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Viper

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  1. Lee was one of my all time favourites despite not racing for the Diamonds and his all action style will be great to watch next season. He’s been away for a long time but he certainly has the natural ability to make a success of his return to speedway. Best of Luck Lee.
  2. So it’s Lee Complin!
  3. The quote from Rob that the last man would take us very close to the points limit was actually part of the clubs press release about Bradley and George signing for next season so the team structure shouldn’t have caused an issue as the other 6 were all in place at the time. It is strange that nothing has been mentioned in subsequent club press releases about a signing or even what is happening with the last spot despite it previously been highlighted to the fans but hopefully we will find out soon. The last spot is a very interesting signing and it appears through the recent interview with George for a NZ newspaper that the club still do not have the facility to act as ‘sponsors’ for new foreign riders coming to the UK and this will only reduce the size of the rider pool we have to pick from for the all important last spot (should we not already have this in place). https://www.odt.co.nz/star-news/star-sport/young-canterbury-speedway-rider-following-ivan-mauger’s-tyre-tracks-uk Fingers crossed we have someone ready to be announced in time for Christmas.
  4. I have no issue with any of the lads signed and I’m sure they will bring a entertaining product to the Brough Park track in 2022. However, a lot depends on the last signing and how much we have to play with for that rider. If our new young KIWI does indeed have the relevant credentials to qualify for a 2pt average then that leaves us with a good chunk of the points limit left to bring in another top line rider to support Bradley at the top of the team. But, if he is indeed saddled with a 4pt average and we have less than 6pts to play with for our last rider then again we are woefully light of top end power. I have faith in BWD to provide some good strength up top and I can certainly see Paul Starke upping his starting average but as with last season we will struggle in the big heats at the end of matches without another accomplished points scorer at this level. The team may provide some good form at Brough but I don’t see us being competitive enough away from home and we may also struggle against sides who turn up at Brough with a strong heat leader duo or trio. I will reserve judgement for now but in my view a 7pt man added to the side makes us a decent team. However, if we only have 5.98 left then the team really lacks top end power and will struggle to compete with the stronger sides in the league.
  5. Viper

    Newcastle Diamonds 2021

    What an emotional night last night and after spending a huge part of my life involved with the club it is really hard to consider a future without the Diamonds. If last night was the final curtain on our 92 year history then it was a fitting send off and hats off to Rob for bringing it all together. The crowd was huge, extra attractions, good presentation and the team almost pulled off a stunning home performance to top it off. I have said for some time that I believe there is a place for speedway in Newcastle and for it to be a success and last night show a glimpse of the possibilities open should the club be saved. It’s been a tough season and credit to Rob and his team for getting us through to the end in one piece when we could so easily have went the way of Eastbourne. Unfortunately I totally agree John. The figure that has been placed on the club, is in my view, unrealistic for a club that has virtually no assets and has a uncertainty surrounding its home venue. That outlay to buy the club is just for starters and the package needed to get up and running is eye watering. I pray that an opportunity arises where those interested can negotiate on the price and get to a level which will entice them to give it a go at Newcastle but at this point I can not see a way in which a buy out could be undertaken, unless a hugely wealthy individual is found.
  6. I was also present at the Redcar match in question and I certainly didn’t hear anything that was disrespectful towards Newcastle. I know that Roy has always had Newcastle close to his heart and in my view he has been a huge miss on the presentation side this season. As the owner it’s totally within Rob’s gift to make the call that he did but IMHO it is Newcastle who have lost out the most from that situation as Roy has continued to build his reputation at Redcar this season while the match night production at Newcastle this season has been rather poor. The bottom line is that whatever the situation with the former staff who are no longer there, it is Rob’s business to run how he sees fit and he has made the call based upon what he feels is best for his club. Good luck to Rob for the future and here is hoping that we see speedway back in Newcastle at some point in the longer term.
  7. Viper

    Newcastle Diamonds 2021

    I don’t believe that there is a singular factor to why one club is thriving at this time and one is struggling but as has been said it’s not that long ago that Redcar were struggling themselves for crowd numbers. One of the main differences between the clubs is access to revenue streams, with Redcar being in a fortunate position to have access to the STMP to run other events outside of a match day and also gain other match day revenue through the selling of food and drink. Newcastle are at an disadvantage straight away with no chance of using the stadium outside of the usual few hours allocated for a match day and the substantial outlay needed to pay for the stadium rental. Also, some other match day sales also go into the pocket of the stadium owners rather than the club. Speedway in a majority of cities can no longer survive on gate receipts alone and in Newcastle’s case they don’t have sufficient access to other revenue streams to build up the business. That coupled with the reduction in sponsorship available due to the effect of Covid on businesses, means Newcastle budget was severely reduced. This means that Redcar have the comfort of being able to control their future financial model and have managed to build an attractive side as a result. Newcastle on the other hand have had to cut there cloth accordingly and as a result do not have a team that is as competitive. This has to my mind stopped some of the more casual supporters coming along to watch at Brough Park as they see it as a watered down product. The other element for me is that Redcar finally have the management structure that is built for success. Speedway is more than a full time job for those that run it and Redcar now have a trio running the show that knows the sport, knows the club and knows it’s supporters. Ben, Jamie and Jade have done a fantastic job and the split of the roles between the three ensure they are able to actively grow the club and focus on every aspect needed to do this successfully, from social media presence to rider development. In Newcastle case, Rob has taken on a huge challenge and, as one man with only one or two helpers then I believe certain elements have lapsed, match night production and digital communication being a couple. This again means that some supporters have drifted away either through lack of insight into the club or through the fact of the product on offer. This is no way meant as a complaint against Rob as I do believe that had Newcastle came to the tapes in 2022 under Robs ownership that we would have seen a different approach from the lessons he has learnt through a very tough first season.
  8. Viper

    Newcastle Diamonds 2021

    I have been following Newcastle speedway for a lot of years now, both home and away, and have seen a lot of people walk away over the years, even those who were once very involved in the club both as supporters and behind the scenes. Unfortunately in most cases there were reasons why they walked away, some I understand and some I don’t but they all had there own reasons. It’s always going to be difficult enticing people back once the have broken ties but hopefully for the clubs sake this can be achieved at some level. I really hope Rob gets the boost he needs to continue on his journey with the club. He has some great ideas and hopefully we can get to a point where we can see these in action next season.
  9. Viper

    Newcastle Diamonds 2021

    Hello John, I have assumed given the fact that through Social Media, TV, Newspapers or websites ect that I have not myself seen any offer of free tickets and also through the wording of your original post, it suggested to me that this approach was used. May just be the way I read it. At no point have I criticised Rob or the promotion for doing so only that I believe if we are giving out free tickets then would be better aiming at customer groups where the success rate is potentially higher. I take your point about my circumstances but how many people are in the same boat as me, having to consider commitments before making a decision to attend something new that day?. I would hazard a guess that it is a fair few. I agree the sports link up may take time but I have personally opened the door with the Whitley Warriors who were very keen to build links with the club. Again not knocking Rob as he has so much in his plate that this probably wasn’t his focus but he has the clubs info and I have personally passed this onto Rob. As part of the staff at Newcastle Speedway and links to the Newcastle Vipers during Darryls era in control of both teams, I have seen some of the attempts to build those links but the advancements of social media and digital presence then marketing between clubs has a far wider reach and the additional element of discounted or free entry is something that was not directly tried during that era. In terms of reaching out to the promotion. I have made it known that I will help out in any way I can and that offer remains on the table for Rob moving forward. As a forum for opinions, then hopefully I’m allowed mine:) oh and good luck to Rob and Rachel with everything. They have been dealt an awful hand this last 18 months but have done great to get us to this point.
  10. I can’t speak for Birmingham but certainly Newcastle have been majorly impacted by the Covid restrictions that have been imposed on them, not only by the local council but also the stadium owners which had majorly effected their cash flow. There is no negligence on the promotions part just the circumstances which no one could have ever predicted. I take your point on clubs paying riders but what is the other option here? - either the two clubs continue to run or they don’t. If they try to run then the financial pressure will always remain until the end of the season. If they close their doors then British Speedway has lost two more clubs moving forward, and they won’t be the last either. In the Eastbourne scenario then the key again is that you are stating they are losing money. This is just highlighting the problem isn’t just Birmingham and Newcastle. If Birmingham declare they are racing then where is the issue with that meeting taking place or whether they run a different meeting in its place. It goes back to the same thing, a majority of clubs are not making it pay and are losing money on every meeting they run. Newcastle and Birmingham have hit a point in which they have used up the contingency but other clubs are not far behind. The BSP and all clubs need to come together to work out a strategy for moving forward, supporting each other through this season and then the financial recovery needed to get over these last few years. If not then I’m afraid we will lose more and more clubs. We have 19 clubs in this country, a huge reduction on the number we had a decade ago and without a solid rescue plan we will be lucky to have 10 or 11 teams in a couple of seasons. British speedway is on its knees and only working together will stop it from completely falling over.
  11. The short answer is no and unfortunately this is where our sport is totally failing. The issue here is not that of Birmingham and Newcastle but is a problem for British Speedway and it’s about time the power that be started thinking about how to support and work together for the good of the sport in this country. It’s been far too long a sport driven by self indulgent individuals with their own agendas and the fact that teams are struggling is a result of years of mismanagement. The BSP Committee should be looking at how they support those teams that are struggling to ensure their futures, not giving them additional problems that could lead to two very established clubs closing their doors for good. Unfortunately the current mindset of some leading this sport will be more around ‘which riders can I sign if they close’ rather than how do we help them in their hour of need.
  12. Viper

    Newcastle Diamonds 2021

    I’m not totally sure if the 500 quoted has been amassed through different routes or this was simply as a result of the presence at the quayside market, but I’m assuming that given I haven’t seen or heard anything around this that it was solely from the activity at the Quayside market. I am certainly not knocking Rob and his team for looking to spread the word but I’m not convinced that this really gives a true reflection of the ability of Newcastle Speedway to grow its fan base or increase the attendances in the short and medium term. The driver behind giving out free tickets is simply to get new fans into the stadium but must have a clear link to the target market you are looking to tempt into the sport. You wouldn’t look to give out free tickets to a nightclub at a local bingo as you wouldn’t get the take up you were looking to achieve (apart from a few exceptions). The quayside market is not a place where I would look to achieve this but rather through local link ups with sports clubs, I see Newcastle Benfield has been mentioned, to look at fans with a similar interest in sports. Newcastle Eagles, Newcastle Thunder and some of our other local football sides could be a billboard to offering advertisement and free or discounted tickets provided through the team to interested part of their fan base. We also have Whitley Warriors ice hockey club who play in front of crowds around 1000 on a Sunday night (out of speedway season) and their fans have had no hockey for 18 months. Fans who have a void in their Sunday’s that sport has always filled. These are the type of target market we could get traction from, if we did it through the individual clubs as part of a partnership agreement. Also, the timing of the tickets being given out makes it less likely to gain any interest. Being a family man with young children my own day is planned well in advance and tickets being given on the morning of a match, which starts as early as 4pm means people are likely to already have plans in place. The more time we give people to think about going the better. Again I’m not knocking Rob and his team as they are dealing with a great deal already but with the right marketing strategy then I really do feel there is a demand for speedway in Newcastle.
  13. Viper

    Newcastle 2020

    The track staff point raised is a very good one as a majority of those at Newcastle are providing there time free of charge. Although it will be possible to social distance while working at tracks I suspect not all will be prepared to put themselves and their family at increased risk by doing so while we are in the current climate. It may seem a small issue in the context of the wider issues facing the sport in the UK but speedway will not be able to take place at Brough, and I suspect a number of other tracks, without the hard working match day staff that do so much for the sport.
  14. Viper

    Redcar 2020

    Try the other half of last seasons Newcastle promotion.
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