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Big Al

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About Big Al

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    Bob Buzzard

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  1. On the track he's matured beyond recognition. Can't comment about off-track but would like to think he's improving in that area.
  2. Apologies for asking the bleeping obvious, but how come, after the Cook business, the Peterborough team picture ( with 6 riders) has 5 riders in their rule-compliant team kevlars, plus Charles Wright who is clearly not in them but is wearing his own set?
  3. Big Al

    Guardian article today

    But, with Swedish leagues having their problems, just maybe a combined top tier league including 3 (at a guess) UK clubs could salvage something to derive sufficient income from TV and investment. The UK clubs would need to be stadium-owning or at least non-greyhound tenants. Belle Vue, Kings Lynn and Glasgow for instance.
  4. Big Al

    Guardian article today

    Another move this winter, and another one probably done far too late, was the creation of the BSPA as a limited company. How many current venues are either owned by the speedway club (rare, probably) or ones where the club is its main tenant/user (possibly a few more). If you were a potential investor, interested in taking a significant stake in the sport overall, looking to develop it, the lack of current clubs within those categories would be a substantial deterrent I'd think. Alternatively an investor might say - ok I'll put money into running speedway only at the venues that meet my criteria, with exclusive rights, and maybe look at one-offs at other venues, and I want to be the controlling shareholder of the BSPA as well. But the chances of that happening could be slim of course.
  5. Big Al

    Guardian article today

    It's a bit of a soft target, isn't it? Journalists are good at picking on them, when they need some column inches to fill. For me, the bikes are too quiet now (but my hearing's also not what it used to be) and that addictive aroma isn't all that addictive now. These take away a lot of the dramatic effect. The material that's needed to produce good racing tracks doesn't seem to available any more, or if it is, it's too expensive. So many other sports have upped their game massively when it comes to venues and their facilities, but speedway operates with hands tied behind the back for the most part with no source of capital to tap into, anyway. What was done this winter with regards to the second tier, should have been done a long time ago, and I fear it's a case of too late. If the promoters had been enlightened enough to have done it 6 or 7 years ago, you could now be seeing the benefits. Instead they pratted around with the reserves draft experiment in the top tier. I think that may turn out in hindsight to be the last chance to save the show, which sadly wasn't taken when it was crying out for it.
  6. Was in Derbyshire today but was quite warm and very windy - if it was also in Leicester that would have been just what the doctor ordered. Hope it stays dry tomorrow.
  7. can't be certain but I'm presuming his company still owns the lease on the area that includes the stadium. I doubt if the City Council would be all that keen to take it back into their control, far better to have some mug controlling it I'd imagine.
  8. I hope this goes ahead OK after all the recent rain and lack of warm weather to dry the ground. Probably better with it being scheduled for afternoon. On a separate tack, I wonder if Sam Ermolenko will be having a beer with his old bosum buddy David Hemsley, now the Beaumont Park landlord, and having a good chuckle about old times??
  9. Big Al

    Leicester 2019

    Sam Ermolenko coming to Beaumont Park for the BenFund meeting then. I wonder if him and the landlord will be reminiscing about old times?
  10. So yes of course there are cases of good work at present, but in these times it has to be a collective effort too. It's crying out for the BSPA to appoint someone suitable to be the catalyst. If it does end in failure, well at least they've tried. A good national sponsor would help to fund it, of course, but the promoters would need to make the first move. The difference with Bill Veeck is that he had big potential markets to draw in, but he still had to bring them in. Speedway's potential new markets are probably much more limited.
  11. I'm reading a Biography of Bill Veeck. He's widely regarded as Baseball's greatest showman, never a player but from an early age involved in managing and then owning clubs. Clubs like Milwaukee and Cleveland, and later Chicago White Sox, which when he bought them were on sharp declines but he breathed new life into them, in tough times too, and turned them into successful businesses. The guy was phenomenal, with his energy, bravado, self-belief but most importantly mingling with the fans during games, meeting and greeting when they arrived, and being at the exit to thank them for their custom. He pulled numerous publicity stunts, created controversy, engineered spats between himself and other team owners. There was nobody who taught him all of that, he just had the spirit in him to try things. He made a priority of providing better spectator facilities - toilets, food, entertainment, improved lighting - and was a genius when it came to courting and pleasing the media. I suppose you could truly call Bill Veeck a Promoter, in every sense of the word. (his name's pronounced Vek - as in wreck, as he used to say). And he did it mostly with only one leg, legacy of a stint with the Marines in WW2. Reading it. you just couldn't help but draw comparisons with current Speedway promoters, and how so many of them could do with some of the Veeck approach. You also think that Speedway is crying out for someone like Veeck to inspire and encourage the current promoters to innovate and to develop, who the BSPA could appoint to such a role.
  12. Big Al

    Leicester 2019

    Stewart Dickson in Speedway Star talking about having some work done to the track this month, getting rid of the bumps that he says had got quite bad last season. There was also an item about a 35-rider practice session having took place recently. Surprised there wasn't carnage!
  13. Would not be surprised if Harris is on the same deal as he had with Boro, and Tungates deal is similar. Rider control, East Anglia style! If the BSPA was properly governed with an independent Executive in control, it would impose strong limitations and conditions on all proposed team changes during the season by Chapman's three clubs where riders would be moving from one club to another. For consistency the same should apply to Leicester and Sheffield, by the way!
  14. Maybe more like a bit of re-distribution of riders among the three teams. Iversen's decision, Tungate's destination, Ipswich struggling to put a side together...... If Chapman had not bought out the two clubs, and put them into the PL thereby keeping it in existence, would anyone else have? So I'm not too convinced it's about trying to dominate the league. Out of the 21 riders which eventually comprise the 3 teams, how many of them will actually be Chapman "assets"? Again, that's still to be known.
  15. So it's Rider Control back again then? But just for 3 clubs of course. And if there has been no response by Harris, then more likely he has been fixed-up with a team place elsewhere already? The stuff about financial operating model causing the change has the strong whiff of smokescreen.

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