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tmc

British speedway: it's not all bad, you know!

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Speedways fan base has collapsed in this country, with the vast majority of tracks hemmoraging money. The British public has voted with it's feet, and I can't ever see them coming back.

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To state the blatantly obvious:  Newcastle and Sunderland in Championship and say Norwich and Burnley in top flight then Premier League average attendance is 10/15,000 different because of size of grounds and fanbase,  promote one or both of those two and replace Bournemouth with Leeds or one of the Sheffield clubs and a massive change in the average ... and the opportunity for some to say that crowds in the Championship have plummeted . "There's lies, damn lies ... and then statistics "

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Think some may have missed my point about football, or perhaps I didn't make it clearly enough.

My point is that football is Britain's No.1 national sport, is awash with insane amount of cash (especially at the highest level) . . . but in many respects it's as poorly run and administered as speedway, and treats its loyal followers with utter contempt.

Cricket is a much more relevant analogy. Constantly trying to reinvent itself for a new audience it think it needs to appeal to (many women are insulted by the notion that a new 100-ball format is what they crave) , while the bedrock of the game - County Championship and Test matches (outside England) - are teetering on the brink of self-destruction.

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18 hours ago, tmc said:

It's rare that I attempt to in any way defend the BSPA for its many perceived failings, but as a fan of numerous other major sports it's fair to say that speedway is not alone in causing angst and bewilderment among its followers and, just perhaps, we are all guilty at times of being over-critical of officialdom and what is served up in the name of sport and entertainment.

Take football. It continues to price itself out of the financial reach of the average man and woman on the street and attending Premier League games now costs an arm and leg. Then there's the overpriced kits (three versions at any one time) and other merchandise clubs pump out to further rip off their loyal followers. Premier League chairmen/owners are widely regarded as the greediest bunch of governing parasites in world sport.

People question the integrity and nous of some running Premier, Championship and National tracks. But look at the disastrous club ownerships that The Football League has stood by and allowed to wreck and ruin - my own club, Leyton Orient, almost went to the wall a year ago at the hands of our then psychopathic Italian owner, who treated us like his personal play thing with almost fatal consequences until the O's were saved in the high court.

County Cricket has just entered another desperate new phase of trying to reinvent itself, with the newly-proposed '100-ball' brainwave set to be introduced in 2020 in an effort to attract new, younger fans and mums. It's a franchised based scheme, with a select group of players (not including the best English Test and one-day cricketers) chosen to represent new teams representing cities rather than counties. This, though, will effectively kill the current T20 domestic competition brought in in 2003. The ECB and county bosses are being publicly hammered and ridiculed for dreaming up yet another new format for a game that already has 5-day Tests, 4-day County Championship matches and two one day tournaments.

Cricket clubs and the ICC at world level have spent fortunes improving their pitches and outfields but they still can't control the weather and, like speedway, matches are often postponed or abandoned after just a few overs play.

These two national sports are awash with billions of TV money yet still, it seems, they couldn't organise the proverbial p*** up in a brewery.

How many different 'World Championships' does boxing have these days?

In recent years cycling has been totally discredited for harbouring cheats who take drugs to enhance performance. Which race teams and riders can be trusted?

Greyhound racing has literally gone to the dogs, with more and more tracks closing year on year.

I don't know enough about other sports, such as rugby and ice hockey, to comment here about where they come up short but you can rest assured they too will have their critics and be hampered by decisions (and indecision) taken by their respective rulers.

 'Who cares about other sports, speedway is all we're interested in', I hear you scream!

I hear you, loud and clear!

But remember, there is a lot wrong with many other sports, too, including those with huge financial resources and tens of thousands more followers, and speedway is by no means alone in struggling to satisfy its loyal supporters.

Should we keep questioning and challenging the BSPA and FIM (I would add the SCB, too, but they are toothless and have virtually ceded control of the sport to the men and women who run the tracks)? Of course.

No-one could argue that speedway couldn't be much better organised and administered, and badly needs to offer more variety in its formats and competitions. The ridiculously over-complicated rulebook needs to be torn up and re-written in the simplest terms. Doubling-up and guests must be eradicated ASAP. There has to be more emphasis on British youth development, with team places made available to the best prospects.

But speedway is plagued by many problems (bad weather; lack of stadium ownership; ill effects of the GP and other domestic leagues) beyond its control.

So all things considered, while it doesn't solve problems to acknowledge the fact, we're certainly not alone among sports fan calling for more sanity and things to be run better.

Speedway? It ain't so bad after all!

Speedway really is that bad. Footfall through the gate is all you need to know. It may only be £16-18 but rarely delivers value for money.

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1 hour ago, Daniel Smith said:

Speedway really is that bad. Footfall through the gate is all you need to know. It may only be £16-18 but rarely delivers value for money.

If you think West Ham are worth watching at £50 a pop, think again!

In a supposed 90-minute game of pro football, the ball is only actually in play for about half that time. The rest is taken up with time-wasting, goal-kicks, throw-ins, free-kicks, berating the officials, etc.

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1 hour ago, tmc said:

If you think West Ham are worth watching at £50 a pop, think again!

In a supposed 90-minute game of pro football, the ball is only actually in play for about half that time. The rest is taken up with time-wasting, goal-kicks, throw-ins, free-kicks, berating the officials, etc.

Thousands still turn up so they're getting value for money. You can't argue otherwise. 

People are walking away (me included this year) because for the money there is nothing worth while for it.

The sport is mugging off it's punters and the footfall is very evident.

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11 minutes ago, Daniel Smith said:

Thousands still turn up so they're getting value for money. You can't argue otherwise. 

 

Not only that,but at a lot of the big clubs there are waiting lists taking years sometimes to get a season ticket.I know a pal of mine from London got a Celtic season ticket in the knowledge he would only use it a few times a season.But it was his best chance and he could leave it with friends in Scotland who could use it when he didn't.At one club,and it might be Hamburg,can't remember,they have come out and said that if season tickets aren't used regularly they will become void,so that the next person in the long waiting list can get a chance to have one.Clubs in the situation can and probably will take the 'p',but demand is there .....the same with shirts,changing them regularly,but if people didn't buy them in large enough qualtities then the price would drop........ 

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The FRN switch was designed to bring in more star riders and that has been a failure. Also it planned to cut down dramatically on guests and r/r - not yet done much of that I feel, But worst of all supporters were not canvassed as they should have been in the last couple of months of last season. And Hey Ho a lot of fans don't like the night they have been forced onto  - no surprise there then. It's our money and our life choices. And look at a Monday night ( and on TV) at Belle Vue - less than 1,000 there ( at full price ) King's Lynn have suffered more than others ( it seems ) with the highest number of Danish riders and running on a Weds. If all of these promoters are successful businesspeople in the outside world why do come across as so inept when running speedway? 

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2 minutes ago, waytogo28 said:

The FRN switch was designed to bring in more star riders and that has been a failure. Also it planned to cut down dramatically on guests and r/r - not yet done much of that I feel, But worst of all supporters were not canvassed as they should have been in the last couple of months of last season. And Hey Ho a lot of fans don't like the night they have been forced onto  - no surprise there then. It's our money and our life choices. And look at a Monday night ( and on TV) at Belle Vue - less than 1,000 there ( at full price ) King's Lynn have suffered more than others ( it seems ) with the highest number of Danish riders and running on a Weds. If all of these promoters are successful businesspeople in the outside world why do come across as so inept when running speedway? 

I think some promoters get into Speedway for on purpose loss making giving them extra tax relief.

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Just now, Daniel Smith said:

I think some promoters get into Speedway for on purpose loss making giving them extra tax relief.

That is Good News we can stop worrying about them being turned out of house and home. And forget all about the "turn out in your thousands / hundreds / dozens / handfuls or there will be no speedway in X" pleas!

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2 hours ago, tmc said:

If you think West Ham are worth watching at £50 a pop, think again!

In a supposed 90-minute game of pro football, the ball is only actually in play for about half that time. The rest is taken up with time-wasting, goal-kicks, throw-ins, free-kicks, berating the officials, etc.

The fans think  so as they go ..at speedway they don't

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23 hours ago, tmc said:

In recent years cycling has been totally discredited for harbouring cheats who take drugs to enhance performance. Which race teams and riders can be trusted?

I wouldn't poke speedway too closely with that stick if I was you!

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Anyone who has been to Isle of Wight speedway knows how good it can be.

I am reliably informed their gates are up again this season. 

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10 minutes ago, Halifaxtiger said:

Anyone who has been to Isle of Wight speedway knows how good it can be.

I am reliably informed their gates are up again this season. 

Good news.Only heard good things about the people running it.Just hope it wasn't mickthemuppet,who told you about the crowd figures!!!:P

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5 minutes ago, iris123 said:

Good news.Only heard good things about the people running it.Just hope it wasn't mickthemuppet,who told you about the crowd figures!!!:P

:D

A very reliable source indeed.

What they do isn't rocket science. They simply treat a paying customer as a paying customer.  

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