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Humphrey Appleby

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Humphrey Appleby last won the day on December 16 2018

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  1. There isn't anything like the money or global appeal in speedway as there is for even Rugby League, and I'm not convinced Canadian teams in RL makes much sense. Certainly people have lost interest in Super Rugby since it added the teams beyond its core base, and the huge time differences make the whole thing a bit of nightmare for television. League speedway is really only run in Europe so time zones wouldn't be the same issue, but a European competition would only make sense if some decent television or sponsorship deal was secured on the back of it. You couldn't really run such a thing on the expectations of crowd revenue, and I'm not convinced the likes of Poole v Falubaz Zielona Gora on a cold Wednesday night would really have as much appeal as Poole v Swindon for the average fan, although you could maybe stage away 'tours' as a couple of matches at a time which might appeal to some fans. I don't honestly think Poland would have much to gain from this nowadays, and it would appeal more to those national leagues where a team or two would like to run at a higher level of competition, but there aren't enough teams in their own country to form a league at the desired level. I actually think it more likely that British teams would run in the Swedish Leagues than the Polish ones. The time to have done a European League was 20 years ago when there was more equality between the three or four main leagues and cable and satellite televisions were looking for cheap content. It would also have been a good opportunity for those leagues to have taken control of the SGP and SWC and run those competitions for their own benefit. But no-one wanted to look at the big picture, speedway is now way off the radar as a marketable sport and everyone within the sport is just fighting over scraps these days.
  2. Of course it could be done if the will was there. A Latvian and I think even a Hungarian team have ridden in the Polish Leagues, both a Swedish and German team rode in the top Danish League for a year or two, and a Norwegian team rode in the Swedish Leagues for a while (Phil Morris rode for them). Could be wrong, but I also seem to recall a Russian team in the Finnish League.
  3. Humphrey Appleby

    Speedway In Australia

    There's a speedway track at North Brisbane (near the airport) which is mainly/exclusively a training track, and I don't see any meetings listed in February. That's about 1 mile from Northgate railway station. There's also a speedway track at Ipswich - the town itself 30 miles from Brisbane and on the City Rail network - but the venue is actually at the Ipswich Motor Park which is another 5 or 6 miles further out in the countryside. The Australian U21 Championship is being held there on 19 January, but I don't see any meetings listed in February. Archerfield in the southern suburbs of Brisbane has formerly held speedway meetings, but I think is now exclusively Speedcars. I believe there's still some sort of junior track at Labrador in the Gold Coast about 50 miles from Brisbane, but I've not seen any meetings there for a long time. I think Rockhampton also runs some solo meetings, but that's nearly 400 miles north of Brisbane.
  4. Humphrey Appleby


    Ronnie Moore and Ivan Mauger are not British (and few will remember they rode for a 'British' team), and were involved in a sport that ranks somewhere alongside cheese rolling nowadays. I'm not sure why people are surprised by SPOTY each year - it's never been much interested in sports it doesn't cover. Yet every year there's the predictable letters from 'outraged of Tunbridge Wells' about the omission of so-and-sos favourite sport. Why do people bother watching it?
  5. Humphrey Appleby

    Barry Hearn and 'player power'

    So what’s the ATP and WTA then? Individual tournaments might be run by clubs and promoters, but I was talking about the running of the professional circuits. More muppetry from Mick.
  6. Humphrey Appleby

    Barry Hearn and 'player power'

    Day-to-day administration should be independent, and it's advisable to have independent advisors with significant influence to handle specialist areas like marketing and legal matters. Ultimately though, those investing the money and running the clubs ultimately need to have a significant say in the structure and direction of the sport even if they're bad at making the right decisions. I always think though, that Rugby League hasn't really made the progress it should have done considering the investment it's had over the last 20-odd years.
  7. Humphrey Appleby

    Barry Hearn and 'player power'

    I'm familiar with the Mark McCormack and IMG's background, but I think it's arguable that he got his start in sports promotion because he was actually one of the (golf) players at that point. Mainstream tennis professionalised quite late, and prior to that professional tennis was a marginalised sideshow with inconsistent promotion and unstable finances. The first attempts at running a proper tour were actually put together by former players, before the ATP and WTA were founded to give all professional players eventual full control of the sport. Tennis is a very good example of a sport almost entirely run by the players, and golf substantially so. Of course, golf was one of the first professional sports and there is a long history of the players organising the tournaments they played in. So I think the point is that a sport run by the competitors and a successful sport are not mutually exclusive things. With a few exceptions though, IMG specialise in low budget sport as cheap fodder to fill off-peak television schedules around the world. When they tried to get into mainstream sports it didn't seem to go so well for them. By contrast, Barry Hearn has found a couple of niches that do well for him, and largely stuck to them.
  8. Humphrey Appleby

    Barry Hearn and 'player power'

    Not really. Professional tennis is run by the players and is more lucrative than when it wasn't. Professional golf is largely run on similar lines successfully. Barry Hearn happened to chance upon a couple of (so-called) sports that have very little overheads, and where the players were paid a pittance at the time. The fact they're easy to televise allowed him to take advantage of the rise in satellite and cable television that needed a lot of relatively cheap content to fill their airtime. Good luck to him too, but the examples of snooker and darts are not necessarily a model or even replicable for other sports. I suspect that speedway is also something that he'd have looked at, and quickly realised that he shouldn't touch it with a bargepole...
  9. Humphrey Appleby

    Speedway Star in the winter

    The BSPA hardly has the resources of the Republican Party to cover up its goings on....
  10. Humphrey Appleby

    Speedway Star in the winter

    I'm sure Richard Nixon didn't want Watergate to be reported either, but that didn't stop Woodward and Bernstein. A bit of investigative journalism needed perhaps?
  11. Humphrey Appleby

    BSPA Ltd.

    And what if the excluded rider is still not ready after another 2 minutes? 2 minutes is there to ensure a race isn't indefinitely waiting for a rider who may have mechanical problems.
  12. Humphrey Appleby

    BSPA Ltd.

    You're absolutely not getting VFM, but I'd expect more than 15 minutes actual entertainment even if it's only spread over 90 minutes, for 17 quid.
  13. Humphrey Appleby

    BSPA Ltd.

    Long drawn-out meetings were also one of my main bugbears, but the reality of running 15 heats with 4 minute gaps is that a meeting would be over in an hour and 15 minutes. Unless there's also consideration of the overall package such as 'first-half', 'half-time' or 'second-half' entertainment, then it's not really going to really improve the value for money.
  14. Humphrey Appleby

    BSPA Ltd.

    Is the 2 minute clock, absence thereof, or how the 2 minute rule should be interpreted, really the most pressing issue for British speedway?
  15. Humphrey Appleby

    Warsaw 2019

    Tee Mills went bust sometime around 1990 if I remember. There was also another tour company around that time that I forget the name of.

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