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  1. 29 points
    YERS, very much so. Before speedway found a place on TV, the vast majority of people in this country thought it had long since died. Sky brought speedway back in front of many. Admittedly, the majority didn't also visit tracks to see the sport live but you can hardly blame Sky for that. The money Sky poured into British speedway was never well spent. It largely went to fund rider payments and never to improve the infrastructure of the sport. Cannot really blame Sky for that either. British speedway had a great opportunity to build on the exposure and platform provided by Sky but didn't do so. Personally cannot see how Sky can be blamed for the demise of domestic speedway. They don't create the product.
  2. 25 points
    ASSETS are a nonsense. Unless a rider is under contract he should be free to go wherever he pleases. Works everywhere else.
  3. 24 points
    THE BSPA General Council met on Tuesday at a time when speedway in the UK is in crisis. But, as usual, no word from the inner chambers of ACU House in Rugby. We are not allowed to know what they discussed, what plans they have afoot or any decisions made. They have become the ultimate secret society. And yet they wonder (maybe they don't) why the paying public, on whom they depend, despair and are deserting the sport in their droves. Are they interested in what British fans, those that are left, are prepared to pay to watch?
  4. 24 points
    Considering how skint Poole are, and how they can't afford Giles Hartwell and any racesuits, I think Matt has done well with the new racejacket design for the Poundland Pirates.
  5. 23 points
    We have had a long dry summer. No reason to extend at all. Clubs could have planned better to fit fixtures in gefore panicking as time ran out. Think back to all those weeks when no fixtures were run. The playoff dates should not be moved imo. Clubs should simply plan their fixtures better.
  6. 21 points
    Matt's searched down the back of the sofa. He reckons he's found enough money to pay for some budget racesuits for the Poundland Pirates after all.
  7. 20 points
    It's very interesting for me to read lots of these post about the "the decline of speedway" and to be honest I learn from them - so thank you. Martin and I are quite an open book where our speedway is concerned and I have to say that whether you agree with me or not, speedway on the Isle of Wight is in anything but decline, its thriving. Our crowds, while yes relatively small, are 6 - 8 fold the last promotions when it ran, and our meeting on meeting, like for like up with the exception of a couple of meetings when we had to run on a Tuesday increasing. Our crowd integration is increasing, our profile growing (the fact we are even discussed on here says something about that), Sponsorship continues to grow - but as any club we always welcome more, we do lots of shows and the feedback is tremendous, we monitor feedback from the fans all the time and we are proud to share it. Why talk down something which is clearly working. The demographic of our fan base has totally changed in the 3 years we have been at the helm.. we have more families at the stadium now, we have lots of youngsters and our senior fans love it. They know that speedway is changing, and it has to become a show and every promoter should continually try to improve their show week on week. We have an SDL team and the majority of fans stay to watch both meetings when we cannot integrate them into the main event. Our speedway school consistently sells out and we need to do more of them both on the mainland and on the Island. Would we like another 1000 on the gate, you bet... but how do I make them come to our stadium to watch speedway or for more sponsors to get involved?? It's by positive word of mouth, by positive reflection of the events we put on, its by staging weekly speedway without fail, it's by providing fan interaction, a clean stadium, value, being welcomed, being seen, promoting, self belief, trust in your product, thinking outside the box, looking to tomorrow not just today, allowing people to be part of it... but most of all it's by providing a fun packed family night out that people are proud and pleased to invite their friends to as opposed to feel odd because they watch a sport called speedway which no one knows of. The choice of speedway's future isn't only down to promoters, the BSPA, the SCB or ACU... it's down to us all, and while I welcome lively debate and feedback is always welcome we must look at the bigger picture of "passive aggression" - it's a phrase I came across in my working life where the strength of talking something down or negatively destroying something good becomes to strong to change - so it never changes. Speedway is very close to this now. All I can honestly tell you is that we are so proud of what we deliver, we are not afraid to hear something which is not how it should be, we are mindful of the spiralling costs which comes from many different angles, we are mindful of our investment of money, time, our families, but most of all, we absolutely love our show, we believe totally in our product, our team, our approach, we want to develop riders but also have to put on a professional show. It is the only way clubs like us can attract sponsors, fans, tourists, riders and for our families to allow us to continue what we do. 3 referees this year have grabbed me after to say “that’s the best speedway meeting I have been to all year…..” in my view not because the racing is any different of course because of the energy of the night, the feel good factor, the positivity, the well….its a bloody great show, that’s why. I will apologise in advance for the typo's and spelling errors, if you come to the Island do come and say hello to me, I am always in yellow and blue. Finally, your club needs positive and constructive feedback…..saying its crap or not like it used to be – may get it off your chest but will not help deliver change or progress in my view. Keep it wound on and see you trackside and if you want to try speedway book in with My First Skid.
  8. 20 points
    So it should, because its nothing less than a bloody disgrace . Workington had their fixtures and dates approved by the BSPA and they aren't being told to change 'a few' but all of them, regardless of the arrangements they and their riders have made and whether their stadium is available on other days. What makes it even worse is that the very promoters who are responsible for this action now will not co-operate and bring their teams to Derwent Park when asked, and the icing on the cake is that this is almost entirely at the behest of one promoter who agreed with it and then changed his mind when he couldn't get guests for injured riders. An appalling example of just how badly speedway promotions are motivated entirely by self interest without any regard for the needs of others or the best interests of the sport as a whole.
  9. 20 points
    Sometimes it might be best to simply not post at all Starman. There is no possible sensible defence of what Ford is complaining about here so best to simply remain quiet.
  10. 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.
  11. 18 points
    The decision was not only made at the AGM, it was subsequently confirmed on 1 February 2018 - despite the fact that Peterborough challenged it. As such, they did test the decision and were refused. Three weeks (BCD has stated it was less) later - apparently after solicitors were contacted - the BSPA backed down completely. According to Phil Rising, the SCB were fully aware that the Nicholls decision was illegal and refused to ratify it. I am therefore asking myself whether the decision to retain the rule after review in early February and then reverse it a matter of weeks later was a matter of incompetence, viciousness or both. I don't regard Rathbone as the peoples champion - and I suspect those that do are motivated by their own prejudices - but I do regard him as someone who stood up to a ruling in the interests of his promotion, his team, his fans and his sponsors. That is very hard to condemn. The problem with a closed shop is that no-one is allowed to challenge it. That means however illegal, corrupt or biased their rulings are they must be adhered to. That surely cannot be right, and the answer must be not to punish dissent or dissension but not make such rulings in the first place. Decisions that are fair, open, justifiable, subject to precedent and legal are far harder to challenge. There are those who bash the BSPA at every opportunity - again, almost certainly as a result of their own prejudices. The thing is though is that the BSPA themselves have, to a degree, created such an attitude. Personally, I take pleasure that an illegal ruling has been struck down and I doubt very much that I am the only one with that view. I have made no secret of my respect and admiration for the promotion at Isle Of Wight and its clear Barry Bishop and Martin Widman have put a huge amount of time, money, effort and enthusiasm into ensuring that the Warriors are a paying success. Yet last season, time after time, rulings went against them, be that because they were turned down (despite precedents) or that others received ludicrously beneficial judgements. That undoubtedly contributed to their final league position and no doubt there were times that they would have felt utterly disillusioned by events around them. The thing is I - and I would stand on my own reputation for fairness and impartiality - can well believe that they were denied their share of discretion through simple jealousy, provoked by the remarkable (and totally justified)amount of credit and praise they have received from speedway fans across the country. Ged Rathbone was heavily fined and had his promoters licence suspended as a result of allowing Holder to ride in Poland. Two seasons ago, I went to a meeting where a promoter took part in a sit on the track during that meeting. He, one of his riders and a number of the home support sat on the track on one side of the tapes while on the other side were riders ready to race. I thought that was a grossly irresponsible act and an awful breach of health and safety regulations. To my knowledge, that promoter was never fined, punished or disciplined in anyway and, in my view, there is no question about what was the more serious offence. Any organisation that treats its members with such appalling inconsistency - and, seemingly, favouritism - can also make decisions in precisely the same way and therefore deserves at least some of the odium and criticism it gets.
  12. 17 points
    MY colleague Peter Oakes texted ... Went to King's Lynn last night and have to say there was not a speck of dust despite being only 27 miles from the warmest spot in Britain yesterday. Buster was telling me he was on the track at 3.45am putting down water so despite what people will say you can run a meeting in this weather without sending the public off to have a shower!
  13. 17 points
    Starman, I love Led Zeppelin.... they’re great, probably the best band ever. But even I, as a rabid fan admit that they’ve released some lemons in their time. As much as I love them, if I’m honest, I know in my heart of hearts not everything they do is the mutts nuts. Even gods muck it up from time to time we appreciate you’re a Poole fan, but your constant leaping to defend Matt at every opportunity is a bit over the top. Dont take everything about Poole that you might not understand of disagree with as a personal insult, look at it with an open mind and see that from time to time, even Led Ford can get it wrong.
  14. 16 points
    My best wishes go to Kerr and Kasper at this moment in time.I don't give a damn at the moment to a lot of comments coming from people that weren't there tonight.These two guys were in an awful lot of pain.I can guarantee the medical room wouldn't be sufficient for any of these poor lads tonight.They have to be at the hospital where they can get the best care possible. I just hope Kasper will be ok that was just awful.That was sickening to see how his body re-acted after the crash.Thoughts most definitely with him tonight. Can't believe some of the people on here moaning about Buster and King's Lynn speedway and not one has even bothered to give there thoughts and best wishes to two stricken riders tonight.Apart form ianb's ATB Lewis.
  15. 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
  16. 16 points
    Christmas Statement from the Save Coventry Speedway group. WE would like to extend our Season’s Greetings to all supporters of Speedway and Stock Car Racing at Coventry. Our thanks to all who have supported the Campaign Group efforts over the course of the year, and also to everyone who helped organise and supported the Challenge matches run in 2017 with Coventry Bees not running as part of the official league structure. It has been the worst year imaginable for everyone with a love for the sports at Brandon; from the shattering news that ‘agreements’ for future racing were not to be fulfilled, to the eventual omission of Coventry from the 2017 Premiership, to the deterioration in condition of the stadium throughout the year arising from the lack of security on-site by the owners. Brandon Estates bought the stadium for their own purposes, but in doing so they have shown zero regard for the 89-year history and heritage of the iconic venue, nor the fact that regular visits to Brandon to watch these family sports remained a way of life for many thousands of people throughout the season, right up until the end of 2016. In addition, the intransigence of the owners to engage in reasonable communication is a further indication of their motives, along with the material included within their official representations and public exhibition material – much of which is open to serious question. At the Exhibition in October, comments from the public were invited by planning consultants Framptons. We have seen a number of these responses, and the local reaction is clear - but as with the 2014 Exhibition arising from the initial plans, they appear to be a closely-guarded secret at this time. The display boards also indicated that an outline planning application would be submitted in Autumn 2017. At the time of writing, this has not taken place. We do not know the reason for that, but we can assure Brandon Estates – and their front-man, Monaco-based businessman John Downer – that as soon as their planning application is submitted, we will be ready with strong opposition. They must understand that they cannot simply take two major sports away from the region – sports which were both perfectly viable running in tandem at the stadium – merely on an outrageous speculative bid for development on land which had not been earmarked for that purpose, and expect everyone to sit back and let it happen. Our Campaign Group came together in its present form in the immediate aftermath of Coventry’s exclusion from the 2017 SGB Premiership, and our primary aim was to bring about a return to racing at the stadium for 2018 as well as establishing plans for the long-term continuation of both sports in the area. In those respects, we have regrettably been unsuccessful. The sheer depth of issues to be considered and resolved arising from the activities of recent years has been eye-opening in the extreme, and we have to respect the fact that the timescales of official business are sometimes longer than we would wish for. We believe there is tremendous momentum behind our campaign and overwhelming opposition to Brandon Estates' proposals. So our work will go on into 2018, and there are various events and hearings in the early part of the New Year which will play a vital part in matters going forward. Finally, we must emphasise to all who pass comment on the situation, often on social media, that the status of Brandon Stadium remains absolutely fundamental to the entire argument, and an acceptance that it has been lost to sport permanently is simply not an option. We wish every supporter of Speedway and Stock Car Racing a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and we hope 2018 provides some encouragement to everyone who wishes to see our two famous sports restored to their rightful place.
  17. 15 points
    Having had my preference for Isle of Wight speedway raised, I can give a few reasons why that is. The other teams named are merely examples, as others do exactly the same thing. 1 Edinburgh charge full price for a rain off programme with an insert. That's a rip off. At Isle of Wight, they are free with a request that the cost is replaced by a go on the raffle or a contribution to the tyre fund. 2 A child's entry at Poole is either £4 or £7, depending on their age. At Isle of Wight, they are free. 3 Sheffield charge £15 (I think that amount is correct) for a go on the centre green. At Isle of Wight its (you guessed it) free, and that applies to home and away supporters. On Thursday, a group of Mildenhall fans watched heat 1 from the middle. 4 I once criticised the state of Stoke's track and got 15 minutes of aggressive abuse in response. I did the same about Isle of Wight, got an apology, a reasoned explanation and a hope that I would come back. 5 Belle Vue charge £7 for a burger and chips. By all accounts, they are 'horrible' (or words to that effect, I have never had one myself). At Isle of Wight on Thursday, I had a plate of home made sausage casserole and a lump of bread for £3.50. It was that good I over-indulged in second helpings. 6 King's Lynn refuse to allow food in and indeed threaten to search people to prevent it. On Thursday, a large family brought in an equally large hamper, sat on the grass on the first bend and watched the racing having a picnic including wine. 7 I stand to be corrected here, but I have never seen Eastbourne undertake any promotional activities. Isle of Wight attend about a dozen shows a year during the season with their tent, bikes and other speedway paraphernalia. 8 At most meetings, promoter Barry Bishop works the crowd, talking, explaining but above all listening. Belle Vue's Adrian Smith does this but aside from one instance years ago by Peter Toogood I have never seen anyone else do the same. 9 At Birmingham, a lengthy interval is just that so you stand around getting cold and bored. Isle of Wight have running and bike races for the youngsters, interviews and rider autograph and picture sessions. 10 We have all stood around when a rider has been injured and there has been a delay. Isle of Wight, last season, organised activities for the youngsters until the racing recommenced. Never seen that anywhere else. 11 At the Mildenhall - Isle of Wight meeting last season, the start was delayed on a red hot day. Riders then took out bottles of cold water to those stuck outside. Fantastic idea, but it didn't come from Mildenhall. 12 Finally, there's the amazing story of Ann Barrett- the speedway fan who couldn't get to the track because of her disability but went into her garden to listen to the bikes. The promotion heard about it, and now she gets a taxi to the stadium reach week and a sponsor has supplied a season ticket. That's just fantastic. All of that added up - and I am sure I can think of more given time - is impressive and accounts for the opinions that people have of what has been achieved on the Island.
  18. 15 points
    Not going to happen. Fridays, Saturday's and Sundays have to be kept clear in case Scunthorpe have a match.
  19. 15 points
    All those making snide remarks abut Glasgow " Splashing the Cash " are hypocrites , not one of them would turn down that sort of investment in their clubs . The Glasgow owners should be admired and applauded for what they've done ., without them It's most likely there would be no speedway in Glasgow now . Good luck to them I say for giving it a go , I for one would be quite happy to see them make success of things and for Glasgow to win the title , ( if it's not going to be Berwick that is ) , the petty jealousy is boring and sad IMHO.
  20. 15 points
    I have always been a great admirer of Tai's on-track exploits and there is no doubt there is a strong case to say he is Britain's best-ever. Certainly in the top 4. And the way he rode during the SON certainly emphasises that and furthers his cause in that respect no end. So, like a lot of posters on here who have commented on the final race, I have no dislike of Tai nor any need to "attack" him. And I find it speaks volumes for the paucity of the argument of others when they have to resort to that line of reasoning when trying to answer the criticism that he should have done more to help Lambert in the final. It would be much better to give some sort of reasoned argument why they feel his tactics in the last race were correct rather than attacking everyone as "Tai haters". To his credit, Philip has tried to do just that without ad hominem attacks, but, in my opinion, has failed miserably to make out any case at all why Tai should have just gone for the win and forget his partner. Yes, we know the chances of his shepherding Rob through past the world class Sayfutdinov were close to zero, but there was no alternative, given the rules. What difference did it make to the overall position that Tai storms off to win? There was only one chance of victory last night and that was for Rob not to come last. Other than last himself, it was irrelevant where Tai finished up. He could have stormed off and won in a new track record for all the difference it made. The only tactic he had was to hang back and try and help, however difficult that was. Can someone please give a good reason why they think Tai was right to do what he did without dismissing people who disagree as "Tai haters"?
  21. 15 points
    Both teams agreed to give it a try. If the riders wanted to give it a go who’s in the better position to judge, the guys putting their neck on the line of some bloke on the internet who’s probably never swung his leg over a bike?
  22. 15 points
    No brainer, they are a must in terms of a professional image nowadays.
  23. 15 points
    What a load of absolute horsesh!t!! so i will be the first one to bite. Riders this riders that? What about the fans?Where is the respect for them? Who without them there is no speedway!! Fans are treat with utter contempt the length and breadth of the country man, They are shafted for value for money in everyway imaginable yet still pay their monies, people are sick of paying over inflated prices to watch substandard racing on ill prepared tracks, with poxy made up rules and short handed teams. they are treat like mushrooms and drip fed information when it suits. If you pay your money you are entitled to an opinion both good and bad surely?? Speedway riders are not gods imo and to suggest they do it for our entertainment is both futile and ridiculous, if that was the case they would do it for free or basic expenses.... they dont and no one forces them to ride either... our armed forces, police force, fire fighters put themselves in danger for us ffs not bloody speedway riders!! You will be telling us jockeys are the same no doubt? Yes its a dangerous sport but its their choice to ride ours to watch. Speedway fans are far too passive in accepting sh!te and being told to be thankful like promoters, riders and the bspa are doing us a favor. Wake up and smell the coffee man because without or after this generation of fans there will be no speedway because society today wont accept or support the current shambles that is speedway in the UK. Ive been going to Newcastle for 40 years, it was a passion, it was part a massive part of my life it was a drug.. I loved it. Now i couldnt give a monkeys if i go or not... so where are the next lot of die hards coming from?? Who is going to stand up for the fans? Etc.. id rather voice my opinion and how i feel rather than sit apathetic creaming my self thinking a bloke in kevlars is a god or a hero... and told to be thankful!! Thankful for what?. Says something when you couldnt care a less about something you once lived for... and im not alone.
  24. 15 points
    RIDING in the Ben Fund is only part of it. At Somerset on Friday he said quite plainly that he was always going to ride in the UK, it is foremost amongst his priorities, it isn't about the money, he genuinely feels that it helps him as a rider, he likes to keep busy, is always available to offer advice to his team-mates (should they want it, which isn't always the case) and has turned his life around. He also said that the injuries he sustained in Torun in 2016, including a collapsed lung, were identical to those of Lee Richardson when the talented young Englishman so tragically lost his life. Doyle could have too but, unlike Lee, he received treatment both at the stadium and in hospital far quicker. He is an impressive young man who could turn out to be one of speedway's best World Champion ambassadors, not least because he is not just prepared but determined to participate in British speedway. And hats off to Somerset who have made that possible and attracted new sponsors on the back of his signing.
  25. 14 points
    Dead right and that is what sticks in my craw more than anything else. We can all debate the rules that apply to speedway but, however controversial they might be, they can at least be applied consistently by an unbiased, impartial adjudicator. Simple truth is, though, all too often they are not. They are subject to inconsistent, arbitrary, incompetent and illegal rulings by interested parties - parties whose identities are hidden and whose reasons are rarely disclosed. That is almost totally contrary to our system of law and breeds frustration and anger amongst not just fans but officials of clubs as well. Isle of Wight asked for average reduction for Harland Cook last season, a rider who had been out of the sport for years,. They were refused, despite the precedent set for David Wallinger and Luke Clifton the previous season. Later in 2017 Paul Hurry was given an average reduction of almost 3 points, two clubs having been quoted an average in excess of 10.50 during the close season. Matt Marson, who has never ridden in Britain and has a British passport, was at one point graded at a 5.00 - which doesn't even exist in the NL rulebook. You can only believe that such rulings are motivated by spite, jealousy, backscratching and one-upmanship. People can complain about the rulebook and individual rules as much as they like but until its contents are applied consistently, fairly and openly by an independent arbitrator we might as well not have one.
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