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Humphrey Appleby

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Humphrey Appleby last won the day on July 16

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  1. Humphrey Appleby

    Speedways governors have failed us

    We've had this discussion before, but I don't think he'd have made for a good supremo for various reasons. And I think we really only ever heard his narrative on his non-appointment. Undoubtedly a very good promoter, a good understanding of how to run sport, and someone with substantial vision. But the reason why speedway has ended-up in the mess it has, is due to the majority of promoters who couldn't or didn't want to see the bigger picture, and/or who were unprepared to take the leaps of faith that were necessary. Anyone running a member-based association has to accept there will be multiple opinions on how things should be done that you'll have to defer to. You can rarely do things the way you'd prefer, and you have to have considerable diplomatic skills to steer a course that keeps the majority of your members happy. John Berry would have got frustrated very quickly, and likely fallen out with people over trivial matters in the way that he did. That's not the qualities you need for such a role.
  2. Humphrey Appleby

    SON 2020

    I'd guess BSI will have contracts with television and sponsors and need to try to put on meetings so they won't have to repay some or all of the money (or conversely they'll receive some money from those sources). I guess monies are also contractually due to the FIM, although maybe they'd agree to waive some or all of this because of the exceptional circumstances.
  3. Humphrey Appleby

    gp challenge 2020

    It's looking a bit like the old and not missed FIM Champions Cup.
  4. Humphrey Appleby

    Corona virus

    I'd have thought not running speedway would actually save money. The major sports have so much television and sponsorship money riding on them, that it's still worth their while to run behind closed doors. I can't see though, how speedway could be run without spectators as that must be its major/only source of income, at least in Britain. And it's been practicing social distancing in the stadiums for years... Even for the SGP, running without spectators must be really be getting close to being unviable.
  5. Humphrey Appleby

    Corona virus

    You do have to ask who's advising them on their communications. Surely the main point is also the risk of spectators spreading it around?
  6. Humphrey Appleby

    GP Question - Reserves.

    The question possibly needs to be framed better. Yes, a track reserve can make the Semi-Finals with enough points. I believe 5 points is the theoretical minimum needed under normal circumstances to make the top 8 (assuming there aren’t multiple exclusions in some heats), whilst 8 points will guarantee it. 6 or 7 points is probably the realistic minimum required, although it’s possibly conceivable with 4 points on a tiebreak (they would also have had to have won a race in this scenario). A track reserve can obviously only take a maximum of 5 rides, but that could be anywhere in the programme so they could theoretically ride against another rider 5 times, and could certainly ride against one rider more than once. So yes, it’s very unlikely that a track reserve would ever ride against every other rider. However, this has to be traded against the fact that opportunities for track reserves to ride during a meeting are relatively rare, and they have to alternate rides with the other track reserve (unless that reserve was promoted to a qualified rider pre-meeting). It’s somewhat unlikely, unless there was an early injury that they’d get a full complement of rides, and the law of averages would suggest they’d get a mixture of opposition. One rule I would add is to make the 9th to 16th placed riders after Heat 20, reserves for the Semi-Finals. And similarly the 3rd and 4th placed riders in the Semi-Finals, the reserves for the Final.
  7. Just tradition, for the same reason as there's no No. 8 or 16 (there once was).
  8. Humphrey Appleby

    Reading Speedway - Smallmead.

    The seeds of Reading's demise were sown before BSI got involved, by the previous promoters not fulfilling terms of the lease for whatever reason. Maybe the money was just never there, but I think Reading was ultimately doomed anyway once the location and its surrounds was earmarked for re-development - inevitable in a growing Thames Corridor town. Even a long lease wouldn't have protected it, although might have been a bit of leverage for finding an alternative site and funding a new stadium. Didn't think the Rubbish Tip was too bad in the 1980s and the site had a lot of potential. I quite liked going there, but it did get rundown towards the end and the crowds seemed to be woeful much of the time.
  9. Humphrey Appleby

    Are YOU missing British Speedway?

    Didn't mind the 3TT over an Easter weekend, although the format was a bit incongruous. But if you thought that was strange, you should see the 3TT they've devised for cricket in South Africa - where three teams takes turns to bat and bowl against each other for 6 overs at a time; much like the speedway version.
  10. Humphrey Appleby

    Rest of the GP series

    It is easy. If there's any significant uncertainty about an event scheduled in a couple of months going ahead, then it needs to be cancelled. People will have/will be booking transport and hotels, but can usually get refunds or re-arrange up to a month or so in advance. On the other points, regardless of who actually runs individual GPs or collects, IMG/BSI is the championship organiser which should mean ensuring some sort of standards for the customer. It also means that dealing with the FIM and FIA comes with the territory - it's a necessary part of the job. I think it's also a stretch to claim that IMG 'run about 700 events in a normal year'. Their own website actually says they 'own or represent 800 events' which is different to actually running them. Indeed, as you're happy to point out most of the time, IMG don't run most of the Speedway GPs. I don't doubt that IMG have been badly hit by this whole thing, just as the FIM and FIA will have difficulties with loss of income and staff, and having to deal with multiple different jurisdictions in trying to work out how to restart things. But they're hardly in a unique situation, and with respect, the importance of their industry and contribution to the world economy is relatively insignificant. Airlines and tour companies for example, have to deal with refunding huge amounts of money. I'm also intrigued to know why Pinegen needs to furlough staff as the Star is still being published as far as I know. Genuine question?
  11. Humphrey Appleby

    NEW LOOK FOR STAR

    Because it's lazy journalism harking back to the era when it was more difficult to check such claims. Even a cursory understanding of the geography of the area would reveal that the Olympic Stadium can't be on the site of the Hackney or London Stadium.
  12. Humphrey Appleby

    highest avg rider

    Yes, only 11 teams in the league that year, riding home and away once (preceded by a League Cup, also riding home and away). So that would have been a maximum of 20 matches, although Oxford were unable to ride their remaining two home matches as they ran out of time. It's also not really fair to compare different eras with different heat formulas and different gate selection rules. Oxford were also so dominant in 1986 that Nielsen was probably rarely used - if at all - as a tactical sub, so would have only ridden against the other No. 1s a limited number of times. Nevertheless, Nielsen only dropped 12 points (all at home) during that league campaign.
  13. Humphrey Appleby

    highest avg rider

    Fixed gate positions were introduced in the BL in 1988, although were trialled in the Knockout Cup the previous year I believe. I seem to recall the NL using fixed gate positions before that - maybe 1986 or even earlier.
  14. The various Speedway World Championship should be run by an international association of professional leagues, whether under the umbrella of the FIM or not. The events should be run for the benefit of the sport with the majority of (any) profits being shared amongst the tracks running professional speedway, perhaps with an agreed percentage going to develop grass roots speedway. With respect to Poland, whilst I'd generally say that the sport in any one country shouldn't just run in isolation without consideration to anyone else, I think there's little choice in the current circumstances if any speedway is to be run. Borders are closed, or at least quarantine measures are being imposed, so it's simply not going to be practical for international competitions to be run in 2020, and certainly not have riders travel back-and-forth from league-to-league. So it's pretty obvious that riders are going to focus on the most lucrative league, and if Poland can get going and can still afford to run behind closed doors, then you have to be fair and let the riders try to earn some money this year. The SGP isn't going to be paying the bills, and frankly should be amongst the lowest priorities at the moment.
  15. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix Tickets.

    BSI are still selling tickets though.
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