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tmc

Time British Speedway went AMATEUR

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You make the sport amateur, you lose most of the riders as they can ride in Poland and Sweden and get paid. Why would they ride here for nothing?

Once left with amateur riders you get amateur size crowds of about 250.

And further and further down we go.

 

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Semi pro speedway at semi pro admission just would not work ,  Gospeed and the BSPA would still expect professional fees to run it ,and after they have had their pound of flesh ,there wouldn't be enough left to rent a stadium with ,  unfortunately  no form of motorcycle sport  gets funded by local councils sports council etc ,unlike other minority sports , so Leicester Riders can happily play basketball in front of one man and his dog , because they dont have any bills to pay , we are paying them thorugh taxation

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1 minute ago, moxey63 said:

But how? I'd reckon four out of five people are introduced to the sport by family or friends. When the time comes that family and friends decide they can no longer follow the sport, who is there to introduce the next generation? Speedway is an exciting spectacle, but a kid soon gets bored of seeing what seems like the same race they have just watched.

Much of speedway's attraction is the filling in of a programme. Perhaps an idea would be to introduce it as part of a school's maths lesson and invite kids from local schools in class numbers. I was introduced by friends, got bored after a few races, but then was shown what a programme was like to fill in. Keeping scores and watching racing are important.

How? Well, that's the big question isn't it! My own teenage son loves going to speedway. He has brought friends too. They have always enjoyed it too. It's not the product or the racing. Kids seem to enjoy it on every occasion.

It is, to some degree, modern life. Kids are happy doing it, but just as happy sat at home in front of an Xbox. At the end of the day, kids aren't going to be going if their parents don't take them.

I think the team aspect should be more visual. A basketball/ice hockey type scoreboard would make it more of a sporting event. Unfortunately, a lot of promoters worry about losing programme revenue, but having some guy up in the box reading out race times etc isn't enough.

My son likes to fill out a programme. I think people would still do that even with the match score permanently on display.

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Both of my kids loved speedway until their early teens, then stopped going. Youngsters want to be associated with things that are popular, things that they can talk about with their mates. I've been a speedway fan for just over 50 years, but i know the end is near for me. The loss of Lakeside and Rye are more nails in an already full coffin. I admire people that continue to to wave the flag for a dying sport, but i fear they are flogging a dead horse.

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52 minutes ago, moxey63 said:

I am not blaming the riders. I would have loved to have raced speedway but wouldn't race my push bike without brakes let alone a 500cc driven machine. But you can't use the reason they are paid more than the sport can afford simply because it's a short career. The state pension age is now 67 or something, so even a rider who retires at 40 can expect to work another two and half decades.  

I blame a lot of speedway's current plight down to being weak and allowing riders to have too much leeway.

Exactly, which is why the riders in this country should have proper jobs and ride speedway as a hobby and receive remuneration based on results. In addition, regionalise the speedway teams, to ensure the riders have reduced costs and reduced travelling time. And have more individual meetings based on ability, which means you could still have big individual meetings for the best riders offering big prize money.  

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1 hour ago, Grachan said:

I think the obvious point is to encourage younger people as well as the older people.

I did get that side of the point but feel that 'blaming" older fans or making them feel irrelevant is more than unfortunate. Of course, UK speedway does desperately need younger fans to re-stock the terraces but the BSPA seem to make marketing to the outside world a low priority. They believe that just by being present on social media they can sit back and wait for the under 40's to just turn up!

Edited by waytogo28
correction
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Following on from the debate that began yesterday in which I advocated that British speedway needs to drastically cut its cloth and 'go amateur' to survive in the short term . . . I've spoken with a good friend, the owner of a successful Essex-based non-league football club that currently operates in Bostik League (North). In fairness to him, we will not name the club here but all figures below are accurate (he is an accountant by profession!).

While it is not appropriate to make many direct comparisons with speedway, due mainly to the fact that the club owns its ground and therefore benefits from bar and catering revenue, there are some interesting aspects that perhaps speedway - especially at NL level - can learn from.

Here are some financial facts:

* The club averages 300 paying supporters per game.

* Admission price structure is: Adults £10, Concessions £5, Young Persons (aged 16-21) £5, Under-16s FREE.

* Playing squad is 16 players (all part-time) and total annual players' wage bill is £35k. Wages range from £150 per week for star men to £25 for rookie players. They all have 9-to-5 jobs.

* Management/coaching staff (all part-time) total annual wage bill is £15k.

* Club receives £60k per season in sponsorship.

* Club takes £21k per year in bar profits (as well as match day income, they rent the facilities out for weddings and other functions).

* £150 per game profit from programme sales (it's printed free by a fan).

* Annual turnover is £250k, of which £120k is bar/catering/function room revenue.

* Club has no debt and expects to at least break-even each year.

As you can see, the bar/function room is a major factor. But the playing and staff costs are in line with revenues based on an average gate of 300 and other income. Above all, the club operates within its means.

I accept that a more meaningful comparison could be made involving a National League (level 5) football club but at least the above figures give some food for thought.

Edited by tmc
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2 hours ago, PHILIPRISING said:

TOO often on here, in my opinion, riders are accused of milking the honeypot and making a fortune. Extortionate demands, etc, etc. But, surely, it is worth remembering that speedway riders have a short (often prematurely short) and potentially dangerous career. And also that costs have risen massively since the "old days." even without expensive tuning. Looking at the CL this season ... a rider travelling from Eastbourne to Glasgow has a round journey of almost 1,000 miles. Conservatively that is likely to cost him £200 in fuel alone. Okay, that is an extreme but while I agree with much of what Tony Mac has to say (and Speedway Star is suffering massively from the mass exodus of fans from the sport) continual watering down of the product is not the answer.

 

However Phil, it's their choice to "work" in a short lived industry. In an ideal world I'd agree riders deserve every penny and more but we are far from an ideal world.

 

Standardise engines, at least in the lower leagues, and their costs would be cut (no expensive tuners) and quite frankly less than 1% of fans on the terraces would notice any difference in the on track action. That's what we pay to see after all.

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11 minutes ago, Star Lady said:

However Phil, it's their choice to "work" in a short lived industry. In an ideal world I'd agree riders deserve every penny and more but we are far from an ideal world.

 

Standardise engines, at least in the lower leagues, and their costs would be cut (no expensive tuners) and quite frankly less than 1% of fans on the terraces would notice any difference in the on track action. That's what we pay to see after all.

If you were to standadrise engines , the fans on the terraces would definitely notice a difference , just take a look at Moto2 ,standardised engines,  and racing  that far outstrips Moto GP or F1

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3 hours ago, PHILIPRISING said:

TOO often on here, in my opinion, riders are accused of milking the honeypot and making a fortune. Extortionate demands, etc, etc. But, surely, it is worth remembering that speedway riders have a short (often prematurely short) and potentially dangerous career. And also that costs have risen massively since the "old days." even without expensive tuning. Looking at the CL this season ... a rider travelling from Eastbourne to Glasgow has a round journey of almost 1,000 miles. Conservatively that is likely to cost him £200 in fuel alone. Okay, that is an extreme but while I agree with much of what Tony Mac has to say (and Speedway Star is suffering massively from the mass exodus of fans from the sport) continual watering down of the product is not the answer.

Many moons ago a wise man said of speedway in the UK: You cannot keep cutting costs until there is nothing left. Sooner or later you have to increase revenue.

What remains infuriating is that the actual product can still be exciting, spectacular, enthralling, etc. But roughly 15 minutes of entertainment over a two--hour plus span is not enough for the current price of admission. Filling in the gaps doesn't have to be costly.

Philip, I don't think anyone can accuse riders of being the main issue..

Let's face it, their costs mean they need to race anywhere and everywhere they can..

The issue lies with the fact the clubs end up paying the riders what they want because there is too little supply and too much demand, and riders need the money to pay for their too high outgoings..

The top league should be the top league with professionals..

The middle league should be semi pro with riders aspiring to get onto the top rung or are happy to supplement another jobs earnings..

If you need a third league it should be pretty much 'pay to play' or at best expenses only and the track time develops you to aspire to a higher level..

If you analyse the issue facing British Speedway it is very much down to riders paying out fortunes to pay for machinery and maintenance, which means clubs pay out more than they can afford and meetings can take place at anytime (whether fans like it or not) to ensure the rider is there.

Riders are then allowed to race in several domestic leagues to prop up their income. (and no doubt also boost the ego of a few promoters in the lower leagues), which delivers a lack of credibility in the Leagues.

The bottom line is (regardless of genuine reasons), riders earn too much for a sport that attracts too few punters in the UK..

And they do this because they pay out far too much for the tools to do their job..

Sort that equation out and the sport over here may have a chance..

Don't sort it and more clubs will disappear as it is abundantly clear that not enough people are willing to part with their cash in enough numbers to justify the current outlay in salaries..

The Promoters have had their heads in the sand for far too long, often individually taking a "well I'm alright Jack" stance rather than working collaboratively to move the whole 'brand' forwards...

How many more clubs will disappear before they face reality, join together collectively and build a proper fit for purpose operating model...

Who knows? Do that and you might attract one or two percent more of the current 99.9% of the population who don't currently attend...!

Edited by mikebv
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18 minutes ago, adonis said:

If you were to standadrise engines , the fans on the terraces would definitely notice a difference , just take a look at Moto2 ,standardised engines,  and racing  that far outstrips Moto GP or F1

Sorry I disagree. You would have 4 riders on 4 similar bikes going round in circles. I, and probably the majority, don't care if they go a millisecond faster than Joe Bloggs last week. I have no idea how an engine works and I'm not the only one :P

A speedway race lasts 60 seconds so any lack of tuning, gismos etc really doesn't have time to make sufficient difference. I want to see talent win races not who can afford to pay the best tuner.

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1 minute ago, Star Lady said:

Sorry I disagree. You would have 4 riders on 4 similar bikes going round in circles. I, and probably the majority, don't care if they go a millisecond faster than Joe Bloggs last week. I have no idea how an engine works and I'm not the only one :P

A speedway race lasts 60 seconds so any lack of tuning, gismos etc really doesn't have time to make sufficient difference. I want to see talent win races not who can afford to pay the best tuner.

I think what adonis is suggesting, is by having 'standardised' engines, the costs for the riders, should be lower and could/should 'level the playing field'.  

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6 minutes ago, Star Lady said:

Sorry I disagree. You would have 4 riders on 4 similar bikes going round in circles. I, and probably the majority, don't care if they go a millisecond faster than Joe Bloggs last week. I have no idea how an engine works and I'm not the only one :P

A speedway race lasts 60 seconds so any lack of tuning, gismos etc really doesn't have time to make sufficient difference. I want to see talent win races not who can afford to pay the best tuner.

sorry but I'll have to whoosh you on that because it went stright over your head . Ave another read :D

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4 minutes ago, Ray Stadia said:

I think what adonis is suggesting, is by having 'standardised' engines, the costs for the riders, should be lower and could/should 'level the playing field'.  

yep

 

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4 minutes ago, adonis said:

sorry but I'll have to whoosh you on that because it went stright over your head . Ave another read :D

 

2 minutes ago, adonis said:

yep :D

That'll teach me to speed read :oops: 

In my defence I don't watch F1, MotoGP etc:D

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