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Rob B

Why speedway is failing

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Posted (edited)

I'd be happy to pop down the road and watch some British riders and not breaking the bank in the process. Oh and a cheap pint and something to eat not dripping with fat.

Edited by Pieman72
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1 hour ago, steve roberts said:

I don't particularly go along with that one. Many Number One's (based on average) rode further down the team order...the likes of Collins, Lovaas, Gundersen, Jessup, T.Jansson, Wilson, Boulger, Simmons, Lee, Crump, Sanders etc etc and would meet the opposite Number One twice. Even Mauger would ride at Number Four or even Number Two on occasions for tactical reasons.

Not sure about the second half analogy either...the competition would often be quite fierce amongst team mates and Betts, Cole and Simmons, for example, always wanted to get one over resulting on one occasion Terry receiveing an injury in one second half event. I liked the Second Halves...gave an opportunity for youngsters/prospective team members gaining a team place and experience. I've said it often enough we were lucky at Cowley what with the Promotional tie up with Eastbourne and Peterborough we got the likes of Balllard, Kennet, Davis, Greer, Geer etc plying their trade before eventually makin the move into the main team. Phil Crump was reported as considering his postion in British Speedway due to the loss of the Second Halves and lost earnings. I did put the question to Martin Rogers some time back and he did give an interesting insight in an edition of "Backtrack" citing Bert Harkins as one example who loved the second halves and who also went into print citing same.

That's when team management involved tactical decisions, the rules of today don't allow for it. Your number 1 must ride at 1 what a crap rule that was to bring in

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We can't live in the past,but the 13 heat format with a second half was pretty good. Clubs are failing at all levels and unless there are radical changes and one league we are on a downhill spiral. Times are tough and realistically are going to be so for some time into the future.

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Posted (edited)

A lot of the ideas being suggested on here are really akin to re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. For speedway to continue/survive on any level, it has to attract new fans, young fans at that. I honestly cannot see how this can be achieved in this country. 

Old duffers like me waffling on that football/cricket/rugby, bike racing etc is crap and speedway is the greatest sport on earth really need to emigrate to Poland for this opinion to be anywhere near correct.

I honestly hope that by some miracle a master plan can be evolved for speedway to rebuild and bounce back better, but without youngsters coming through the turnstiles, it ain't gonna happen. 

Edited by OGT
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Bring back the 4TT qualifiers and the Golden/Silver/Bronze helmet races too. Another thing gone that has aligned with a major decline. 

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19 minutes ago, Pinny said:

Bring back the 4TT qualifiers and the Golden/Silver/Bronze helmet races too. Another thing gone that has aligned with a major decline. 

I always said that it was the variety of formats that kept us happy! Three or four league matches, then a cup tie. Then an individual meeting.  A couple more league matches, followed by a Test Match. Then a couple more league, then a 4TT...

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Plus , the 4tt qualifiers brought in three sets of away fans to a home venue instead of just one. Always good crowds. 

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Four team tournaments?

Always for me created the best racing as all riders were heat leader/best second string standard..

However...

Some can't afford to pay 7 riders of down to reserve/junior standard now for 60 races out of their home meetings money, so paying 4 heat leaders, and best second strings, for 64 races, would be completely out of the question I would think..

The concept of having only heat leaders and second string level riders on show is for me though something worth considering in the top league hence my thoughts on five man teams..

You could still pay out for 60 races from your home meeting, 12 races each, and cap the salary at 'X' pounds per point...

No make weights and plenty of 'no disrespect' journeymen average riders to have as replacements, so close racing should be delivered and no need for credibility removing guests.

And struggling teams should be able to at least find someone to come in if they wanted to make changes..

If you take this year as an example, all six teams could have ran a decent 1 - 5 and called it "Elite". Giving it a stand out brand which was different from the league below.

In all sports the 'top league' is the flagship and should 'stand out' and be aspirational...

Plenty of rides for the riders (which is the only reason UK speedway really exists) and decent points money as five are sharing the pot not seven... 

Unfortunately for UK Speedway the biggest failing, and ultimate barrier to any success, is that (all down to the operating model), no league carries any kudos, which means every meeting ran in finding a 'champion' is also pretty meaningless from a 'team sports' perspective...

Unless that ever gets sorted, so fans, media and bigger sponsors then start to take it seriously, it can never succeed...

The saddest irony of all is that a 'great night out' can still very much be had watching the exciting 'raw material' of the racing on offer...

(As the IOW are showing)...

It's just a shame UK Speedway try to shoehorn it into something they can't deliver 'properly', thus diluting their very biggest asset...

 

 

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8 hours ago, OGT said:

A lot of the ideas being suggested on here are really akin to re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. For speedway to continue/survive on any level, it has to attract new fans, young fans at that. I honestly cannot see how this can be achieved in this country. 

Old duffers like me waffling on that football/cricket/rugby, bike racing etc is crap and speedway is the greatest sport on earth really need to emigrate to Poland for this opinion to be anywhere near correct.

I honestly hope that by some miracle a master plan can be evolved for speedway to rebuild and bounce back better, but without youngsters coming through the turnstiles, it ain't gonna happen. 

In my opinion, attracting new fans isn't going to happen with the way the sport is currently set-up. Those that run and compete in the sport, in this country, obviously believe the sport is bigger than what it actually is. For the circle to be squared for speedway, the first stage has to be reducing costs for everyone involved, including the fans. Unless that happens, and happens quickly, more tracks will close and more riders will turn away or will not enter the sport. I think the Isle of Wight's ideas could be the salvation of 4 bikes going round a shale oval track.  

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5 hours ago, chunky said:

I always said that it was the variety of formats that kept us happy! Three or four league matches, then a cup tie. Then an individual meeting.  A couple more league matches, followed by a Test Match. Then a couple more league, then a 4TT...

However I wasn't a great fan of the 3TT. For a third of the meeting your team wasn't involved and you had to rely on the other two getting a heat result that benefited your team...and Oxford were never that good under that format but we had to give Reading and Swindon an opportunity to pick up a few crumbs as we picked up the major honours during the glorious Cowley years of the middle/late eighties!

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6 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

However I wasn't a great fan of the 3TT. For a third of the meeting your team wasn't involved and you had to rely on the other two getting a heat result that benefited your team...and Oxford were never that good under that format but we had to give Reading and Swindon an opportunity to pick up a few crumbs as we picked up the major honours during the glorious Cowley years of the middle/late eighties!

I always enjoyed watching those but I have absolutely no memory of who won any of them. They were a nice Easter weekend of entertainment though, although, at that time, I regularly went to all 3 tracks so had an interest in all the teams.

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5 minutes ago, Grachan said:

I always enjoyed watching those but I have absolutely no memory of who won any of them. They were a nice Easter weekend of entertainment though, although, at that time, I regularly went to all 3 tracks so had an interest in all the teams.

...I can confirm Oxford didn't! :( We were on course of winning the 1984 Easter Triangle until presented with a diabolical track surface at Smallmead on Easter Monday morning! You couldn't see the action due to the amount of dust and the track being slick which was the norm at Reading.

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8 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

...I can confirm Oxford didn't! :( We were on course of winning the 1984 Easter Triangle until presented with a diabolical track surface at Smallmead on Easter Monday morning! You couldn't see the action due to the amount of dust and the track being slick which was the norm at Reading.

I remember a track like that many times at Reading, although Oxford and Swindon were also prone to the odd dustbowl too. You'd need a shower when you got home!

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1 hour ago, mikebv said:

The concept of having only heat leaders and second string level riders on show is for me though something worth considering in the top league hence my thoughts on five man teams..

no league carries any kudos, which means every meeting ran in finding a 'champion' is also pretty meaningless from a 'team sports' perspective...

Unless that ever gets sorted, so fans, media and bigger sponsors then start to take it seriously, it can never succeed...

The race format was changed a few years back where all of the top riders used to meet each other more often, I really liked this and found the racing generally to be a lot closer, as with a lot of things in Speedway it only lasted 1 season before being changed again. Personally I still think you need 7 man teams to bring on the yoof.

We, at Leicester, won the Championship league in 2019 and are current reigning champions... you wouldn't know it though, it's not been mentioned since October 2019

12 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

...I can confirm Oxford didn't! :( We were on course of winning the 1984 Easter Triangle until presented with a diabolical track surface at Smallmead on Easter Monday morning! You couldn't see the action due to the amount of dust and the track being slick which was the norm at Reading.

Used to love the Easter Triangle at Oxford on a Good Friday morning, happy days :)

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Is part of the problem that when speedway was booming, running the speedway was the promoter's main business. I don't recall Reg Fearman, Ian Thomas etc having other businesses, although I might be wrong. They were full time speedway promoters and their lives depended on getting people through the gate.

At the same time, the vast majority of riders weren't full time. Looking at the Who's Who in Speedway from the mid 1970s, Peter Oakes would put in the riders' occupation in the profile and it was only the top riders who were full time.

Now the riders are full time and need paying the money to live on and the promoters have other businesses and perhaps not the time or the incentive to get people in the stadiums.

I might be miles out, but it's just a thought.

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