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tmc

Time British Speedway went AMATEUR

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1 hour ago, PHILIPRISING said:

PAIR of football boots costs a lot less than all the equipment a speedway rider needs.Plus they only play one day a week so having another job is relatively easy. A speedway rider needs to have a job which allows him considerable number of days off to accommodate various fixtures. No comparison.

Phil, the point I was trying to make is that the non-league club I've referred to does not pay out more in player/manager/coaching staff wages than it takes in revenue, so its cloth is cut accordingly to ensure they remain in business.

Just because - and we all agree - riders face increasing and high running costs, it doesn't mean promoters (and, indirectly, fans) should keep financing those overheads. If they do, there will be only one outcome: more and more tracks going the way of Rye House, Buxton and Workington, and whoever else is next...

So, a combination of drastically reduced riders' costs, and in turn the wages they need to compete, is paramount if league speedway in the UK is to have a credible future.

Edited by tmc
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WOULD agree that it is necessary to reduce costs for riders and, as a consequence of that, to promoters. Rye House brought their own house down by providing ridiculous guarantees to three riders. When Chris Harris went to Poole he took a massive pay cut. Workington simply couldn't cope with a surfeit of home meetings and extensive payments to riders at the end of the season. 

There are moves afoot to help both riders and promoters to reduce their costs and ensure the viability of their business. Like all of us, income has to match expenditure. 

 

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4 hours ago, falcace said:

Well done for supporting your son. Not all sporting parents are as supportive, so you deserve credit for letting him have a shot at it.

But my answer would be for riders to get a trade then that fits with your sporting ambitions. Paint, decorate, plaster, labour...if you truly want to make it, you will do it. The same goes for any sport. Speedway does not owe anyone a living.

Easily said but if you want a career in Speedway you'll generally be starting out at 16 by the latest. Try telling any company and /or college that you want an apprenticeship but you need to be able to take random days off to travel to tracks at the other end of the country. I'll pop in this week on Tuesday until midday as have I have track A that night Wednesday in all day then I'm off all day Thursday to go to track B. Then next week I'm in except for Monday and Friday as I have track C&D. Come September you'll only be able to give a few hours notice trying to make up for rain off's and if things are going well getting some guest rides. Or you might need 3 weeks off for your broken collarbone or worse 8 weeks of with a leg. But it's Ok next year will be much the same!

Speedway doesn't owe anybody a living but who is going to race league Speedway as an amateur when they can race at weekends only and might as well if they can't get near covering their costs? The only reason for tramping around the country riding for a team is the chance you'll make it to a good enough level to make some sort of living during the season then you can bust a gut doing overtime at labouring or whatever to make enough money to equip yourself for the next season. That is the reality for far more riders than make a decent year round living.

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It worries me that we have people in charge of clubs who constantly tell us they lost many thousands of pounds last season and yet carry on. Then you hear that Rye House, no better than a second-tier club but foolishly (perhaps)went into the top flight and who closed before finishing last season, offered ridiculous guarantees to riders.

These are supposedly businessmen, who have made their fortunes away from speedway. I am not a businessman, but I wouldn 't even buy a season ticket in today's speedway climate. Yet the custodians of our sport can't wait to tell us how much they lost.                                                              

Edited by moxey63
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7 minutes ago, moxey63 said:

It worries me that we have people in charge of clubs who constantly tell us they lost many thousands of pounds last season and yet carry on. Then you hear that Rye House, no better than a second-tier club but foolishly (perhaps)went into the top flight and who closed before finishing last season, offered ridiculous guarantees to riders.

These are supposedly businessmen, who have made their fortunes away from speedway. I am not a businessman, but I would  't even buy a season ticket in today's speedway climate. Yet the custodians of our sport can't wait to tell us how much they lost.                                                              

Promoters need saving from themselves. You can only assume that in some cases the speedway losses are actually viewed as tax losses from an individual's main source of revenue, otherwise why would they do it?

Trouble is, those who treat a speedway club as a mere hobby, their 'play thing' and the chance to suddenly become a big fish in a tiny pool, invariably leave a trail of destruction and others to try and pick up the pieces.

I remember Simmo telling me how he and Bill Barker made huge mistakes paying several of their King's Lynn riders way above what they could really afford - speculating to accumulate. It backfired big-time. And that was 32 years ago.

Edited by tmc
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1 minute ago, tmc said:

Promoters need saving from themselves. You can only assume that in some cases the speedway losses are actually viewed as tax losses from an individual's main source of revenue, otherwise why would they do it?

Trouble is, those who treat a speedway club as a mere hobby, their 'play thing' and the chance to suddenly become a big fish in a tiny pool invariably leave a trail of destruction and others to try and pick up the pieces.

It's small wonder we're in a state. 

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30 minutes ago, Vince said:

Easily said but if you want a career in Speedway you'll generally be starting out at 16 by the latest. Try telling any company and /or college that you want an apprenticeship but you need to be able to take random days off to travel to tracks at the other end of the country. I'll pop in this week on Tuesday until midday as have I have track A that night Wednesday in all day then I'm off all day Thursday to go to track B. Then next week I'm in except for Monday and Friday as I have track C&D. Come September you'll only be able to give a few hours notice trying to make up for rain off's and if things are going well getting some guest rides. Or you might need 3 weeks off for your broken collarbone or worse 8 weeks of with a leg. But it's Ok next year will be much the same!

Speedway doesn't owe anybody a living but who is going to race league Speedway as an amateur when they can race at weekends only and might as well if they can't get near covering their costs? The only reason for tramping around the country riding for a team is the chance you'll make it to a good enough level to make some sort of living during the season then you can bust a gut doing overtime at labouring or whatever to make enough money to equip yourself for the next season. That is the reality for far more riders than make a decent year round living.

Surely, if the sport was run on a purely amateur basis, all tracks could be run over the weekend, I know that might clash with greyhounds and stock cars, but there are 3 days over a weekend Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. That way, the riders can still do their day jobs or attend college or whatever.   

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17 minutes ago, tmc said:

Promoters need saving from themselves. You can only assume that in some cases the speedway losses are actually viewed as tax losses from an individual's main source of revenue, otherwise why would they do it?

Trouble is, those who treat a speedway club as a mere hobby, their 'play thing' and the chance to suddenly become a big fish in a tiny pool, invariably leave a trail of destruction and others to try and pick up the pieces.

I remember Simmo telling me how he and Bill Barker made huge mistakes paying several of their King's Lynn riders way above what they could really afford - speculating to accumulate. It backfired big-time. And that was 32 years ago.

Bill Barker. Wasn't he the promoter whose house was broken into the day after the Commonwealth Final and the takings were taken? 

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50 minutes ago, tmc said:

Promoters need saving from themselves. You can only assume that in some cases the speedway losses are actually viewed as tax losses from an individual's main source of revenue, otherwise why would they do it?

Trouble is, those who treat a speedway club as a mere hobby, their 'play thing' and the chance to suddenly become a big fish in a tiny pool, invariably leave a trail of destruction and others to try and pick up the pieces.

I remember Simmo telling me how he and Bill Barker made huge mistakes paying several of their King's Lynn riders way above what they could really afford - speculating to accumulate. It backfired big-time. And that was 32 years ago.

It says so much how sponsorship often covers some/most of the costs that keeps the clubs going...

With many of the sponsors being fans rather than business people, who see their input as giving them a close connection to 'their team' (and maybe an ego boost or a tax saving?), rather than a way of selling more product to the 500 or so in attendance...

Such a system though is built on quick sand as you are dependant so much on other businesses remaining in a position to help 'bank roll' your own...

It sometimes seems to appear that terms to riders are agreed first, then promoters set about frantically finding a way to afford them....

1000 fans paying £15 after VAT would generate £12k..

Maybe set aside £9k of that to pay riders for the home and away meetings, and stick to that as a salary cap, and use the £3k left to pay the home meeting costs..?

Build the overall team strengths, and how many riders per team, using the £9k as a template....

Any sponsorship then is over and above this and can be used to help pay any costs over the £3k, or maybe used as a bonus to the riders for success?

A five man team sharing £9k would each average £1800 for two matches, (some would obviously earn more depending on their level, and some would earn less)...

Maybe not what currently they earn, or indeed expect, however..

If the Sport keeps going on in its current downwards spiral, maybe one day (and pretty soon), riders will wish they still had a chance to earn £1800 a week..

 

Edited by mikebv
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2 minutes ago, mikebv said:

It says so much how sponsorship often covers some/most of the costs that keeps the clubs going...

With many of the sponsors being fans rather than business people, who see their input as giving them a close connection to 'their team' (and maybe an ego boost or a tax saving?), rather than a way of selling more product to the 500 or so in attendance...

Such a system though is built on quick sand as you are dependant so much on other businesses remaining in a position to help 'bank roll' your own...

It sometimes seems to appear terms to riders are agreed first then promoters set about frantically finding a way to afford them....

1000 fans paying £15 after VAT would generate £12k..

Maybe set aside £9k of that to pay riders for the home and away meetings, and stick to that as a salary cap, and use the £3k left to pay the meeting costs..?

Build the team strength, and how many riders per team, using the £9k as a template....

Any sponsorship then is over and above this and can be used to help pay any costs over the £3k, or used as a bonus to the riders for success?

A five man team sharing £9k would each average £1800 for two matches, (some would obviously earn more depending on thier level, and some would earn less)...

Maybe not what currently they earn, or indeed expect, however..

If the Sport keeps going on in its current downwards spiral, maybe one day (and pretty soon), riders will wish they had a chance to earn £1800 a week..

 

You've mentioned the one word that is the at root of most of the evil in Speedway EGO !!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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1 hour ago, mikebv said:

It says so much how sponsorship often covers some/most of the costs that keeps the clubs going...

With many of the sponsors being fans rather than business people, who see their input as giving them a close connection to 'their team' (and maybe an ego boost or a tax saving?), rather than a way of selling more product to the 500 or so in attendance...

Such a system though is built on quick sand as you are dependant so much on other businesses remaining in a position to help 'bank roll' your own...

It sometimes seems to appear that terms to riders are agreed first, then promoters set about frantically finding a way to afford them....

1000 fans paying £15 after VAT would generate £12k..

Maybe set aside £9k of that to pay riders for the home and away meetings, and stick to that as a salary cap, and use the £3k left to pay the home meeting costs..?

Build the overall team strengths, and how many riders per team, using the £9k as a template....

Any sponsorship then is over and above this and can be used to help pay any costs over the £3k, or maybe used as a bonus to the riders for success?

A five man team sharing £9k would each average £1800 for two matches, (some would obviously earn more depending on their level, and some would earn less)...

Maybe not what currently they earn, or indeed expect, however..

If the Sport keeps going on in its current downwards spiral, maybe one day (and pretty soon), riders will wish they still had a chance to earn £1800 a week..

 

I have it on very good authority that the highest earning Leyton Orient player (they are currently National League - tier 5 - leaders) earns around £2,000 per week. The rest of the 24-man first team squad will be on anything between that and £500 per week.

Some NL clubs are full-time, others part-time. But at Orient they are all full-time professionals, with no additional job.

Home crowds average between 4,500-5,000.

Now if speedway riders were performing in front of crowds of 4,000-5,000 they would be entitled to earn circa £2k per meeting. But no club in British speedway is drawing that many; and most not even half that attendance figure.

Edited by tmc
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3 hours ago, PHILIPRISING said:

WOULD agree that it is necessary to reduce costs for riders and, as a consequence of that, to promoters. Rye House brought their own house down by providing ridiculous guarantees to three riders. When Chris Harris went to Poole he took a massive pay cut. Workington simply couldn't cope with a surfeit of home meetings and extensive payments to riders at the end of the season. 

There are moves afoot to help both riders and promoters to reduce their costs and ensure the viability of their business. Like all of us, income has to match expenditure. 

 

Hopefully these cost cutting measures will be passed on to the fans. It's obvious that the british public thinks the sport is poor value for money.

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10 hours ago, Vince said:

If you go for amateur Speedway or even paying less than it costs to ride you will say goodbye to league Speedway. NL riders may do it when they are trying to get in a higher league but it doesn't take long to run out of money.

I keep seeing that riders should have full time jobs and race Speedway like in the 'good old days'. Great idea but in todays job market just how many jobs can fit in with riders travelling on various days and taking spells out injured? In the past Speedway was a big enough sport that many employers would take on riders and make allowances for their sport because it gave them some involvement, these days most employers don't know what Speedway is. I know my lad went through a variety of jobs trying to find one that fitted and I had to completely change my career to cart him around for NL Speedway. We didn't pay anybody to work on his bikes as I did the motors but the travelling and time off work hit hard, took me as long to recover financially after he gave up as he was riding for.

Also don't underestimate what riders could earn in the past, only last year Les Collins was telling me how when he first raced Speedway he could earn as much or more as a second half rider as he could as an apprentice. I used to work for Jimmy Squibb and he made a very nice living out of Speedway while being the equivalent of a third heat leader today I would guess.

Sorry if you have been asked this before Vince, but who is your son ?

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I don't follow football at all, never have, but a mate who does informed me most players are paid each week, even during the close season.  If true, nice work if you can get it....

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7 hours ago, proud panther said:

Sorry if you have been asked this before Vince, but who is your son ?

Sam Hurst, only rode NL for Newport and Weymouth (well a bit of PL for Newport but out of his depth). Reasonable amount of talent and a good set of balls but lacked the dedication to make it any further.

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