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The continuing decline of Speedway

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, mikebv said:

Agreed...

Watching PC blast off into the distance, like he did in many races, certainly wasn't a 'spectacular' race...

Nor was watching Mauger, Olsen, Michanek etc etc do the same to '2 point reserves'..

The difference was? These guys brought a crowd in through their reputations...

When these riders, and more such as Penhall, Carter, Lee etc came to your town crowds were up..

A more modern, but lesser impact of the same were Nielsen and Gunderson, with probably the last rider with any 'extra pulling power' being Jason Crump..

These guys had reputations,  THEY attracted the improved crowds NOT the team who were in situ..

Those who attended may not even attend again that season, however I am sure the racing on that night was improved considerably in the eyes of the regulars by the large attendance. (Even if tangibly it probably wasn't much better than normal)..

Even in the 'good old days' it was the riders riding for, and bringing success to, England into your homes via World Of Sport that generated the interest in your local team...

Racing today overall is at least on a par, if not better, than all those years ago I would say, as there now is much less of a disparity between riders in the meeting/races that there once was, so not sure the racing is to blame for the Sports decline..

British Speedway has virtually 100% lost its tribal, emotional connection that fans need to follow a team sport by the ludicrous, (almost comical if it wasn't so sad) way it has ran itself...

I would suggest that this is infinitely more the problem than poor racing..

 

...plus the fact that one could associate with the riders who often rode for the same team before the points limit dictated team make-ups which was not always based upon ability but rather on a convenient workable average especially within the middle order and reserve department. The one junior per team (although admirable in conception) was a classic example.

I was fortunate at Oxford and White City as I saw the development of riders thru' the old second halves and our association with sister clubs Eastbourne and Peterborough. Riders who progressed into the main body included Gordon Kennett, Malcolm Ballard (whatever happened to him?), John Davis, Richard Greer, Trevor Geer, Paul Gachet and Steve Weatherley to name a few plus many others who turned out for various other teams (Bobby McNeil and Roger Johns for example)

Edited by steve roberts
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16 hours ago, PHILIPRISING said:

DON'T think Polish tracks are suffering from dwindling crowds and a lack of youngsters attending meetings. Spoke to Andreas Jonsson on Saturday and says Lublin, a second division team, sell-out every meeting and have over 1,000 fans travelling to away fixtures. 

It seems clear that the problem in Poland is not a lack of fans but the ridiculous level of payment they make to riders. At a £1,000 a point even with a 10,000 crowd you barely pay the wages bill. Home & Away. Poles are paying less than £10 to get in, we have been told. 

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14 hours ago, E I Addio said:

The idea of a rider sticking to one team is a thing of the past. You only have to look at the threads on this forum to see that as soon as a rider has a few below par meetings and people want him replaced . The growing change over the years is that an increasing number of fans are only interested in supporting a winning team. As soon as a team stars losing so called fans stop coming. 

 

Take a look at Swindon. We won next to nothing for forty years but we are still going. We have not based our club on winning at all costs or sacking riders for lack of form, but at the same time we have not been able to keep some riders due to their averages (hence our useless Scot Nicholls’ side a few years ago).

I remember a 70s team of Ashby, Hunter, Kilby, Andersson, McNeil, Bouchard and David Ashby. Both Jan Andersson and David Ashby were useless - it was Jan’s first season, and David was always a mystery! - but the team did OK in mid table and we kept it the next season and again it did OK, with Jan improving immensely. We won no trophies.

The point is, keeping the same riders kept the fans happy because everyone identified with those riders. Admittedly we won most home matches (and lost most away) so that would be the only caveat, but a mid table team with continuity and more home wins than losses can be more of a commercial success over time than the “winning at all costs, use every trick in the book, constant chop and change” club (Poole).

Indeed, I doubt modern Poole have kept a 1-7 from one season to the next and that their fans have ever identified with 7 riders the way Swindon’s fans of the 70s did.

So, no, big names and trophies are not necessary.

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19 hours ago, New Science said:

I can't be having this idea that's fans can't identify with their team because they ride for other clubs. Its 2018 riders ride all over Europe for various clubs. Bartosz Zmarzlik is hero worshiped in Gorzow. Do anybody have a problem that he rides for Elit Vetlanda ? No , its just part of modern speedway. The days of top British riders like Michael Lee just riding in Britain for 1 team are gone, we need to get used to it, its not going to change.

But Zmarzlik doesn't guest for every other polish top flight club while also holding down a place in the Polish 2nd tier. 

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Having rubbish like last night's meeting on TV does nothing for the sport apart from put anyone off that may have accidentally tuned into it. 

 

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17 hours ago, E I Addio said:

The idea of a rider sticking to one team is a thing of the past. You only have to look at the threads on this forum to see that as soon as a rider has a few below par meetings and people want him replaced . The growing change over the years is that an increasing number of fans are only interested in supporting a winning team. As soon as a team stars losing so called fans stop coming. 

Speedway is really doomed then, if what you said is true. It is supposedly a team sport where secondly individual riders can chase certain glory in the likes of the GPs. Once we had the Team Exide thing with Hancock and Hamill 20 years ago and the bikes began resembling the plastic Sinclair C5s of the mid-80s, perhaps it began going like other highly-polished motorsports where image overshadowed personality. 

As for an off-form rider and people wanting them replaced as soon as. Me, personally, I loved watching an off-form rider eventually finding his form. For example, my first favourite was Paul Tyrer, who was often given a hard time at Belle Vue by sections of the crowd. I supported him because of this. It added interest to the evening. Likewise with Ryan Fisher and Chris Manchester, when they had disastrous spells at Belle Vue. In fact, some of my best speedway was watching some of the weakest BV sides that were near the bottom.

But I see where you're coming from. A guy that stood beside us at Belle Vue once threatened he wouldn't bother coming again if a certain rider was in the team the following week. I suppose Poole fans are going through a bit of this now, judging by Matt Ford's uncertainty.

 

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5 minutes ago, moxey63 said:

Speedway is really doomed then, if what you said is true. It is supposedly a team sport where secondly individual riders can chase certain glory in the likes of the GPs. Once we had the Team Exide thing with Hancock and Hamill 20 years ago and the bikes began resembling the plastic Sinclair C5s of the mid-80s, perhaps it began going like other highly-polished motorsports where image overshadowed personality.

As for an off-form rider and people wanting them replaced as soon as. Me, personally, I loved watching an off-form rider eventually finding his form. For example, my first favourite was Paul Tyrer, who was often given a hard time at Belle Vue by sections of the crowd. I supported him because of this. It added interest to the evening. Likewise with Ryan Fisher and Chris Manchester, when they had disastrous spells at Belle Vue. In fact, some of my best speedway was watching some of the weakest BV sides that were near the bottom.

But I see where you're coming from. A guy that stood beside us at Belle Vue once threatened he wouldn't bother coming again if a certain rider was in the team the following week. I suppose Poole fans are going through a bit of this now, judging by Matt Ford's uncertainty.

 

...I personally felt that the middle order riders were the ones who often gave loyal service in the past and get easly passed over when talking of the 'greats'. Oxford had a great servant in Rick Timmo and riders like him were the life blood of the sport.

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4 hours ago, waytogo28 said:

It seems clear that the problem in Poland is not a lack of fans but the ridiculous level of payment they make to riders. At a £1,000 a point even with a 10,000 crowd you barely pay the wages bill. Home & Away. Poles are paying less than £10 to get in, we have been told. 

BANKROLLED by sponsors, TV money and wealthy local basinessmen ... bit like England's Premier League only on a much lower scale.

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BSPA General Council meeting today ... will anything happen and if it does will they even tell us?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, steve roberts said:

...plus the fact that one could associate with the riders who often rode for the same team before the points limit dictated team make-ups which was not always based upon ability but rather on a convenient workable average especially within the middle order and reserve department. The one junior per team (although admirable in conception) was a classic example.

I was fortunate at Oxford and White City as I saw the development of riders thru' the old second halves and our association with sister clubs Eastbourne and Peterborough. Riders who progressed into the main body included Gordon Kennett, Malcolm Ballard (whatever happened to him?), John Davis, Richard Greer, Trevor Geer, Paul Gachet and Steve Weatherley to name a few plus many others who turned out for various other teams (Bobby McNeil and Roger Johns for example)

The riders you mentioned there, Steve, had the ambition to race in the top flight and were seen as part of your team for the oncoming years. In 1976 we had it with the likes of Chris Turner and Les Collins at Belle Vue. In 2018 it isn't the same, as most double-up and downers use it as another paynight and will be off elsewhere in 12 months. And I feel a lot of fans know the difference. A rider from the lower division doesn't need the ambition to ride in the top flight now, as he can do both throughout his career if he wishes. It's simply the best of both worlds.

Edited by moxey63
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2 minutes ago, PHILIPRISING said:

BSPA General Council meeting today ... will anything happen and if it does will they even tell us?

YOU sound a lot more cynical than you used to Philip.

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3 minutes ago, PHILIPRISING said:

BSPA General Council meeting today ... will anything happen and if it does will they even tell us?

This could be just a ploy by the Tory party to take the limelight off them for a day or two. Nobody does a cock-up better than the BSPA.

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Just now, moxey63 said:

This could be just a ploy by the Tory party to take the limelight off them for a day or two. Nobody does a cock-up better than the BSPA.

:rofl: :t:

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2 minutes ago, moxey63 said:

This could be just a ploy by the Tory party to take the limelight off them for a day or two. Nobody does a cock-up better than the BSPA.

Boris Johnson is looking for a job - he would fit in well at the BSPA!

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