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2 hours ago, RobMcCaffery said:

Poland and the SGPs were yet to wreak their havoc. The weaknesses were already there, it's just that we were still the best payers. The 81 World Final is rather over-rated and relied almost totally on Penhall's brilliance. Those other stars were support players. 

S'right.  Apart from the Penhall v Olsen & Knudsen heats, the drama of Carter,  Gundersen & especially Jessup EFs, nothing much happened.  Last World FInal At Wembley, that's it....

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1 hour ago, Halifaxtiger said:

Things don't change. In 1948 there were 28 stand alone tracks. In 1968, 28. In 1988, 27. In 2018, 28. 

 

Can you explain what you mean by "stand alone tracks" ? - Stadia shared by speedway racing, greyhound racing and possibly stock car racing ?

What exactly is your point ?

 

 

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10 hours ago, PHILIPRISING said:

WROTE the following in an edition of Speedway Star in June 1981. Could have repeated it every year since including the present one.

SPEEDWAY in this country is facing a crisis which threatens the foundations on which the sport is built. Unless something is done to stop the squabbling, the wastage of money, bending of the rules and, in some cases, blatant breaking of regulations, speedway will lose even the support of the hard core of fans.

Vast numbers of followers are becoming disenchanted either with the way speedway is run or by the attitude of riders who seem prepared to bite the hand that feeds them.

Any rider who doesn't fulfil his commitments is cheating the public. It is as simple as that. Speedway has got itself into such a mess with foreign riders that there is no easy way out. But a remedy must be found.

First, however, the promoters who run league speedway in this country must put their own house in order. Speedway desperately needs a clearly defined set of regulations which are strictly adhered to without exception. The rulebook as it is at present is bent, manipulated, rewritten, ignored or changed at will. That cannot continue.

Sadly, it seems it has.

 

 

 

It is quite a breathtaking level of arrogance that has been shown by those who run the Sport in this Country that they have continually ignored the feedback of their very own patrons for so many years..

I would say that since this piece was written crowds are now approximately 20% of what they were then, meaning 80% of its customer base has been eroded either sadly through natural causes or the disillusionment of an ageing fanbase..

You cannot have any greater help in running any business than your customers telling you what they like you doing and what they dont, and Speedway through various weekly and monthly magazines during the past thirty years, and obviously the Internet in the past 10 in particular, have had literally thousands of pieces of 'feedback' which incredibly have been completely ignored...

The frustration for the few fans that now remain is that the feedback the governing bodies have received has been year on year very,  very,  similar in content with many common themes running through the fans' discontent...

When the mantra should have been "We are listening,  thanks for the feedback , we will change" it instead became  "We are right, and you fans have absolutely no idea what you are talking about".

"British Speedway, now reaping what it has sowed over the past thirty years"...

That would be a good strap line for the 2018 season....

 

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6 hours ago, moxey63 said:

Wow! Philip Rising's piece about the crisis in speedway was written only months before that best-ever world final at Wembley, when we had the likes of Penhall, Olsen, Mauger, Carter, Gundersen, Nielsen etc, all taking part in our domestic league.

 

.  

I have always wondered why the 1981 World Final was looked upon as the best ever. Playing back the video (yes remember them?) :D confirms to me that apart from 3 or 4 races it was as boring and processional as all the rest.

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3 hours ago, martinmauger said:

S'right.  Apart from the Penhall v Olsen & Knudsen heats, the drama of Carter,  Gundersen & especially Jessup EFs, nothing much happened.  Last World FInal At Wembley, that's it....

I was talking of 1981 and did mention Penhall. Carter & Gundersen was one heat out of 20. Jessup's Jubilee clip was an incident but didn't exactly 'make' the meeting, although it affected the outcome.

Things happened but there wasn't a great deal of excellent racing, as ever at Wembley, bar Penhall's remarkable riding. That's what astonished people - good racing at Wembley! Sadly it was only a handful of heats. 

Yes it was the last Wembley World Final. How exactly did that make it a great meeting?

Apart from ITV, KM Video filmed the meeting and when I joined them the following year this was one of the first meetings I wanted to watch. I soon learned that memory can play tricks. 

People remember the Penhall races but there was little else to enthuse over, unless you like bike failures...

 

Edited by RobMcCaffery
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4 hours ago, Halifaxtiger said:

Things don't change. In 1948 there were 28 stand alone tracks. In 1968, 28. In 1988, 27. In 2018, 28. 

 

Those are convenient years HT. In 1971 there were 36 professional tracks. In 2018 you can only get to 28 by including amateur NL tracks. In 1957 there were 11 professional tracks. Things HAVE changed. 

Edited by RobMcCaffery

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26 minutes ago, Gemini said:

I have always wondered why the 1981 World Final was looked upon as the best ever. Playing back the video (yes remember them?) :D confirms to me that apart from 3 or 4 races it was as boring and processional as all the rest.

It was rubbish, I've said as much before and got stick for it. Most GPs are better.

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25 minutes ago, RobMcCaffery said:

Those are convenient years HT. In 1971 there were 36 professional tracks. In 2018 you can only get to 28 by including amateur NL tracks. In 1957 there were 11 professional tracks. Things HAVE changed. 

They're every 20 years, you on the other hand have conveniently picked years at random

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26 minutes ago, SCB said:

It was rubbish, I've said as much before and got stick for it. Most GPs are better.

the racing in most gps is better, in some cases significantly.

however it's unfair to say Wembley 81 was rubbish. it had

- two brilliant races which determined the destiny of the world final

- a line up that was arguably as strong as it could be given the inclusion of 5 continental riders. no riders missing who would have been genuine contenders

- a large crowd in a world class stadium, generating a fantastic atmosphere.

- drama of ef for three of the leading contenders. didn't change the likely winner, but certainly the other rostrum spots

I think it deserves its status as a legendary meeting, which goes also to show how the GPS (and SWC if BSI don't consign thst to the scrap hesp) have raised the standard of racing and ensured lineups which represent the worlds elite. but the gps will never generate the atmosphere that a one off final at Wembley did 

 

 

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6 hours ago, SCB said:

It was rubbish, I've said as much before and got stick for it. Most GPs are better.

Certainly wasn't rubbish. I went and for atmosphere it took some beating...which is one of the main ingredients for a speedway meeting. Certainly compared with Cardiff when I went some years back.

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6 hours ago, waiheke1 said:

the racing in most gps is better, in some cases significantly.

however it's unfair to say Wembley 81 was rubbish. it had

- two brilliant races which determined the destiny of the world final

- a line up that was arguably as strong as it could be given the inclusion of 5 continental riders. no riders missing who would have been genuine contenders

- a large crowd in a world class stadium, generating a fantastic atmosphere.

- drama of ef for three of the leading contenders. didn't change the likely winner, but certainly the other rostrum spots

I think it deserves its status as a legendary meeting, which goes also to show how the GPS (and SWC if BSI don't consign thst to the scrap hesp) have raised the standard of racing and ensured lineups which represent the worlds elite. but the gps will never generate the atmosphere that a one off final at Wembley did 

 

 

WENBLEY lived on its history and tradition. Hardly a World class stadium at that time. Facilities including the toilets were appalling and I speak as someone who at the time also covered just about all the footy matches there.

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Div 2 is far too strong and expensive - Birmingham, Eastbourne, Stoke, Mildenhall and Kent at least should be able to afford to operate at that level. Too many CL heat leaders should be in the top league (are in the to league but should be exclusively there). IMO the jump from NL to CL is too big so there is a glut of NL riders who have not moved up. 

If big CL clubs are ambitious they should move up

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Can anyone actually dig out a calendar, and put their finger on a date, at some point in time, when speedway was at it's "height"?

The sport is said to be in decline new, it was in decline in 1981, according to Phillip Rising. According to Rob McCaffrey the sport has been declining since 46 years ago (1972) and according to Moxey63 it was just as bad in the 1950's.

Just as a thought, the 1940's couldn't have been all that good either, what, with the war and all that.

So, if you plot this line of decline on a graph, where does it begin and how close to zero are we now?

Edited by uk_martin
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