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tmc

Time British Speedway went AMATEUR

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8 minutes ago, moxey63 said:

But, although as you say the racing wasn't always tapes-to-flag in the past, it was more interesting. For starters, we are missing characters. Then we are missing the importance of supporters cheering on someone they have become accustomed to wearing their team colours. I remember in the past how my heart was in my mouth when my favourites came to the line to race for my side. I may as well have been riding the blinking bike, I was that apprehensive. You need the pull of wanting to attend matches to support riders within your team. The riders and the team become part of you. You then don't want to miss it everytime it races.

The love of your team then transfers over to when members of it race in individual meetings, like the GPs for example. But when you lose the love of your team, you also lose interest in what are merely then only individuals racing for themselves in the likes of GPs.

The racing is probably better now than in the past. But if you, as a fan, haven't got anybody you can associate with through teams not being teams anymore, you lose part of the thing that attracted you in the first place.

A good race is a good race. But when you aren't really bothered who wins it, that is the problem. You need to be tribalistic. Otherwise, why bother?   

I know.

And when you have to pay to get in, blimey the difference it makes.. for some.

Edited by BWitcher

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4 minutes ago, BWitcher said:

I know.

And when you have to pay to get in, blimey the difference it makes.. for some.

Don't just take me, look at other examples - like why speedway is in such a state. Deny it all you want. Pointing the finger at me and having to pay to get in just hides the fact that there are hundreds, thousands of others who stopped attending, and the money they paid, unlike me, has gone from the sport. Whether I paid or not is not important. You can be childish and sneer at my posts. But what is important, is the folk who have vanished and the cash they no longer cough up at the turnstiles.

My viewpoint now: I would not pay to watch a sport that is so cocked up. And I am not alone.

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I would say Moxey the racing now is not as good as in years gone by the odd good race of course but overall no.I still enjoy speedway but the entertainment generally is not that great i preferred it when the bikes were slower.I am with you on the team element factor in years gone by at Swindon Hitch,Munday, Keen, Duke (ect) were no world beaters but they were loved by the home fans were great value and the working man/lady could relate to them.I often think Swindon started some years knowing damn well that they would not win anything but Swindon speedway on a Saturday night was a profitable night.This was because teams kept a regular core of favourite riders which the fans grew to love.

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2 hours ago, g13webb said:

Back in the early days at Lynn the racing was always enjoyable.  We never won much, but we could just about hold our own at home. The average gate was around 5K and the atmosphere was amazing.   I agree there were some processional races and some were well spaced out, but most races would have a angle to then that made them important. Our strength was usually our heat leaders, who would have to pull the  rabbit out of the bag to attain a win.  But it was so important not to lose...  After the meeting the environment moved to the bars where riders mixed with fans drinking way into the night...    How things have changed.....

Back then the sport was priced at a cost the fans could afford,  the VFM was never questioned, and it was always night out at a weekend .    For our sport to stand any sort of chance of surviving,   we have to re-create along those lines.   ( minus the late drinking) :cheers:  

Back then there were characters in the sport and they were allowed to show it. I remember Simmo having a right go at someone (forget who) by the pit gate after a race because he took the mick . We all loved to hate Olle Nygren (until he became one of ours of course). The banter when Tipswich turned up and the riders played up to the crowd (Shane Parker was a master at it). Sadly the powers that be have stifled all of that. I'm not advocating full blown fights between riders but spats that get the crowd going and involved all added to the atmosphere. If a rider tried anything like it nowadays they would be landed with a fine of a few hundred quid.

 

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1 hour ago, moxey63 said:

But, although as you say the racing wasn't always tapes-to-flag in the past, it was more interesting. For starters, we are missing characters. Then we are missing the importance of supporters cheering on someone they have become accustomed to wearing their team colours. I remember in the past how my heart was in my mouth when my favourites came to the line to race for my side. I may as well have been riding the blinking bike, I was that apprehensive. You need the pull of wanting to attend matches to support riders within your team. The riders and the team become part of you. You then don't want to miss it everytime it races.

The love of your team then transfers over to when members of it race in individual meetings, like the GPs for example. But when you lose the love of your team, you also lose interest in what are merely then only individuals racing for themselves in the likes of GPs.

The racing is probably better now than in the past. But if you, as a fan, haven't got anybody you can associate with through teams not being teams anymore, you lose part of the thing that attracted you in the first place.

A good race is a good race. But when you aren't really bothered who wins it, that is the problem. You need to be tribalistic. Otherwise, why bother?  

In my opinion, fans have become unattached from the importance of team speedway. Teams in speedway nowadays are just like tribute acts for a pop band. They are a novel way of entertainment but only pretend to be the real thing. I used to think it impossible to miss a Belle Vue home match. But then riders began being signed who I knew weren't really Bele Vue. Slowly, as other riders appear who you think the same about, you gradually lose that connection. Hence that is why I can't be attracted to it anymore.

The sport could be so great. Me, as a former supporter just clinging on, would love to be able to identify a team as my own, something that makes you look forward to leaving the house to watch, to feel part of every individual in it. I want to see visiting teams with an identity. I want to see two sides who want to win, every rider in them.

It isn't the racing. 

I wish every "Promoter" out there would read this because what you say is so true!  

I keep saying it this but this this sport must regain it's  LOYALTY & CREDIBILITY .

Promoters have thrown everything @ making the play-offs & therefore taken their eye off the main event. The play-offs (play-off for what?)  should be scrapped now.

"GO AMATEUR" I think a lot of our promoters are doing a good job already!

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If it's true that the new Peterborough promoter(s) have pulled the plug on Bomber Harris' signing for financial reasons, then perhaps at least one club is coming to its senses in refusing to pay out what it cannot afford. Or is there another side to this story...?

Edited by tmc
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12 hours ago, waytogo28 said:

Actually, gustix wrote the above - I too agree that ONLY something like the format used in California is likely to attract significant numbers of new fans and hold a good proportion of them. After 65 years of watching UK speedway I too am bored when seeing 2 or 3 decent races out of 15 - which is what it has come to. Far too many tapes to flag non-races most likely due to the high powered bikes of today ( as well as rider attitude - " I missed the start so this will do" ) . Dismiss this as yet another "dinosaur" growing too old to enjoy what's on offer, if you wish but vast numbers of fans have just decided to give UK speedway racing a miss over the last 10 -20 years. And yes, PL & CL riders are paid more than the sport can afford. Managed decline IS real.

Christ don't mix up my quotes with his

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There are some really excellent constructive points on this thread from several posters. Let's not let it veer off into "back in the good old days" chat. I love to reminisce as much as the next man, but those days have gone. In the early 80s I absolutely lived for the sport attending Hyde Road every week. So, I was chuffed to see someone had uploaded Aces v Cradley and Aces v Halifax from 1982 on YouTube. Morton, PC, Penhall, Carter, Ross, Gundersen...on those wide open spaces...what could be better than that? The thing is though, looking at it again, the racing wasn't as brilliant as I remembered it to be.

Even if you teleported speedway from the 60s, 70s, 80s to the modern era, it would still be struggling, arguably even more so. Admittedly, what was served up then bore a more favourable comparison to the competition in the wider entertainment industry. But the big problem today is not that it isn't what it used to be, it's that it hasn't evolved enough!

 

 

Edited by falcace
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16 hours ago, moxey63 said:

But, although as you say the racing wasn't always tapes-to-flag in the past, it was more interesting. For starters, we are missing characters. Then we are missing the importance of supporters cheering on someone they have become accustomed to wearing their team colours. I remember in the past how my heart was in my mouth when my favourites came to the line to race for my side. I may as well have been riding the blinking bike, I was that apprehensive. You need the pull of wanting to attend matches to support riders within your team. The riders and the team become part of you. You then don't want to miss it everytime it races.

The love of your team then transfers over to when members of it race in individual meetings, like the GPs for example. But when you lose the love of your team, you also lose interest in what are merely then only individuals racing for themselves in the likes of GPs.

The racing is probably better now than in the past. But if you, as a fan, haven't got anybody you can associate with through teams not being teams anymore, you lose part of the thing that attracted you in the first place.

A good race is a good race. But when you aren't really bothered who wins it, that is the problem. You need to be tribalistic. Otherwise, why bother?  

In my opinion, fans have become unattached from the importance of team speedway. Teams in speedway nowadays are just like tribute acts for a pop band. They are a novel way of entertainment but only pretend to be the real thing. I used to think it impossible to miss a Belle Vue home match. But then riders began being signed who I knew weren't really Bele Vue. Slowly, as other riders appear who you think the same about, you gradually lose that connection. Hence that is why I can't be attracted to it anymore.

The sport could be so great. Me, as a former supporter just clinging on, would love to be able to identify a team as my own, something that makes you look forward to leaving the house to watch, to feel part of every individual in it. I want to see visiting teams with an identity. I want to see two sides who want to win, every rider in them.

It isn't the racing. 

I would say that the credibility of your post is affected by the fact that you no longer go and hence have little jdea what the modern speedway fan thinks or wants. Furthermore, I'd also say that your view is largely contradicted by the opinions expressed on this forum (which are those of a small minority of those who actually attend)

Ask anyone who has seen Danny Ayres perform whether characters are still around.

Between 1981 and 1990 around 20 riders were granted testimonials for riding 10 years for the same team. That's 2 per year, so its incorrect to even suggest that the same riders rode for the same clubs year in, year out. In 1980, for example, the then Cradley promoter Dan McCormick savagely denounced the points limit for tearing apart the team he had put together. It is more prevalent today, but the simple fact is that the main reason for team changes - the points limit - existed then and exists now so such changes were inevitable, and of course in those days there was no competing pressure from Poland or Sweden.

I could make a very strong case that freshening up a line up season after season actually provides an impetus for fans to go. Craig Cook was Belle Vue's longest serving rider, but many are quite content to see him leave because they think he has gone stale. Personally, I disagree but I can see their point.

You seem to be making out that the modern day speedway fan has no attachment to their team whatsoever, and merely turns up for the sake of something better to do. That is complete nonsense.

Do you seriously believe that the majority of current fans couldn't care less who wins a race ? :rofl::rofl:

The simple truth is the number of neutrals like me is minimal compared with those who go week in, week out to watch their team (you only have to see how many say they no longer go when their club closes or read the comments of gutted Workington fans to realise just how much the team matters) and are passionate with how that team performs . That is evidenced by the majority of posts on this forum : criticise a team and expect to receive a backlash from its supporters.  

I'd say speedway's decline is little to do with the make up of individual teams. True, fans do get upset when a favourite leaves  but its rare that there is significant anger about a riders departure - I am struggling to think of the last time there was major criticism of someone being left out.  It is, as far as I am concerned, more to do with Falcace's point that it hasn't evolved to meet the demands of the modern public than anything else.

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13 hours ago, tmc said:

If it's true that the new Peterborough promoter(s) have pulled the plug on Bomber Harris' signing for financial reasons, then perhaps at least one club is coming to its senses in refusing to pay out what it cannot afford. Or is there another side to this story...?

The iron grip of Buster Chapman brings its own ways of doing things ( yes it is his money and he who pays the piper always calls the tune ) but it is an Iron Grip ( the ONLY way of doing things ) at King's Lynn, Peterborough and Ipswich - almost half of the PL. Is he the 'saviour" of what is called top level UK speedway or is he the Dark Destroyer of it?

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6 hours ago, Halifaxtiger said:

I would say that the credibility of your post is affected by the fact that you no longer go and hence have little jdea what the modern speedway fan thinks or wants. Furthermore, I'd also say that your view is largely contradicted by the opinions expressed on this forum (which are those of a small minority of those who actually attend)

Ask anyone who has seen Danny Ayres perform whether characters are still around.

Between 1981 and 1990 around 20 riders were granted testimonials for riding 10 years for the same team. That's 2 per year, so its incorrect to even suggest that the same riders rode for the same clubs year in, year out. In 1980, for example, the then Cradley promoter Dan McCormick savagely denounced the points limit for tearing apart the team he had put together. It is more prevalent today, but the simple fact is that the main reason for team changes - the points limit - existed then and exists now so such changes were inevitable, and of course in those days there was no competing pressure from Poland or Sweden.

I could make a very strong case that freshening up a line up season after season actually provides an impetus for fans to go. Craig Cook was Belle Vue's longest serving rider, but many are quite content to see him leave because they think he has gone stale. Personally, I disagree but I can see their point.

You seem to be making out that the modern day speedway fan has no attachment to their team whatsoever, and merely turns up for the sake of something better to do. That is complete nonsense.

Do you seriously believe that the majority of current fans couldn't care less who wins a race ? :rofl::rofl:

The simple truth is the number of neutrals like me is minimal compared with those who go week in, week out to watch their team (you only have to see how many say they no longer go when their club closes or read the comments of gutted Workington fans to realise just how much the team matters) and are passionate with how that team performs . That is evidenced by the majority of posts on this forum : criticise a team and expect to receive a backlash from its supporters.  

I'd say speedway's decline is little to do with the make up of individual teams. True, fans do get upset when a favourite leaves  but its rare that there is significant anger about a riders departure - I am struggling to think of the last time there was major criticism of someone being left out.  It is, as far as I am concerned, more to do with Falcace's point that it hasn't evolved to meet the demands of the modern public than anything else.

I understand your point. But I no longer attend because I saw the gradual demise of team speedway and of riders putting clubs second behind what was actually the best night for them to ride.

The few fans remaining now only reiterates that not all are bothered about who rides for their team. It is about winning. Poole last year proved that. It is more important to win now than anything, and faces are introduced to a club just to appease fans who have lost a few matches. These riders have no attachment to the club, fans are happy so long as it's successful. 

You use the argument of me not attending as me not having a grasp of current day speedway. But I stopped attending because I didn't like how speedway was going. I have enough nouse of the sport now to realise it's a case of riders' names thrown in the air at the start of each season, where they land is where they ride. You defend speedway because you still attend. You'd be silly not to, and layout £20 for something you no longer believe in.

You mention Workington. Didn't they close because they weren't getting the fans to warrant them continuing? More terrace spaces, fewer fans, no speedway. You are neutral, which highlights my point. You would watch any speedway and switch clubs when your track ceases. You weren't really supporting a team (Halifax)  but just liking the racing.

The testimonial argument is flawed. Twenty riders in 10 years is a decent amount. You don't mention how many riders did six or seven years at clubs. As for Craig Cook riding for Belle Vue for six years -  but how many of those did he spend doubling down and riding for another club? Instead of trying to prove me wrong, just look at speedway as a product. Take me out of the equation, and I bet there are so many others who lost the love of speedway because there was no real team ethic in the sport anymore.

When riders can ride in the same team one night and be dicing in opposition the other (for another team), don't you find that silly? If not, try explaining it to someone you're trying to introduce to the sport. 

If you think this is how team sport should model itself, then it is no wonder teams, clubs, tracks are fighting to keep afloat. I didn't attach myself to an individual sport when I fell in love with speedway, but that's what it's become. I don't think speedway in 1975 was a perfect model, but you expect things to be improved over the years. But they haven't. 

If you really feel I don't have a point, then I just expect it to reach your way of thinking when your local track folds, which it no doubt will. But, as you didn't when the Shay closed, you'll travel elsewhere to watch the racing. And that, in a sentence, shows why you are more the follower of speedway than any one team. And, sadly, there aren't enough of you left.

Team speedway is speedway's lifeblood.

Edited by moxey63
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I am disappointed that Workington has closed but hardly surprised, I am shocked that it has kept going for so long really.

The crowds have been falling for years, even when Keith Denham sold it the crowds were poor, so I knew it was just a matter of time when the losses could not be taken any more.

Do I think it will return, very doubtful, an ageing stadium that is possibly going to be developed/demolished and the money to revive it stated at £50k to £100k.

 

Do not know what the future holds for the sport in this country, the riders want big money to cover ever increasing costs but the attendances are not there at many tracks, maybe one or two in the Premiership but even the best set ups at Belle vue and Glasgow in the Championship are reporting poor crowds at some meetings.

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