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Halifaxtiger

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Halifaxtiger last won the day on September 30 2018

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  1. Halifaxtiger

    Rob Godfrey interview in Speedway Star

    Barry Bishop and his partner Martin Widman do this (Barry usually, Martin is doing everything else ). Thing is its not difficult to appreciate your customers and the worst of it is I could probably cite about another half dozen examples similar to the above. I actually think things are getting better. Belle Vue's Adrian Smith, certainly, is both approachable and personable
  2. Halifaxtiger

    Rob Godfrey interview in Speedway Star

    Spot on. I touched on it in my post earlier but this is something else the BSPA can't blame anyone else for : absolutely dreadful customer care. A friend of mine and his dad used to occasionally attend a certain track. One day, they complained about the racing surface and were told : 'If you don't like it, don't come'. They took the advice and never went back. That track has now closed, citing poor attendances as one reason. A good friend has attended another track every week for years. Fed up with the poor quality of the racing, he took to the internet and complained. On entry they next week, a member of the track staff sought him out, verbally abused him and said he would get my friend banned from the stadium. The promotions initial response was to agree, but fortunately wiser heads prevailed. When I was told, my reaction was disbelief then anger, because what was proposed was surely contrary to any sensible practice. Had he been banned, 4 other regulars and one occasional fan would have walked out and not come back. I'm no business man, but if it had been me I would have made the member of track staff apologise (and if he had refused I would have sacked him) apologised myself, explained why things were not as good as they should be and invited him to come direct to me in future with any issue rather than using the internet. To really put this in perspective, I went to a meeting a few years ago and it was clear the track surface was extremely poor from the outset and the meeting was eventually abandoned because it became dangerous. I took to the internet and complained. The next time I saw a co-promoter he too was verbally abusive. I haven't been back since. In early 2016, I went to the newly reopened Isle of Wight. The track was in a similar condition and again I complained. Barry Bishop contacted me and said : 'We're really sorry about the track. We are new and learning, and will try hard to make sure it doesn't happen again. We really hope you come back and see us soon, and if you do we'll give you a pits tour and a go on the centre green'. It says everything about speedway PR that I was astonished. Barry has since become a friend, I have been back numerous times and have turned into a huge advocate for Isle of Wight speedway. The incredible difference between reactions is simply down to a few words in response to criticism.
  3. Halifaxtiger

    Rob Godfrey interview in Speedway Star

    While this thread maybe full of aggression, the forum as a whole is packed with ideas from long standing, thinking and committed fans about how to improve the sport. Some are ridiculous, some are unworkable and some require the injection of unfeasibly huge amounts of cash. Some, however, might just be worth a try. Problem is, with the exception of Barry Bishop, Neil Watson, Jayne Moss & Laurence Rogers not one single promoter or team manager engages with fans on this forum. Indeed, most of them treat it with utter contempt and even loathing. I should point out that Barry attracts 4 likes for every post he makes, a truly remarkable reflection of just how much his contribution is valued. Even if paying customers make constructive comment or suggestion, then, they aren't even read. Its also indicative of just how those who run the sport view the fan who pays every week. The number of accounts of the quite dreadful way paying customers are treated is damning - I know, I have had some of that. I'd say that much of the vilification is deserved. For me, the worst is the cheating, one-upmanship and culture of favours and corruption at the heart of the sport that leaves fans totally disillusioned. Its a bit of a long shot to say that without the decision to prevent Workington riding on Fridays last season the Comets might have survived - a decision motivated by the most appalling self interest - but it certainly didn't do them any favours. I could probably name half a dozen occasions when rulings have been made that were completely contrary to the rules of the sport at the behest of one promoter or another. The BSPA can legitimately blame the weather, landlords, riders, the press and heaven knows who else for the problems that the sport faces. But they can't get away from that one and I don't think the damage it has done can be overestimated.
  4. Halifaxtiger

    Workington 2019

    Sadly, I think you're right. Another example of how the sport is being run for the benefit of its paid employees rather than its paying customers.
  5. Halifaxtiger

    Rob Godfrey interview in Speedway Star

    I'd say its more down to preparation. If a track like Swindon has one line, that's the fault of the curator (although he maybe under orders). Size and shape is crucial (that's why the NSS is as good as it is) but its not the be all and end all. The way I see it, if Scunthorpe can be good for racing there's no reason why Swindon - and others - can't be.
  6. Halifaxtiger

    Rob Godfrey interview in Speedway Star

    I don't agree. I'd say that racing today is no better or worse than it has always been. I think its fair to say that neither Sheffield nor King's Lynn are as good as they used to be, but Workington, Peterborough and Plymouth are better. Berwick remains the same, and I think there are few that would dispute that even the superlative Hyde Road is matched by the NSS. No track today has the appalling standard of preparation of places like Nelson & Doncaster, and there is surely none that has the notorious gaters paradise reputation that Coventry had. I saw good meetings and bad meetings then and I see them now.
  7. Halifaxtiger

    Sheffield 2019

    I'll be surprised if you have actually seen him. I saw him a couple of times last season and he was just superb - the most talented youngster I have seen since Woffinden. The first was riding for Mildenhall at the NSS - never the easiest place for visiting NL riders. After a couple of seconds he really got the hang of the place and his last to first in heat 15 was just sublime. The second was for Ipswich against Scunthorpe in what was probably the most impressive individual performance I saw anywhere in 2018. Paid 14 from 5 starts against Championship opposition tells its own story. If he can stay clear of injury, he should easily put at least 2 points on that staring average.
  8. Halifaxtiger

    Birmingham Brummies 2019

    That's a matter of debate. Lets face it, people want to see a winning side and, rightly or wrongly, for most that matters more than the quality of the entertainment. If your starting line up is 'uninspiring' and/or you start losing your home meetings, they won't go in the first place or will then desert the team in droves. As such, cutting costs on your team can actually be equally or more disastrous than spending too much. A good example of this was Sheffield in 2011/12. A very attractive team in 2011(heat leaders Parker, Auty & Ashworth) finished second in the league but ran up a loss. The decision was taken the following season to cut costs on riders (heat leaders Hall, Franc & Wells), with the result that in 2012 they finished second bottom. Word I got was that the losses more than doubled. I'd say its a balancing act and, sadly, I am not sure Birmingham have got it right.
  9. Halifaxtiger

    Workington 2019

    I think you are absolutely right about the part time status for riders. At the moment it seems to me that the sport is being run for their benefit and that just has to stop. Having said that, Hull, Bradford & Long Eaton all closed due to the loss of their stadiums rather than financial difficulties. I also think that sports teams are different to running a commercial business, and that is reflected right across the spectrum. Whereas a business just has to make money, many sports teams these days are more of a private hobby for wealthy individuals. Rugby Union's premiership, for example, loses tens of millions a year and the majority of clubs are supported by private backers. The problem isn't losing money so much as the scale of the losses. If Laura Morgan had been blowing £5,000 a year rather than £50,000 a year supporting the Comets I think its highly likely they would still be in operation.
  10. Halifaxtiger

    Belle Vue 2019

    South stand...………….unless its been there so long it is no longer temporary !!
  11. Halifaxtiger

    Workington 2019

    Thanks for making the position clear. While Campton is an exception, it is extremely difficult not have a great deal of sympathy for him and it is possible that he will have to give up racing. I can only hope that sanity prevails and that he is allowed to stay anyway given the almost unique circumstances.
  12. Halifaxtiger

    Belle Vue 2019

    Ian Thomas apparently told Tim Stone - in respect of the Queensway Stadium, Newport - that you don't own a corner shop and open it one day a week. He's right. The trick for the NSS is to make maximum use of the facility and not be tied to speedway alone. I'll be very surprised if that isn't part of the plan and, indeed, will have been the whole time. There's no doubt that it is a fantastic for speedway but that just isn't enough. I am aware that Isle of Wight use Smallbrook for other events - a pop concert has been held there for the last two years, and its nothing like the size of the NSS - while Somerset use their car parking area for all sorts of other activities including auctions and car boot sales. There's no reason why any other club that owns their facility can't do the same. The fact that the stadium still has temporary toilets and temporary terracing (which apparently costs a packet) suggests the council haven't covered their end. Given their apparent determination to impose non disclosure agreements and suppress documentation the one thing they are most certainly trying to cover is their back. It can be argued that the quality of racing isn't enough, and I'd agree. To counter that, just imagine how many would be there if it was rubbish.
  13. Halifaxtiger

    Peterborough Panthers 2019

    Whether Tungate makes them stronger or not, he'll be bloody good value. He's going to be missed at the NSS this season because I can't see his replacements putting in some of the amazing rides he did. The only thing is I think he won't fancy riding at no 1 at all. He's improved for sure, but he hit the rails riding there for Somerset.
  14. Halifaxtiger

    Workington 2019

    One of the reasons for my view is precisely because I know how hard you would get hit if anything happened to Sheffield.
  15. Halifaxtiger

    Workington 2019

    What you say is true, but if someone promised to help and then reneged on it I don't think that should merely be swept under the carpet. Based upon what BB has said - and he is usually right - the entire scenario of Workington coming to the tapes in 2019 and riders being signed could have been avoided. That's no small matter and broken promises regarding sponsorship have hit speedway hard over the years. Having said that, the criticism should be kept in context and with 2020 in mind. When a track closes, riders generally move on to another club. Of the Lakeside team from 2018, all are competing in 2019. Lets face it, riders losing their team place - often through no fault of their own - is hardly unusual. In this case, it is the timing of Workington's closure that has hit hard. I must admit I haven't read any article, but I find it most surprising that one team folding means that a riding career is finished. I can't recall another rider like that. On the other hand, it is entirely possible that should the Comets not come to the tapes in 2020 or for years after, many of those who attended in 2018 will never go to speedway again. The overwhelming majority of fans simply do not switch from one club to another - some of the Workington faithful will having been going for 20 years - and that's why a track closure hits them harder.
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