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Everything posted by mikebv

  1. mikebv

    Polish Extraleague TV contract 2019-21

    As has been said countless times by riders, the practice sessions seldom reflect track conditions... And flying out the night before is quite normal for riders.. As for injuries, riders ride now the next day with lots of minor issues and only serious injuries mean their absence (concussion, broken limbs etc) and getting them the night before or the week before would mean they miss the GP.. I am sure common sense will prevail with regards to fixture planning, but should this be Poland's backers way of trying to take over the GP's by holding riders to ransom (so they have to make a choice), it will at least mean BSI have to stay on their toes and up their game with regards to the rewards riders get for competing... Which is currently quite poor when you measure it against Poland's salaries..
  2. mikebv

    Polish Extraleague TV contract 2019-21

    Pretty sure I watched BV race on a Friday night before the Bradford GP in 1990.. It was planned in that way to attract the foreign visitors over for the GP.. So nothing 'new' about this if it happens.. I suspect the Polish GP's will be similarly targeted to attract the overseas fans and boost the attendance of the League match.. The splitting of the TV contract will I am sure benefit the League, and therefore the riders, enormously, as more money comes into the Sport in Poland.. More chance for the riders to get themselves known to a wider sporting audience as every rider will be on TV every week.. We shouldn't knock Poland's 'power to do what they want' as their professional business and operating models give them that deserved status..
  3. mikebv


    I think with the way riders ride all over Europe, and domestically for several teams in different leagues, the process they follow is this.... 1. The Premiership build their fixtures based on the rest of Europe's fixtures.. 2. As soon as this is confirmed the Championship build their fixtures based on when their DU riders are not riding in the Premiership... 3. The NL then build their fixtures based on what dates are left....... But for all the fixtures after April I am not sure what system they use!.... Rock, Paper, Scissors would work..
  4. That they are all still there at the start of the season and don't get suddenly removed from their positions?
  5. mikebv

    Workington 2019

    Standardisation of bikes looks like it won't happen however... Maybe a two bike maximum should be authorised? Box standard bikes purchased by the club, the make and model being the riders choice? Would £10k set aside for two bikes and running costs be enough? No tuning allowed, only servicing which gets done once a season.. No special clutches 'that Tai uses' or carbs 'that Greg swears by', allowed to be fitted. All as arrives on the bike... Riders then pay back the £10k during the season with money earned.. If they want to use a bike for their individual exploits, or overseas team places, then they need to buy their own bikes and can do what they want to them. But the club bike stays in the UK intact.. In this digital age it wouldn't be hard to police the bikes as all key parts could be logged centrally with serial numbers so scrutinisers could ensure no tampering had taken place.. Photos could be taken to ensure all correct v the central database.. Riders may pay out tens of thousands now but don't forget this is their business so they do need to speculate to accumulate like all businesses do, however the big rewards generally don't come till a business is established over years so 'losing money' in the first few years isn't a uncommon situation, especially as you build your assets base.. Bottom line is if a PL reserve/NL heat leader pays out £30k a year (and no doubt more for some), you cannot expect British Speedway to afford to pay the money needed to make a profit for the rider on the crowd levels it gets... 60 meetings at an average of £1000 a night with £10k costs would net a £50000 profit... Not bad for six months work I would say...
  6. But to be fair they have had lots of experience of using this business model over the years... It must be 'very successful' to keep using it all the time mustn't it?..
  7. Maybe that's whats behind the 'BSPA Ltd' plan mentioned at the AGM? ie 'own' every rider..? Then do what's needed to spread them about around the teams to try and make it competitive? Efffectively rider control but without the name, (and stigma)..? And all teams under one central commander controlling budgets and spending to ensure continuation of the sport?
  8. Put the words 'slag' or 'zuzel' in there and you would have had the Google translation as reported in Poland...
  9. 4TT's for me used to give the best racing as all four riders were of a reasonable similar level.. (and no guests!) Four lads earning an average each of £1000 a meeting (£250 a ride) would need £16000 to be taken at home, after VAT, to pay for the four meetings.. (£19200 gross). At £16 a ticket (one pound per race) a crowd of 1200 per match would cover the rider costs.. 1500 would deliver £24000, surely possible with four decent teams in attendance per night with four sets of fans to possibly attract.? Maybe there could even be one BIG 16 team 'weekender' ran at one venue during a School Summer Hols weekend, a two days 'Festival Of Speedway'!! British Speedway would benefit far more from a lesser number of BIG, BOLD, WELL PROMOTED events that have credibility at individual and multi team level, taking place at defined weekends, rather than lots of meetings ran through the week on ad hoc weeks, with just two teams, no away fans, contrived septets etc etc.. The racing is often very, very good... It's just the rest of the 'brand damaging' nonsense around it that holds it back...
  10. The plan they follow is astoundingly unfit for purpose. In fact it is so far away from being suitable it is truly laughable to think sane men and women sign it off every year.. Promoters spend hours contriving meetings, cobbled together with random septets that some cannot afford, sharing riders together, and all to win a competition which, by their very own operating model, is rendered completely worthless... They collectively must spend literally Millions of pounds each year, all trying to win a competition that they 100% completely devalue by the very way that they run it.... You seriously couldn't make it up could you? Lets be honest, who cares who wins a Speedway prize in the UK? It has zero kudos. So therefore how do you ever hope to attract a crowd to engage with it? You then compound the issue by putting together 'teams' of random riders who may be available to ride for you if they haven't got another better paying job on, or are already double booked elsewhere, and expect fans to become emotionally attached to that club. (Like a team sport should get you involved).. The riders they sign are then expected to have the best equipment at their disposal to 'win' some silverware. The best equipment that costs them a ridiculous amount each year. And all to keep up with other riders who are doing exactly the same.. The riders then (quite understandably) wants recompense for their increased annual outlay. Outlay that actually achieves nothing more than allowing them to 'run to stand still' against their peers. Peers who will be paying out the same, to the same people, using the same top equipment, and getting it expensively tuned by the same tuners.. The Promoters therefore then pay out those Millions of pounds to the riders in the vain hope that they can win something hardly anyone cares about, as 99.9% of the population of this country don't attend a single Speedway meeting (and a big percentage won't even know it exists).. Just to add further 'magic' to the cunning plan, meetings are often arranged around their riders agenda rather than when the fans can attend, leaving meetings crammed in in the dark days of winter after having months of summer devoid of Speedway.. You can then add on an admission fee that is set at the level it is to desperately offset the huge outlay that they choose to pay out, rather than a reflection of the quality of what they are actually selling.. All of the above plan has no place or investment for a national marketing plan it should be noted... Millions paid to riders that the vast majority of the UK have never heard of. In a sport that most people have never heard of. Yet hardly anything spent on marketing.. You spend Millions on the sport yet (astonishingly), run it this way? A truly quite incredible situation and concept isn't it? It should go amateur? Could that be regarded as a step up in certain areas?
  11. It says so much how sponsorship often covers some/most of the costs that keeps the clubs going... With many of the sponsors being fans rather than business people, who see their input as giving them a close connection to 'their team' (and maybe an ego boost or a tax saving?), rather than a way of selling more product to the 500 or so in attendance... Such a system though is built on quick sand as you are dependant so much on other businesses remaining in a position to help 'bank roll' your own... It sometimes seems to appear that terms to riders are agreed first, then promoters set about frantically finding a way to afford them.... 1000 fans paying £15 after VAT would generate £12k.. Maybe set aside £9k of that to pay riders for the home and away meetings, and stick to that as a salary cap, and use the £3k left to pay the home meeting costs..? Build the overall team strengths, and how many riders per team, using the £9k as a template.... Any sponsorship then is over and above this and can be used to help pay any costs over the £3k, or maybe used as a bonus to the riders for success? A five man team sharing £9k would each average £1800 for two matches, (some would obviously earn more depending on their level, and some would earn less)... Maybe not what currently they earn, or indeed expect, however.. If the Sport keeps going on in its current downwards spiral, maybe one day (and pretty soon), riders will wish they still had a chance to earn £1800 a week..
  12. But the crowd numbers and income generated IS comparable Philip.. My local team Stockport County ply their trade in 'Division Six' and get crowds regularly of 3300 plus.. Their highest earning player is on less than £500 per match... BV have attendances approx one third of that and I would wager all seven riders get paid more than £500, with possibly several up to four or five times as much.. Speedway can't afford its business plan and the operating model it is based on... So needs to change and start doing so...
  13. The issue has been the reduction in quality has not coincided with a reduction in admission costs! Nor I would suggest an overall reduction in salaries, as lowering averages just creates those 'key riders' who can increase their average more in a watered down league, and ask for big money to do it.. As has been said, top riders like Crump, Pedersen, Adams etc all were at the top of their game whilst crowds dwindled around them.. The Sport needs to 'start again', decide what it wants to be and implement it..
  14. And with standardised engines you could run a one make series.. Giving economy to scale purchasing power.. And tender out the upkeep and maintenance contract too. One fee paid out to one business to maintain the engines.. And if they don't cut the mustard they are replaced.. Or if they do a good job and someone equally as good can do it for less, the costs are cut even more.. It would be interesting to know how much British League racing money subsidises the individual aspirations of some of the competitors.. Or even subsidises their racing overseas... Maybe a one make series, with riders salaried, and bikes owned and maintained by teams (or centrally by the collective BSPA) is the way forward? Cutting standards is mentioned as being a reason for decline.. 99.9% of the population don't attend Speedway, with a large amount of that huge number having a Speedway track within an hours drive.. These people simply have no idea what 'the current standard' is, nor could probably name the current British World Champion therefore they wouldn't 'miss' the standard as it currently is.. These are the people that need to be attracted to the Sport and the size of their number offers a huge prize, and if only a couple of percent can be enticed to start watching the Sport it would increase crowds several fold.... The 'model' used for the past 20 years or so simply doesn't work.. So stop using it..
  15. Philip, I don't think anyone can accuse riders of being the main issue.. Let's face it, their costs mean they need to race anywhere and everywhere they can.. The issue lies with the fact the clubs end up paying the riders what they want because there is too little supply and too much demand, and riders need the money to pay for their too high outgoings.. The top league should be the top league with professionals.. The middle league should be semi pro with riders aspiring to get onto the top rung or are happy to supplement another jobs earnings.. If you need a third league it should be pretty much 'pay to play' or at best expenses only and the track time develops you to aspire to a higher level.. If you analyse the issue facing British Speedway it is very much down to riders paying out fortunes to pay for machinery and maintenance, which means clubs pay out more than they can afford and meetings can take place at anytime (whether fans like it or not) to ensure the rider is there. Riders are then allowed to race in several domestic leagues to prop up their income. (and no doubt also boost the ego of a few promoters in the lower leagues), which delivers a lack of credibility in the Leagues. The bottom line is (regardless of genuine reasons), riders earn too much for a sport that attracts too few punters in the UK.. And they do this because they pay out far too much for the tools to do their job.. Sort that equation out and the sport over here may have a chance.. Don't sort it and more clubs will disappear as it is abundantly clear that not enough people are willing to part with their cash in enough numbers to justify the current outlay in salaries.. The Promoters have had their heads in the sand for far too long, often individually taking a "well I'm alright Jack" stance rather than working collaboratively to move the whole 'brand' forwards... How many more clubs will disappear before they face reality, join together collectively and build a proper fit for purpose operating model... Who knows? Do that and you might attract one or two percent more of the current 99.9% of the population who don't currently attend...!
  16. mikebv

    Workington 2019

    Conspiracy theory alert but... Maybe it has dawned on those who run Speedway in the UK that there are too many teams/not enough riders which makes demand exceed supply... This then pushes up salaries.. Maybe those who run the sport are allowing a 'culling' to take place which will tip the balance to supply rather than demand which will then reduce salaries. It will also free up riders to replace missing others without the need for a guest... A few subs on the bench to use for loss of form or injury to others without denting the sports credibility... Maybe it is time to follow Charles Darwin and for the greater good allow the survival of the fittest to rebuild the sport over here?
  17. Spot on. But its been "bleedin' obvious" for years what is wrong hasn't it but no one has led the required change.. Running a business whereby your employees completely dictate to you when they will turn up, as they have several jobs and yours may be the least paying, is a disaster from a successful business perspective... Running a business in the entertainment sector but, in the main, not at weekends when the majority of the country have their free time, is also a disaster from a successful business perspective.. And charging an admission fee which only reflects the outlay to your employees, rather than the value of what you are selling, is again a disaster from a successful business perspective.. Yet Speedway in Britain feels that all this works.. Add in a tiny, small time, localised marketing plan, built around "bring a friend" and "speedway is a family sport" and you have what we have today.. All of the above make up the ludicrous unfit for purpose business plan and operating model.. Bottom line is there are too many professional riders.. This has been clear for at least a decade yet nothing has been done.. Year on year the leagues get less credible and more Mickey Mouse.. Year on year that results in less people paying to watch something becoming annually more and more devoid of credibility.. Year on year inflation busting price increases therefore come in to cover the shortfall of people who have stopped attending.. Year on year the inflation busting price increases to cover the shortfall of people who have stopped attending, means an even larger shortfall of people attending and the need for even further inflation busting price increases.... The result? A true race to the bottom... A race which four clubs have 'won' in the past six months. How many more will 'win' before the penny drops? Or is the plan to actually let nature take its course and only the survival of the fittest remain? Less teams will mean more competition for places... And more competition for places means less money getting paid out as supply exceeds demand... So maybe there is a brilliant cunning plan after all and 'less is more' will be the sports saviour.. Not holding my breath to be honest..
  18. That's three clubs gone in two years.... Does anyone within the organisation really believe the business plan and operating model it implements is any way shape or form fit for purpose? Best wishes to Worky, but let's be honest, maybe only 400 or so 'die hards' will feel an emptiness.. And you simply cannot pay out 7 of the salaries that riders now expect twice a week based on only a few hundred regulars. Who is next?
  19. Probably a pipe dream granted, but hardly anyone currently appears interested in so many 'contrived' domestic meetings, ran on Mondays and midweek, often made up of random septets of who happens to be available on any night, so maybe 'thinking big' is the best way to give the sport a shot in the arm it so desperately needs.. Obviously can only speak for myself but if the Aces had a team of say, Woffinden, Cook, Lambert, S Worrall, Fricke, Bewley and Lidsey I would definitely pay circa £25 - £30 quid seven times a year to watch them race against other top riders at the NSS... I wouldn't on the other hand, pay circa £20 to watch the current top divisions meetings given the lack of a credible offering... Whether a 5000 - 6000 or so crowd is possible, and costs covered, is debatable, particularly given the salaries that the riders who ride in Poland have become used to... Nice to dream it could happen maybe though...
  20. mikebv

    Moderators: are you there?

    No real need for third party moderation... It should just be self moderating by the 'normal' people on here.. If trolls take over a thread then no one quote their posts or rise up and reply to them.. Keyboard warriors are often socially inept misfits, whose only recognition of their own pitiful very existence comes via responses gleaned on forums full of people they will never meet. With them getting some kind of kicks to offset their often shallow soulless, friendless lives... There are only a few prats on here anyway so not difficult to pin point them, even if a 'multi', as they always use the same M.O. So after a few posts of a 'newbie' it is self evident who they really are/have been.. Don't give them the oxygen of acknowledgement and they will soon get really peed off as the debates carry on around them... Really. Really. Peed off I would imagine...
  21. There would need to be a common will from the Poles who seem to 'rule the roost' and they would have to obviously get something out of it for it to ever happen but maybe not as far fetched as first considered...? It would certainly raise the bar of the sport considerably over here and give the sport a 'European Competition' feel about it.. Maybe one team from the UK, Denmark and Sweden could be included? Added to the top five from Poland.. Seven home and away matches... What it possibly would provide, if ran that way, is teams made up of nationals from their own countries which would maybe get better 'local' support as their regional Speedway team take on the might of the best in Europe. And a bigger continental TV audience potential to entice coverage... Rugby League do it already with French and Canadian clubs so not a complete leap into the unknown.. Would be a huge gamble though for someone to bankroll it should permission from Poland ever be granted.. It would generate reasonable interest thought I am sure, whether enough to pay the eye watering salaries, or garner enough sponsorship to assist those costs is very debatable. (But a large European and Domestic audience, if delivered, would help this) You would need a major marketing company to push the sport initially too. Especially given the lack of awareness and interest in Speedway currently in the UK. But maybe with the World Champ as No1 for a British team it would help sell the product over here? Seven well advertised, well promoted, home matches maybe could deliver crowds of 5000 or so paying circa £20 a head? The issue though is the obvious one in that around three top heat leaders alone after paying the home and away salaries would receive all that money and more.. A nice idea though, and who knows, if Poland ever need to spice up its operations to maintain its status, maybe it could happen in the future? After all, ten years ago the thought of a French team winning the RL Challenge Cup at Wembley would have been laughed at, but probably not nearly as much as someone suggesting at the same time that Canada would one day have its own Rugby League team playing in Britain...
  22. mikebv

    Riders Who Never Made It?

    There have been a good few "future world champions" in the GB ranks over the years hasn't there? One rider who I felt had a chance of going quite far was Richard Musson. I used to watch him at BV and think he had a good chance to make it as he seemed to be not much behind the level of Screen and Stonehewer.. I stopped going around 94 ish so lost track of how he did..
  23. mikebv

    Belle Vue 2019

    A strange sport is Speedway... Many riders I would suggest actually do reach their ceiling sometimes even younger than 22.. Off the top of my head I can only remember Jason Doyle and David Norris 'suddenly' almost overnight, becoming 'world class' after several years of being 'OK' without pulling up any trees.. Of the two riders mentioned I would say Fricke's 'trajectory' is moving higher and faster than Masters who does seem to have plateaued a bit in the past 18 months or so.. However Masters still has plenty of time on his hands to move into that top bracket of rider.. Fricke's career thus far does point though to him becoming a genuine world class competitor as in Sweden and Poland he more than holds his own, which is usually a good barometer of a young riders potential.... I would though say it is a pivotal year for Fricke as more responsibility will be put on his shoulders, particularly in Poland and GB.. It will be interesting to see how he handles it, but he certainly seems level headed enough to cope..
  24. mikebv

    Poole 2019

    There is usually a 'get out clause' both ways should either damage the 'brand' of the other by their actions... If the money is paid up front then the sponsored organisation doesn't lose out, but if it's drip fed then potentially they will.. Of course, what will happen either way will be litigation as the business being sponsored will argue they have budgeted or even spent the expected income, and the sponsor, if not happy they have been removed with a legitimate reason, will fight to get a proportion of the money back... If the Echo did try and contact MF, and no response was forthcoming, then it would suggest he is not prolonging the story (which any response would do) and sensibly letting it ride out with no more direct linkage to Poole Speedway.. Hardly a 'story' anyway really is it? I presume not much happens on the South Coast in the winter if this makes the local news agenda? April is a long way off and this will be quickly forgotten by then if allowed to disappear as a 'story' now..
  25. mikebv

    NL Cup draw 2019

    Once watched the BDO do a darts comp draw streamed live on the net and three quarters of the way in one number came out again... And it wasn't even a six/nine confusion...! They had to scrap it and do the draw again.. I do often see many similarities between those who run Speedway and those who run this side of the darts world...

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