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Humphrey Appleby

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Humphrey Appleby last won the day on January 18

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  1. Humphrey Appleby


    The answer is to subscribe the electronic version which doesn't require printing or delivery, or storage. Far more environmental and you don't need to wait until the Royal Mail decides to deliver it either.
  2. Humphrey Appleby

    BSI lose GPs

    Not sure I'd agree with that. At the end of the day, the venues are much the same as they were during the pre-BSI SGP with the exception of maybe Cardiff and Warsaw - the others all proved to be non-sustainable, and some GPs are still being held in fields in the middle of nowhere. Even towards the end of the World Final era, it was still possible to draw good crowds at the bigger venues and if venues like Cardiff had been around at the time, it might have been a different story. I think almost any half-competent company could have leveraged the television opportunities that existed towards the end of the late-1990s and early-2000s - satellite and cable companies needing to fill many hours with cheap content. But the transition to new forms of broadcasting such as streaming media seems to have been a bit more painful, and sponsorship development has probably been fairly weak over the years. On balance, I'd say things are slightly better since BSI came along, but it's no great shakes and really the SGP is still focused on pretty much the same markets as when they started. After 20 years, it's time for someone else to have a go even if speedway is a difficult sell nowadays.
  3. Humphrey Appleby

    BSI lose GPs

    Isn't a Clerk of the Course essentially supposed to be a local official anyway (i.e. someone familiar with the circuit)?
  4. Humphrey Appleby

    BSI lose GPs

    I suppose it depends on how you define 'high profitable'. A profit of 5-10% on turnover is probably an average return business-wise, although maybe okay in a sports environment; especially for a fairly niche sport. I'd have thought BSI makes most of its money through television, sponsorship and licence fees from the Polish GPs, but in order to do so, it needs to put on certain number of GPs which will come with a certain overhead. I think it's fairly clear that the Cardiff GP has historically been something of a showcase - being held in a subsidised stadium, bringing in additional money from the Welsh government and being used to court sponsors and the like. But equally, BSI runs that event and is responsible for its costs, whereas for some of the other GPs these costs are borne by the host promoter.
  5. It remains to be seen what Discovery/Eurosport will do with the SGP, but a change has been long overdue. I do think speedway is a hard sell nowadays, but IMG/BSI haven't taken things forward in recent years and it's time for someone else to have a try. Of course, it's a bit strange that the incumbent has to continue to run the SGP for a couple of years after it's lost the franchise.
  6. Humphrey Appleby

    BSI lose GPs

    BSI was owned by IMG(UK) which was wholly owned by its US-based parent company, so in what way have the Poles won out against the Brits? The time for supporters of British Speedway to have been worried was 20 years ago...
  7. Humphrey Appleby


    Yes - all the time - but the stadium was there long before the housing and the City Council was generally supportive of the speedway.
  8. Humphrey Appleby


    There was a big problem with Mansell's race track down in Devon where some nimby locals were filing multiple fake noise grievances (ironically despite the raceway being located right next to an active airfield). Fortunately, Mansell had deep enough pockets to go all the way to the High Court where the case ended-up being quashed, but it seems the local council never checked the veracity of the claims before issuing the noise abatement orders and it cost a fortune to defend.
  9. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix changes

    You could compromise by splitting the GP points between the qualifying heats and the knockout part. Maximum 15 points for qualifying, then award 15-10-5-0 for the Final which would pretty much ensure the winner got the most points except in some strange circumstances.
  10. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix changes

    For wherever reason, Qatar apparently picked upon handball as a way to win something at the Olympics - a bit like Britain did with track cycling and skeleton. Speedway isn't an Olympic sport, not a mass participatory sport, and sadly winning something in it wouldn't even get noticed by most of the world.
  11. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix changes

    Their remit was to ensure cash kept coming into the FIM to cover the prize money with a bit leftover, and to make a profit for themselves. That strategy relied on persuading enough promoters and tourist agencies to pay them for the privilege of holding a GP, whilst ensuring the sport got on television to attract sponsors. Perhaps in the early days there was some optimism that enough interest could be generated to take the SGP to bigger venues and new countries, but for various reasons the original incarnation of BSI seems to have out of capitalisation, whilst IMG(UK) made some poor investments in other areas and ended-up having to cut their cloth. I don't think the marketing of the SGP has been brilliant down the years, although I do think speedway is a hard sell to both television and sponsors nowadays. Too niche, too geographically restricted, and a difficult fan demographic.
  12. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix changes

    A glorified best pairs competition is not really a World Cup though, is it? Would FIFA turn the Football World Cup into a Wembley Doubles tournament on the above basis? I think the SON format is far more a money saving exercise and to disguise the increasing lack of interest in hosting and participating it.
  13. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix changes

    Most of those riders were riding when the GP was held in similar stadiums to what it is now.
  14. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix changes

    Not really. The Gulf countries are trying to diversify their oil-dependent economies by attracting tourists, wealthy tax exiles, and sponsors who might invest in other sectors, but they're after the high-spending types and/or those with something invest. Speedway's audience sadly doesn't tick any of those boxes, is small and even worse is confined to a handful of countries rather than being global. I'd be amazed if hosting a speedway GP hasn't been investigated in some of these countries, but the rulers of these places aren't completely stupid.
  15. Humphrey Appleby

    Help bring back Oxford

    In the car park most likely.

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