poland (and Motor Racing in general) choose them! (How strange?!).... Simple choice... Find a way to use the weekends more, and let all tracks run on nights they know will get their biggest income... Or.... Carry on cobbling together Mickey Mouse Team Speedway meetings in front of an ever reducing fan base, running the meetings on days/nights to suit the riders but not their customers, at a far too high a price point for those customers to recognise it as value for money. I would humbly suggest that if they keep doing the latter, it can really only end one way..
  7. 11 points
    As a walk away fan, who is the team isn't an issue. All standards of Speedway can be brilliant. The issues are the selfishness of promoters, inability to acknowledge and treat the fans correctly and value for money. For new fans, they also couldn't care less about the rider's, what they do care about is value for money to continue to come back. 15 minutes of racing over 2 hours, rubbish music, nonsensical waffle from the centre green and appalling stadium standards is all a massive turn off.
  8. 11 points
    With comments like that you don't do Poole speedway any favours at all
  9. 10 points
    I have no sympathy whatsoever for Richie Worrall. The man is very fond of using social media to have a go other riders, fans, tracks and other teams. Nothing wrong with been outspoken, but if you live by the sword you die by the sword.
  10. 10 points
    I don’t. He spent 95% of his time on here being abusive to nearly all and sundry. Puts himself on some kind of pedestal when in fact he is nothing more than a speedway fan, like the rest of us. Calling people names in virtually every post that are brimming with venom. Not a nice person.
  11. 9 points
    Trust me streaming of meetings in the UK has been looked into before by Sky and the current infrastructure at UK stadiums is not up to the standards required. i remember a run in to the play offs one season and I think the main match was at Poole but Coventry had a key meeting and wanted to feed in some races and interviews we had to use an IPad and send the footage as a file rather than live. Also some stadiums won’t co operate in the last season on Sky at Poole second play off semi kept getting postponed but Sky wanted to feature races on Sky sports news but stadium would allow any internet use so had to send satellite uplink truck just for a 1 camera production. I know from speaking to colleagues at BT that relationships are no better for TV meetings with clubs refusing OB companies and TV crew use of their Wi-fi even just to send emails and internet/social media hence BT guys have 4G mifi devices and use personal phones. To run a paid for streaming service is not as easy as just using a domestic fibre broadband connection it would need to be a dedicated leased line with 1-1 contention and say 100Mbps each direction will be looking at around £800-1000 a month that is then needed at each track. Even the ATR betting trial was costing them £250 a week plus over 40k setup fee just for connectivity. Interestingly most of this kit is still at the stadiums so could be used again. You can go along the 4G bonded route where broadcasting kit sends the pictures over 4G mobile networks using 8-12 sims combined but this is prone to buffering and mobile networks have started traffic managing this traffic due to the strain it puts on their core network The best hope is 5G mobile this may bring the cost down and have the capacity to do this but is a few years away yet. You could get a 2 camera OB with satellite uplink for £500 a meeting but still need the server and backhaul to get pictures on the internet for paid site or can go free route with You Tube
  12. 9 points
    Well Done to all at Redcar - what a superb event, without doubt the best organised fours in recent years! Even with the difficulties caused by scorching sun and a drying wind the track produced it's usual top class racing - full marks to the track staff who were fighting the dust all day (and mostly winning). Note to other promotions - fans are happy to watch tractors going round when they know it is only going to enhance their enjoyment, both from a racing and comfort aspect, which is exactly what happened on Sunday, everyone could see the time taken was making necessary improvements and accepted it! No doubt the Scottish fans were delighted to get home at a reasonable time this year, highlighting the benefits of having the event more central (for the Championship) If Redcar want the event next year they have my vote!
  13. 9 points
    If speedway went in house that’s pretty much where it will stay, only current fans would get to see it and personally I wouldn’t purchase it, I can see a tiny financial benifit for speedway itself but no sponsor in their right mind would be interested as it has no audience, I do think BT is selling us a bit short with the money but that’s totally our own fault, BT deal in millions v speedway deal in peanuts, no wonder who the winner is there, we have the perfect platform and get decent viewing figures but we can’t get our own house in order, we need to turn the viewing figures into punters on the terraces and we will never do that with in house filming, we have to be out there in the big wide world
  14. 9 points
    I don't go to Speedway to see so-called big names, I go because it's Rye House v Whoever. I go to see the 7 Rye riders against 7 riders from the opposition. How many times have a Team turned up only for their star man to have been injured last night in Sweden/Denmark/Poland etc. I won't go if it is pre-publicised that the away side are running R/R + 2 guests. I also think that if a rider is going to be out injured for more than 28 days, then they should be forced to sign someone else instead of running R/R all season. It is nice to have riders such as Bomber, Scotty & KK at Rye, but I would be just as happy to have say, Wells, Shanes & Garrity riding, as it would still be 7 Rye riders. I think most people go to Speedway to watch a match, not individual riders. On a previous post about fans stop going after LA left Swindon, why didn't they all return when Doyle(so called star name) was there. It isn't about Star names anymore, it's about 7 Riders in a Team, on a night that suits and continuity of a fixture list.
  15. 9 points
    Perhaps I should first say that I am a huge fan of Workington Speedway. To me, though, its a question of how you respond and, in this case, I think it has been unnecessarily heavy handed. Surely a chat and a warning would have been more appropriate if the comments were considered to be unreasonable ? It is easy for me to say but you just cannot allow the pressure that you are under to affect how you treat your paying customers. You can't do everything for them and its a case of sorting the wheat from the chaff, but I don't think that the consequences of how you reply can be underestimated - be that for good or bad. I have stated the following example many times and apologise for doing so again, but it sums up my position in a nutshell and it is based upon personal experience. I went to one track, saw an awful meeting on a dreadful, ridiculously dusty track (the meeting itself was eventually abandoned) and took to this forum to state my opinion in no uncertain terms. As a paying customer I believe I am entitled to do that. A co-promoter at that track sought me out and gave me 15 minutes of aggressive abuse. I went to another, Isle of Wight. Same dusty track, same response from me. I then got a truly remarkable - for speedway - reply from their promoter, Barry Bishop. It was : 'We're sorry about the dust,. We are new and learning and we will try to make sure it doesn't happen again. We really hope you come back and see us again and, if you do, we'll take you on a pits tour and the centre green'. It perhaps says a lot that I couldn't believe my eyes. Same problem, same criticism, entirely different responses. One track I have not been back to since, the other has become a huge favourite for whom I bang the drum on every occasion.
  16. 9 points
    There are many outlets today for individuals and organizations to air their views, particularly via social media and fora such as the BSF. We also see regular comments regarding the "right" to say what you want, that "free speech" is absolute. Unfortunately, that is NOT correct. The origins of "free speech", particularly in the Western world, stem from the fact that comments and views regarding authorities and authority figures (most notably national governments) can be made without fear of reprisal and prosecution. HOWEVER, please be aware that the concept of "free speech" is not absolute. There are laws regarding slander, libel, and defamation of character, and - in these troubled times - HATE SPEECH. In other words, you do NOT have the right to make false, accusatory, and hateful / bigoted statements, either verbally or in writing. No, I am not aiming this at any individuals in particular, or any posts in particular, but I just wish to remind you all that not everything you believe to be a "right" is indeed a right. Steve
  17. 9 points
    I'd tell them where to stick it personally. If they only want happy clappers then it'll end in tears
  18. 9 points
    You assume that all new promotions are full of sustainable ideas and are better than the present members of the BSPA. That isn't automatically the case. Yes BMR have ambition but how much of the planned works on site are completed? I take it the motorcycle dealership is up and running and giving that vital income to the site. Is it? It seemed like a key revenue stream. Something seems to have gone wrong. Is it purely frustration with the BSPA? Ron Russell had great plans and hopes for Rye House too and was far from the hapless fool some try to portray..... Based on getting on for fifty years' knowledge of Rye House speedway, partly professional but sadly from afar since the Silver revival, I firmly believe it needs weekend racing. If I were some stupid nostalgist I'd be arguing for Sunday afternoons. I'm not. If someone had offered me a return to Saturday nights, as at Rayleigh back in the 70-90s I'd have bitten their hand off. Yes, we need a league where we know the riders will give it top priority, except for meetings held by their respective federations. Once we have a pool of riders then we can have an idea of points limits. It has to be about the racing, not the names. The most successful years at Rye House were with Kelvin, Bob Garrad, Karl Fiala, Ted Hubbard, Hugh Saunders, Ashley Pullen and a cast of supporting triers. Nobody gave a damn about their position in the overall world of speedway. They were our heroes and the likes of Barney Kennett our beloved 'villains'. Most importantly they were part of the Rye House family which was a pretty good one to be part of. Remember when you could make money on a challenge match against Canterbury as long as it featured Kelvin v Barney? Now it has to be league matches only, no room for fun, in a fragmented ultra-short, joyless season where the main task is just to, get it completed as as soon as possible and with riders being flown in from around the world. To ride at Rye House? Progress? Madness? No, I don't want the past. I want a future based on the same principles though and which give supporters a proper season full of value for money matches. Is it that too much to ask? Oh I wouldn't mind the white rocket on blue and gold halves back. It wasn't a Len Silver creation but dated back to the founding of the Rockets at Rayleigh in 1947. You wouldn't mess with the Belle Vue Ace or the Wimbledon star. Isn't our heritage worth a bit of respect too?
  19. 9 points
    Nothing broken for Ulle which is good news.
  20. 8 points
    Yep. He could be as good as Klindt.
  21. 8 points
    In this situation impartiality is almost impossible, we have the version of events posted above to consider how we react. This is a bold step by Jenga to retract and make good the possible damage inadvertently caused. Inadvertently because he clearly loves Speedway and the Comets in particular to the point where he is prepared to capitulate. Jenga should be applauded, well done. My real point is this, I believe both parties should be cut a fair bit of slack over this. A confrontation that has been bubbling since the start of the season that possibly could have been headed off at the pass along the way. This is what happens when frustration has to be expressed, it's emotional and at times impulsive. Did Jenga intend to offend? Of course not. Did Steve intend to cause a backlash and own goal? Of course not. The desired outcome ought to be both parties calming down and agreeing a way forward that includes a line of communication other than on a public forum. I have read the concerning comments from Broc Nicol's family in the States concerning his signing for Sheffield, they are pleading with fans to give him a chance after so many negative remarks from people who have never met the kid. All of those posters did not intend to hurt Broc's family back home they were just expressing their opinions and concern for their club's ability to succeed. This is just another example of unintended consequences from relatively negative posts, we are all human and most more sensitive than we let on. Peter Mole has publicly criticised those keyboard warriors and he won't be the last. The Workington promotion are under immense pressure from the performance of the business to the needless politic -ing within the BSPA. All three Promoters have made tremendous personal sacrifices to the detriment of their lifestyles and families to keep the club going and at times there has been no end to the personal criticism they have faced so inevitably their tolerance thresholds are low. They too should be applauded, again well done. Is it all worth it? Put yourselves in their shoes and find out
  22. 8 points
    Time for speedway in this country to rebuild- let’s get back to weekend fixtures home meetings every other week in one big league- if riders can’t commit to every fixture there team races in don’t sign the rider - only riders 100% committed to British speedway should be used not the will ride in Uk if there is nothing else better elsewhere attitude- and reduce admission to £15 .
  23. 8 points
    Every club has to run on the best night for their business, to attract the best crowd. If the riders can't commit to this, then they have to go. What is more important, The track surviving, or the riders financial needs.
  24. 8 points
    Could have fooled us
  25. 8 points
    Peterborough do have two ambulances in attendance, however it is a medical decision whether to call and transfer to a County ambulance. Cost does not enter the equation where our medical cover is concerned.
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