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  1. 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.
  2. 15 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.
  3. 15 points
    No, it's about having teams of relatively equal strength so that you don't have a race to financial extinction for those who cannot compete economically. It's a case of not having the insanity of paying highly expensive 'star' riders blasting round half a lap in front and taking home more than the total attendance money. Sadly too many fans hide behind the "watered down" mantra that totally fails to realise that the sport in Britain is a brown ale sport trying to live off champagne. Yes, there was a day when we could afford the top talent but those costs have been disastrously escalated by the money being paid in Poland and riders' expectations soaring as a result. The bubble will burst but for now Britain has to find a way to survive until then and if it does not then find a way to survive. Having fans that see that the quality of racing is vastly more important that the quality of names in a sport like ours might help. At this level it's all about putting on meetings that will attract and entertain new crowds, not provide them with uncompetitive meetings but telling them,"Who cares, that's Tai Woffinden half a lap ahead of Jason Doyle". Most would say "Who the hell are they and why is there no action?". British speedway's situation cannot be simplistically laid entirely at the BSPA's door. The competition of Poland and the Grand Prixs have battered British speedway which never stood a chance. When the sport here tries to do something to survive it would be useful if these posturing 'supporters' actually demonstrated that support by dropping this damaging "watered down" rubbish, but then that would ask for a view of the bigger picture that too many cannot or will not even begin to try. This will be my 47th season in the sport and in those years I have watched speedway and often worked in it all levels from World Finals to training tracks. Thankfully I've learned that I was just as likely to see a decent speedway race at Iwade as I would be at Cardiff of Wembley. I would have missed so much joy if I had stupidly stuck to the "I don't DO second division" or "It's watered down" approach. In most sports the greater the talent the greater the entertainment, but that doesn't work in racing unless you have the enormous hype budget of F1. I adore the sight of a match being won by a rider bravely taking the outside line to win on the line and I don't care what his name or reputation is....
  4. 15 points
    Hi everyone, This is a very interesting thread to read and a great post here, although of course I wish that I wasn’t reading it. Anyways, these are very useful when I am doing research into speedway and the general feedback about it. It is clear that there is a lot of frustration out there and I know this thread is dedicated to trying to identify what has gone wrong as opposed to the all the successes it has too. If I look at the points and how it affects my own club (when I write my, me or I, I always mean Martin Widman and myself) there are some very interesting comparisons.... For example, I completely agree about the darts - we watched it on the box last night and I said to my Lisa, how on earth did darts get so good - what took it up to this level and why isn't it possible with speedway. Of course, we all know that it is possible to do it with speedway - we try to put on as much "quality" razzmatazz as possible on race night, the build-up, and all our social events because speedway is no longer just about speedway. However, in my view, the main difference about darts and speedway is anyone can nip down the pub, pick up some arrows and throw them, you can’t for speedway and that the darts we see on the box is the elite players in a conference centre packed with fans, PLUS one-time attenders who are there for the social and fun factor and not just the darts. What we do not see is the regular dart league games. So that is a huge difference – what we are saying is that we want our league matches to have the fun packed adventure of, for example the PDC darts scene, and this is something on the Island we strive to do each week – so aim high. But, there is more… I can play darts easily but I cannot ride a speedway bike easily can I?.... uhhh well actually you can. Come to My First Skid on the island for example (or one of the other great schools across the country). Why have I added this bit…... well because I can prove that people who know nothing about speedway will come to our speedway school with little Johnny or Evie and try riding a speedway / twist and shoot bike (we even have a bike with stabilizers on). Then when they have tried it and realise that they have signed up their baby to ride a bike without brakes and watch some of the more advance riders a flying around their interest is caught... and this has been a big success on the island for us. I cannot begin to tell you, but I would suspect it has put at least 20 families on our gate each week over last year. Attendances.... our attendances last year increased for every meeting bar one... but it was hard work to achieve this.. My First Skid, shows, schools, scouts, you name it we went there. We held a free meeting too which attracted a lot of people but our core focus is on making speedway part of a bigger show that involves kids, rider interaction, fun, up to date music, slick presentation, and for us, this has really worked. While of course we value massively our senior supporters, for example the nice story about Ann Barrett, but at the same time we focus on tomorrow's support too and what makes them want to come to speedway. The truth of this in my view is 2 fold... one they need to feel valued, be entertained, follow a team and receive value for money. (I am not sure I agree with what is the right price to admit someone to speedway thought - but I do know that what you charge for entry must reflect what the person receives. This actually applies to everything – if you received a Micky D’s burger in a Michelin 5 star restaurant you would have cause for disappointment – yet both at the right price offer value to their customer. In other words, if someone leaves and thinks to themselves, that was awful, I didn’t get value, they will not return) and secondly, community.... we now have groups of kids running around the stadium of different ages, going to different schools, from across the Island and the first time I saw this I thought "yes.... that's it". Because I know as a child attending speedway I had different friends there compared to sea cadets, or school... and the truth is I still do. Fixtures... without doubt for us, we run every week and we are expected to run every week and this is vital, in our view, to the clubs success. Admission - we do offer lots of offers for free entry to newbies... but this comes at a “cost” to them. We would like them to give us feedback and to tell us their thoughts. This was another area where we won lots of new fans over the last two years. Integrity.... agree totally. However, I am not sure how we ensure it as I am sure that rule manipulation has always happened. The difference of today vice yesterday is social media and the ability for anyone to find a problem and declare it to the world - I am not suggesting this is wrong of course... it is just very different to how things were, and the sport needs to adapt to this accordingly. Correct it’s not just speedway - it is a fun family night out.... or as we say a fun packed family adventure. We want to entertain from entry to exit and this includes up to 10 mascots out on track for 30 minutes prior to the meeting, open pits, centre green visits, rider interaction, kids cycle race, me getting on a loudhailer when we were losing... and what is interesting for me last year when we had such a tough season not one person said to me - "Barry sort this out", they said, "thanks for another great night loved it.. we will win next week...." (I try to say goodbye to everyone after the meeting). A business plan and a vision... you know when we looked at bringing speedway back we needed a business plan, we still use it, it is a vital part of our daily life, but it also enables us to look at what worked, what cost what, and so on... but all this is encompassed by a vision and when you have a vision you need your sponsors to share this with you (otherwise why would they invest in you and your club), and you need your fans to not only share it but help you achieve it and you need to prove it. When you prove it tell the world about it. We made a promise to never charge for kids 16 and under and we will not (but interestingly I know have people writing to me to offer to buy kids tickets to social events - we never charge for them and they say we know, we want to just help... amazing hey?). Our second promise was to find riders from the island and we do this through My First Skid and we will enter the SDL league with the Wightlink Wizards with a team of students from the school. Finally, I view you coming to watch the Warriors, Wizards or attending a My First Skid session as though you are coming to visit my house. I would be totally gutted if you didn’t have a great time, it’s personal to me, you have actually invested in our club by coming and that is important. Of course we can never get everything right, but we do listen and we do read lots of information on forums and social media, as well as asking our fans for their feedback on how we perform. We never lose sight the we are not millionaires and without a healthy sponsorship and fan base there could not be speedway on the island which is why we put every effort we can to make it succeed. Anyway, thanks for the feedback on here about your views, we appreciate it..... if I could make one request as a promoter, fan, ex-rider, school instructor... is try and match your concern with positivity too because there are lots of it... if we all collectively talk our sport down, it will only go down, nothing will be able to bring it back up, but if we focus on our positives, while working on our concerns we can return our sport to the level it should be at. I know this works.. when kids come through the school… everyone cheers them for their first ride, they are my superstar every time they go out, we educate, we are disciplined but we have the most fun and you know what…. They come back… but you knew I would write that didn’t you. Positivity does work, trust me. Thanks again and I hope to see you trackside in 2018. If you come to the island grab me for a chat I am always in yellow and blue, probably with kids all around me as I look like Mr Tumble, or screaming with the fans. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and thanks again for supporting your club wherever that may be.
  5. 14 points
    He wasn't wrong. As regards the signing of Cook, can't for the life of me think of any reason why Belle Vue wouldn't want to sign him. He is passionate and puts his heart and soul into racing for the club. The kind of rider you LOVE to have in your side. He may not make a successful GP rider (then again he might) but the sport would be in a better place if there were more Craig Cooks in it.
  6. 13 points
    WROTE the following in an edition of Speedway Star in June 1981. Could have repeated it every year since including the present one. SPEEDWAY in this country is facing a crisis which threatens the foundations on which the sport is built. Unless something is done to stop the squabbling, the wastage of money, bending of the rules and, in some cases, blatant breaking of regulations, speedway will lose even the support of the hard core of fans. Vast numbers of followers are becoming disenchanted either with the way speedway is run or by the attitude of riders who seem prepared to bite the hand that feeds them. Any rider who doesn't fulfil his commitments is cheating the public. It is as simple as that. Speedway has got itself into such a mess with foreign riders that there is no easy way out. But a remedy must be found. First, however, the promoters who run league speedway in this country must put their own house in order. Speedway desperately needs a clearly defined set of regulations which are strictly adhered to without exception. The rulebook as it is at present is bent, manipulated, rewritten, ignored or changed at will. That cannot continue. Sadly, it seems it has.
  7. 12 points
    Here you go again SCB. You really must be a very bitter person. You are right when you say that a hell of a lot of Pensioners are well of, some of them very well off. However the obverse is also true. There are also a hell of a lot of Pensioners who are not very well off, are indeed very, very poor. Some can afford Speedway every week, but others will inevitably not be able to, and it seems that you want to make them even worse off. I doubt if there are many very well off Pensioners who attend Speedway that often so you are actually having a go at the poorer ones. Shame on you!!! You are either very bitter, very jealous or very selfish or maybe a combination of all three. Shame on you!!!
  8. 12 points
    I think they do a good job myself.
  9. 12 points
    PETER Oakes in Speedway Star this week has tried to unravel the farcical situation that the BSPA have put themselves in by preventing Scott Nicholls and Edward Kennett riding for a Championship team in 2018 because they did not do so this year and therefore failed to acquire an average. Although, of course, Nicholls appeared in various end of season Championship finales as a guest. We also now have a situation where Nick Morris and Craig Cook, both of whom have averages over eight, and Sam Masters (almost eight) could ride for the same Championship side but not together for a Premiership team. Do the BSPA ever look beyond their noses when making up rules, seemingly on the hoof.
  10. 12 points
    I guess we may be the difference to the norm, but we only managed 5 wins last season in all competitions yet our crowd went up on the previous season. We saw an influx of families, a lot of travelling fans who wanted to experience an evening with us and our season ticket sales increased from 2016. As I wrote earlier, not one person said to me, sort the team out, we have had enough..... they really enjoyed their evening, because they were properly entertained, received value for money, felt valued and I guess felt/knew that Martin, our team and I were putting everything we had (I don’t mean financial) to make their evening fun. As someone wrote before...as the crowds grew, so did the atmosphere, which in turn probably helped the crowd grow again. I truly don’t believe that fans of speedway want to see the best in the world week in week out. If they see close racing, with excitement and a bit of controversy, plus they feel valued, safe, their kids make friends, they interact with riders, in my view it’s a winning combination. If their team happens to involve the world's best and they have the close racing still than that's even better. We market as much as we can, but it is actually expensive to do all mediums, radio, paper, magazine, billboards and so on, so if I had one wish that would be an unlimited marketing budget to prove that marketed correctly the turnstiles will click again Thanks again, it’s interesting to read your views, as I try to see how they stack up in our stadium and what we do, and if using your views we can tweak what we do or implement something new. As always, if you come to the island come grab me for a chat, I'm always in yellow and blue
  11. 12 points
    Treating a speedway fan not as a speedway fan but as a valued paying customer. The difference is that with the former you can get away with a sub standard product, with the latter you can't. With the massive amount of competition in the leisure industry and the difficulty of attracting and retaining support it has to be the case that a paying customer is looked upon as the life blood that he actually is, not a mug to be taken for granted. We are not in the 1950's or 1970's any more. We have all been there. Rubbish tracks prepared without care or for the wants of riders. Filthy, uncared for facilities. Overpriced, dreadful food and a bar on taking your own in. Appalling customer care - aggressive, contemptuous and even abusive responses to legitimate criticism or questions from promoters, team managers and club press officers. Shambolic organisation, leading to ridiculous delays. A total lack of imagination regarding the entire meeting, because its not just about speedway. I believe all of that can be addressed at little cost - in fact I know it can, because Isle of Wight have done it.
  12. 12 points
    Many thanks for the warning !! - I will make a note in my diary not to tune in to that programme on 18 December
  13. 11 points
    SCB's thin veneer of intelligence is once more stripped away by his rancid and repugnant ageism. It's a familiar argument - "I know a pensioner who's well-off so every one of them must be." It's as intellectually and morally bankrupt as "All these foreigners are taking our jobs". I do wonder if he's got a problem with his parents or other elderly relatives, given the sick bitterness and prejudice he continually shows to the elderly. In another recent thread he came up with what were superficially intelligent comments about the way forward but which were invalidated by his comment "Stop pandering to the old, they'll be dead soon", or words to that effect. I'll leave you to consider for a moment just how repugnant that is. Don't be taken in by someone who is obsessed withe speedway rule book and averages. It doesn't make them intelligent, merely fixated. I had to correct him ages ago when he was spouting this regulation and that to point out that he was completely ignoring the key part of the rule book, the supplementary regulations which are issued during a season and regularly amend those rules., I remember SCB complaining about the car park at a certain track on the basis that it was damaging his very expensive car. Lovely chap. I'd park mine outside ;-) If people were singled out for such abuse on the grounds of race, gender or sexuality they would be rightly condemned by most reasonable people in society and in many cases prosecuted. So why is ageism allowed? Speedway may have an age profile that could do with reducing. The SCB's of this world would achieve that by making the sport hostile to the elderly and forcing them out on the basis that the young and 'cool' (i.e. his own perception of himself) are put off by the sight of geriatrics viciously sitting down because they can't stand up for two hours and callously drinking hot drinks from a flask because they know that the stuff on sale at the track is awful quality and overpriced. Shame on them! It's not the elderly that are the problem, it's the shallow, ignorant outlook of certain people at the other end of the age spectrum. Still, there's one consolation, given the modern trend to despise the old by the time he gets to be in that age group life's going to be pretty appalling for him. Yes I have attacked the poster, and I have not one iota of apology for doing this. I've posted some strong views on here over the years but they have all been based on a deep love of and concern for the sport, and not my ego. I had my brief spell in the spotlight and I can tell you I am much, much happier sitting quietly in the shadows now. When I see SCB's posts I see raw ego. I worked with a few TV technicians like him in the past and you would sometimes get those who developed appalling arrogance through working in the industry. I thought I'd seen the worst.......until now. I remember years back Sittingbourne getting their only away Conference League win at Newport. Almost everyone on the BSF were congratulating the then Crusaders on finally getting a win. One kid wasn't though. He went through every decision made in the match, every pass and incident, desperately trying to prove that the Kent side hadn't deserved their win. Ever since then I've been waiting for SCB to grow up. Seems like I've got a longer to go. Still, I'll probably be dead first, eh? Rob McCaffery - aged 60 and expecting the basic state pension only, if that when I can finally afford to retire. You see, instead of building up a career I spent too much time with speedway. I'm now partially disabled so have to have a seat at a track even if it's a folding one which SCB so despises. After 46 years of course I don't deserve a small concession on the admission in my advancing old age.....It would be nice to be able to enjoy the sport in my final years without having to put up with prejudice from this shallow clown.
  14. 11 points
    ...trouble is SCB has a fixation about ageism and raises the issue over and over again. Gets a bit tiresome after awhile.
  15. 11 points
    Neither should get stick, people have a choice of either getting involved or not, moaning about it shouldn't need to be an option. Good luck to Cook for 2018. And Bomber for that matter.
  16. 11 points
    Thanks ray and I m sure that all Forum fans will join me in wishing him as full and speedy a recovery as possible.
  17. 11 points
    You're all looking at this the wrong way. IMO anyone with a Premiership average of 6+ should be blocked from the Championship. It's the second division FFS, it shouldn't have top riders (Cook as a GP rider IS a top rider) eligible. The fact that Morris, Cook, Masters, Schlein, Harris, Lambert, Worrall, King, Wright, Howarth, Lawson and Bjerre is wrong. If clubs want them riders? Go Premiership. For me, a far bigger issue is that Lakeside have signed Zach Wajtknecht and Ben Morley who rode in the 2017 Premiership on their 2016 Championship (PL) averages, yet Kennett cannot drop back down on him 2016 Championship (PL) average, despite the fact the whole purpose of the rule when first introduced in 2001/2002 was to prevent riders moving up, achievement too high and average and being forced out of the sport.
  18. 10 points
    Starry had an op to remove a non-cancerous brain tumour. It all went successfully at Southampton General and he is now in the recuperation/recovery stages.
  19. 10 points
    THIS week's Speedway Star is its usual 48 pages plus a 24 page section from Travel Plus. How are you losing out?
  20. 10 points
    I read all your comments with interest and I thank you all for them. One of the things that determined this years team for us was a hunger to come to the club. In seasons past, we have struggled to get people over to the island and this has narrowed our opportunity for rider selection. The very young 15 - 18, normally have school during the week, so reserves the opportunity to the next hot shot to their local or weekend club and they remain quite a challenge to find. Although, as a club we have never prevented starlets coming over and indeed encourage them as part of the GB Young Lions. I have also invested time and support to various young riders including Drew Kemp, Kyle Bickley, Chad Wirtzfeld and James Shanes to name but a few, because I believe in them as much as I believe in the riders we have selected this season, all of whom can progress this year. The second aspect we want are team players and all of the riders announced so far fit that bill perfectly. We want unity and a belief in the common goal.... which I know is always easier when you have a winning side for sure, but with strong, fun characters in the team along with very capable heat leaders and experience the combination is there for success. The other factor for us is pay....simple as. We cannot afford to pay the requirements that some riders have asked for, nor we will get into any price war. We have a scale and thats that, and the core objective remains the same... be the best we can be and hopefully that is trophy winner, while remaining viable, providing a fun filled family night out where our guests are valued and get value, while developing riders via the school and our NDL/SDL Teams. #comeonyouwarriors .
  21. 10 points
    1. Marketing/Hype. - No marketing of the Sport nationally yet millions paid out to riders who patently didn't maintain the crowds interest or numbers. Look what Barry Hearn has done with darts? Look at how the PDC is marketed v the 'other' organisation the BDO? Its the same game! But that is where the similarity ends. Hearn marketed the Sport, and the players incrementally earned more as the Sport grew organically. He didnt pay out huge money before he had it coming in! In 1993 the Winner of the World Title earned £64k. This time he will get £440k.. One is loud, brash, colourful and very, very succesful. The other tries to match it (badly) and tries to be all things to all men from grass roots to World Champions.. British Speedway is the BDO to Poland's PDC, stuck in a time warp of a by-gone era which has no linkage to today's society.. 2. Attendances - Not spotting that an ever growing older demographic was your only dwindling customer base. (Just like Woolworths, and we know how that went). And even if they did spot it, doing absolutely nothing nationally as a colllective about it (see point one)... 3. Credibilty. - planning fixtures to suit riders needs rather than the requirements of the fans. Resulting in disjointed schedules, and a plethora of 'Mickey Mouse' meetings, full of guests, which render the whole competition a waste of time and loses any emotional involvement a fan should have following 'their team'. And if a competition is a 'waste of time with no credibilty', simply "why go to watch it?" 4. Admission Costs. - Maybe due to costs they cannot be lower? But quite simply, you will not attract a regular crowd every week/fortnight/tri-weekly/every fourth Wednesday if the dogs isn't on and we can get Greg over (delete as applicable). There has to be a way of reducing entrance fees. We who are left are used to paying inflation busting admission fees, now circa £18, but any newbies (which the Sport so desperately needs) will be very reluctant to dip their toe in the Speedway water at those prices. Remember, most won't have a clue about the Sport other than via TV or YouTube. Forking out £50 or so for a family not knowing beforehand if they will enjoy it or not is a big ask I would suggest. And one not too many will take.. 5. Integrity - Far too many rules and regulations mean the more switched on will invariably find loopholes to gain an advantage. All this does is frustrate fans of other clubs who either follow the rules honestly (or maybe are not savvy enough to do the same?). Assessed averages based on performances from previous years? He can ride in that division on an 8.00 average/But Him on a 6.50 cannot? He is Swedish, but blonde, but also left handed, so is a 5.00 not a 6.00? etc etc just paints the Sport as an insular nonsense. Self policing is often no policing and as long as those who make decisions have a vested interest in that particular decision, there will always be suspicions of things being contrived and manipulated. Not a great way to encourage fans to 'buy in' to your Sport with emotion (and cash).. 6. It's Not Just The Speedway - As years go by and times change, people want more from a night out. Except in Speedway where the policy seems to be 'if it was good enough for Great Uncle Jack, it's good enough for them today'! Many it appears, simply opens the gates and expect thousands to flock in. It's the same tired old routine at so many tracks with absolutely zero extra to enhance the evenings experience. People want more bang for their buck these days! Speedway's well meaning amateurs unfortunately are not equipped with the relevant skill set to deliver it.. In Summary TMC. For me there are far too many self inflicted wounds compounded by a complete lack of vision and adaptability over the years to turn the Sport around. It is crying out for modern thinking, dynamic and clear leadership from someone who understands marketing and customer needs and wants. Always struck me as odd that as 'Rome has burned around them' the 'Nero's' who have run the Sport have paid over the past 20 years literally tens and tens of millions out to riders, who by their presence havent even maintained crowd levels never mind increased them, yet haven't paid a penny to any professional marketing company who maybe could have hyped the Sport enough to get it on the wider community radar... An incredible business plan..
  22. 10 points
    Up to this season neither could double down, the situation was lapsed for just this season. Chris (and others) took advantage and established themselves a Championship average, Scott didn't, even though it's rumoured that a club actually offered him a place. Personally I think British riders should be allowed to double up, whatever their average but I'd stop overseas riders being given that privilege.
  23. 9 points
    Just continually trying to improve things , making it in such a way to enable us to enjoy exciting and thrilling speedway . The track was too one line last season , the aim is to have a track that riders of both sides can attack and give the paying public the type of speedway to do justice to it's surroundings . No point having Chris Harris and not giving him the track to entertain us .
  24. 9 points
    For me this should be a watershed moment for people who ru(i)n our great sport. When a young British talent who 2 seasons ago could be seen whacking round the NSS beating all manor of genuine international level riders on sky sports, who ups his average and is able to compete at Elite level has to miss a season due to his high average, punishing the lad for developing and improving. And a season later faced with the same fate decides to hang up his boots. Something is seriously amiss with the way the sport is being run.
  25. 9 points
    It is quite a breathtaking level of arrogance that has been shown by those who run the Sport in this Country that they have continually ignored the feedback of their very own patrons for so many years.. I would say that since this piece was written crowds are now approximately 20% of what they were then, meaning 80% of its customer base has been eroded either sadly through natural causes or the disillusionment of an ageing fanbase.. You cannot have any greater help in running any business than your customers telling you what they like you doing and what they dont, and Speedway through various weekly and monthly magazines during the past thirty years, and obviously the Internet in the past 10 in particular, have had literally thousands of pieces of 'feedback' which incredibly have been completely ignored... The frustration for the few fans that now remain is that the feedback the governing bodies have received has been year on year very, very, similar in content with many common themes running through the fans' discontent... When the mantra should have been "We are listening, thanks for the feedback , we will change" it instead became "We are right, and you fans have absolutely no idea what you are talking about". "British Speedway, now reaping what it has sowed over the past thirty years"... That would be a good strap line for the 2018 season....
  26. 9 points
    They only get prize money ,but stock drivers don’t believe the sport owes them a living , speedway riders do , it’s ok for the top guys but these days get a licence and string 4 laps together and suddenly you think your a proffessional , that may sound harsh but as far as finances go that is why soeedway is all but bankrupt
  27. 9 points
    Must have been intimidating for the riders having a gigantic dog on the first bend terracing
  28. 9 points
    Some great info from the Isle of Wight bloke....makes me want to go and check it out next season. People like him deserve to be a success.
  29. 9 points
    How refreshing to see a Promoter take time to come on here and make comments. I've watched IOW from afar and have always been impressed with their commitment and ethos. It just goes to show, you can follow your team, have a great night out, feel part of the club and involved, without it being the 'top riders' in the sport. I'd be happy to follow such a team and set up if it were local to me. We've lost our focus and direction...it's not all about having the 'GP type' riders at your club and all the costs and problems that brings. Great...he's got fast bikes and expensive gear...and can go 4 seconds faster around the track...big deal. I and many other fans would rather watch four riders of equal ability on lesser equipment, racing week in week out...and if they have other jobs like the rest of us to get by...so be it. Fantastic...we can relate.
  30. 9 points
    Fans and riders not singing off the same hymn sheet. Fans want teams...Riders want to be 'Individuals' Fans want continuity...not team changes every season. Costs to run the sport too high...riders wages, maintenance, track prep etc Facilities poor compared to other sports of similar entrance fee. Overpriced and poor quality food and beverages. Way too many rain offs. Never found a way to run a meeting in the rain or facilitate covers. Poor standard of entertainment before and between heats. Ever increasing priority on having to make the start. Not enough passing or strung out races. Ok in the past, but far more entertainment choices out there for the public these days. Bikes not compatible with many British tracks. Has become sanitised...sound, smell and sight all less than before. Viewing the 'action' in the pits should be visable to all fans. BSPA run like an amateur organisation. Should have a independent body. Riders and Promoters delusional...trying to run and impersonate a high end motorcycle sport, on a garden shed income. Speedway should have gone 'standardised' many years ago...instead of letting costs spiral on the never ending pursuit by riders to create a faster bike to the point of breaking.
  31. 9 points
    I can recommend the 'Memories of Coventry Speedway' DVD if anyone is thinking of getting it. Great value at £16 for 3 DVD's. I have sort of watched part one, with difficulty, and will be watching two and three when Lucy isn't around. What a strange dog she is as she always goes to sleep at meetings yet on TV suddenly finds it really interesting and blocks my view.
  32. 9 points
    That is downright offensive. Perhaps if instead of your ignorant ageism we have someone post some equally obnoxious homophobia and see how you like it. Comments like that destroy any respect for the rest of your occasionally intelligent comments. Just because you post in detail and some are taken in by it all doesn't mean you're in the right. I've worked damn hard for speedway in my time and it would be good to think that I could still go to speedway without facing obnoxious comments from yourself about people in my age group. Anyway, hopefully I'll be dead soon, eh? Uteerly disgusting. We should cater for all not just overgrown children like you.
  33. 9 points
    OK. So number 1 is NOT, absolutely NOT to promote the sport. That will just get more people in short term to see a rubbish show and never return. If your restaurant was giving everyone food poisoning would you solution be to put a full page advert in the local paper or would it be to clean up your restaurant, get good feed back and THEN advertise in the local paper? So please, don't advertise just yet. I honestly don't think the sport is as broke as some people would have you believe. I say that as someone who has probably only attended as many meetings since August 2011 as I attended in each season from about 2003 when I learnt to drive until August 2011. It doesn't need all out changes, it doesn't need a totally new sport. 4 riders doing 4 laps 15 times is damn exciting and I'll sell that concept to anyone and argue how great it is with anyone. Even on the most dull of tracks it's a wonderous spectacle, on the right tracks it's not possible to beat it in any other sport IMO. So, my 6 things. 1. Stop the corruption and ignorance of the rule book. This idea that it needs re-writing is wrong, the actual rule book itself is only about 8-10 long from memory (tech spec and people jobs specs just don't matter to any fan). Just make sure what rules we have are adhered to consistently and with fairness. That means employing someone full time on 25-30k a year to make sure that is the case. It's not a lot of money shared between the 30-ish speedway teams in the UK right now. 2. It's 2018 this coming season. Not 1975. ARGH! Seriously. Do away with the "Smashy & Nicey" presentation duo, do away with the granddad jokes and borderline racists comments from the announcers because it was funny when they were a lad in the 60. Play some music that actually fits with the night, that probably means paying £1-200 a night for a proper DJ with a planned set list for when certain events take place. Not 60-year old John pressing play on the newest edition of his "hit of the 60s" CD regardless. 3. Stop pandering to old people. They're going to die soon. Letting them in cheap to clutter the place up with their flasks and fold up chairs is hardly going to entice a group of young lads along is it? Plus Maud, Joan and Derek who have sat on the 3rd bend the last 50 years are unlikely to add much to the atmosphere are they? They're not going to be jumping up and down when the team get a 5-1, they seem to politely clap ever result regardless of if it home or away. 4. Build rivalries, slag each other off in the press. Get a bit of agro going. This idea that speedway has to be "nice" and you have to clap the away riders after a race win is sickly. You don't get it in any other sport. How great is it when Nicki Pedersen turns up and you spend the night booing him? Soap operas have bad guys as well as good because people enjoy seeing them fail and speedway should be the same. More bag guys. 5. The score. What is the score? No bugger knows. There no scoreboard at most tracks and some of them that have them are a waste of time showing wrong numbers (you used to have to translate have the numbers at Brandon while Swindons is too small to show the info needed without it rotating) and you can't hear the score when it is read out because the PA system is crap. There should be a huge drive to get all fans to download the BSPA app. This app lets you select push notifactions for a meeting of you choice so the current score is sent to you after each heat 10-15 seconds after its been announced. You currently have to fill in a programme and people do that rather than cheer and celebrate. Also clubs should have a decent scoreboard with 5 rows able to fit. Row 1 is the current score and the next 4 rows is the result of the last heat. 6. Stop postponing meetings. Especially once they have started. Is it any wonder fans don't turn up when the weather looks a little dodgy. The first sign of rain and the meeting is off and the fans are short changed, again. This never used to happen. Even worse when you see a great race with passing in the rain and they refuse to run the next heat. TRs, R/R, guests, averages etc I don't think they really matter. People don't care what the rules are, they just want to be able to understand the rules that do exist.
  34. 9 points
    There are many reason like admission is too expensive, a collection of stupid rules like doubling up but for me the 2 biggest factors are ,1 we don’t know what we are anymore , speedway has always been a working mans sport a bit like stockcars but it’s trying to be a poor mans F1 and we are stuck somewhere in the middle and don’t know who our fans are anymore .2 there has always been a bond between the fans and riders and for whatever reason it has been eroded away to the point now that it barely exsist , have a read of the Preben Erickson bit in the speedway star this week , it hits the nail on the head , the sport has become a individual rider sport that is focussed and directed at the riders and the fans seem like an after thought but are expected to pay for the privilege ,
  35. 9 points
    All for less than £50 - marvellous
  36. 9 points
    Well done!!!!! to you lot. I'm very proud of the Speedway fraternity. Some of you dish out some personal garbage, but when one of its own hits a bad time, everyone rallys around and for that, you've revived my faith in this Forum. Get well soon Starry and look forward to seeing you selling the STAR around Wimborne Road.
  37. 8 points
    Whatever his actions they were far less detrimental to British Speedway that the course taken by Holder and Rathbone....
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