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barrybishop

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barrybishop last won the day on December 19 2017

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  1. barrybishop

    King's Lynn Stars 2020

    In this years case there was no democratic process, the rules, changes and new entrants were impossed upon us and we were not guaranteed that it would return to normal in 2022 - ie by way of a democratic vote. This is why we left. Had there been a democratic vote or even a promise to allow a democratic vote for 2022 we would still be in the BSPL. We could not allow ourselves to be dictated to, put on something we struggled to support, at our cost, our risk, our reputation, to develop riders we are not allowed to sign... totally for the benefit of higher leagues....
  2. barrybishop

    IOW 2020

    Wow... what a fantastic night... 30 races.... completed... loved it.. absolutely loved it.... here is the meeting report by Rob Dyer. Wightlink Warriors Summer Speedway Spectacular Sees Appleton In Tasty Form The first of Wightlink Warriors Summer Spectacular meetings proved to be master class of track skill from former British Grasstrack Masters Champion Andrew Appleton (pictured) as he scorched to five impressive wins in front of an appreciative crowd at the Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde last night. The return of track sport to the Island was headlined by the first of three rounds of the Island Masters series - a grasstrack meeting on shale – and the twelve riders didn’t disappoint a very healthy crowd as they battled hard to reach the winner takes all Grand Final. On a night of nearly 30 races the Masters meeting also included a gripping six heat development meeting between the Wightlink Wizards and Weymouth Wildcats and a further six heats of races looking to the future and giving the youngster track time in front of an audience. Whilst former Reading and Oxford speedway star Appleton produced lightning starts to earn his wins he did have stern competition from Danish rider Jacob Buckhave and the two served up a terrific race in the Grand Final – indeed the three finals (C, B & A) certainly didn’t disappoint as all the riders gave their all right to the end. Also impressing were Tony Atkin and Rob Fortune whilst Wightlink Warrior Chad Wirtzfeld found plenty of speed to clinch the B Final on the night. As to the Wightlink Wizards, their battle to tame the Wildcats went to the final bend of the final heat and for all the world it looked as if the home team were about to secure the 5-1 result that would have seen them take a win, however with Jamie Sealey well clear at the front, Wroxall based Morgan Williams appeared to tire on the final two corners and slide to the ground allowing two relieved Wildcats riders through for a drawn heat that clinched the meeting 17-19 in favour of the visitors. Mention also for the PeeWee and 125 cc riders who opened the evening and especially to Kye Elliott from St. Helens (IOW) who scored an impressive 7 points to take the ’Les and Lesley (Midland Fans)’ Junior Rider Of The Night award. Warriors’ co-owner Barry Bishop wore a big smile after the meeting as he said, “Wow. What a night 30 races, bags of action both on and off track, super crowd, magic finals. The night had almost everything Martin and I could have wanted and we were so close to complete perfection until Morgan’s slip in the Wizards meeting. I’ve got to say we have worked so hard for this night. We’ve had many battles and we have achieved what we set out do. That is provided affordable family entertainment in a safe and pleasant environment. Right now I’m just a bit speechless and completely shattered but tomorrow we’ll be back at it and I can’t for next Thursday when we can do it all again with the Wightlink Warriors”. Island Masters – Round 1 Result: C Final – Eric Pike, Dean Cutler, David Hollingsbee, Barry Coates B Final – Chad Wirtzfeld, Charley Powell, Mitch Godden, Nigel Coates A Final – Andrew Appleton, Jacob Buckhave, Tony Atkin, Rob Fortune Wightlink Wizards 17 (Jamie Sealey 8, Jamie Evans 6+1, Morgan Williams 3, Eli Meadows 0) Weymouth Wildcats 19 (Bailey Fellows 7+1, James Laker 5, Max Pankhurst 4+1, Sam Peters 3)
  3. barrybishop

    IOW 2020

    Wightlink Warriors Bring Back Chad Wirtzfeld For The Summer Spectaculars Plus The Wightlink Wizards First Fixture Is Confirmed Wightlink Warriors’ new Team Manager Steve Piper has again acted quickly to ensure that fans favourite Chad Wirtzfeld will return to the Wightlink Warriors in 2021. He joins Danno Verge and Alex Spooner who were confirmed starters earlier this week. Blandford based Chad, who has been with the club since Martin Widman and Barry Bishop reintroduced speedway to the Island in 2016, will be competing in all seven Summer Spectacular meetings. Steve Piper said, “We are very excited to have Chad back for 2021 because we know there is a lot more to come from this young man. Anyone who has seen the speed Chad rides at during My First Skid sessions knows that he has what it takes to go far in track sport and now we have to mould that undoubted talent to get the best performances from him in a race day environment. He already has a busy weekend schedule of grasstrack and longtrack fixtures, but he also has the Warrior connection running through his veins as he started as mascot and a My First Skid regular before stepping in to the Wightlink Wizards and Warriors teams, improving year on year. Mid-week racing fits his into his calendar well so with the Wightlink Warrior ethos of encouragement, development and progress I am sure we can help make this another year of real growth for Chad.” Chad added, “It is great to get seven meetings on my favourite track and I shall be riding for both the Wightlink Warriors and participating in the Island Masters series. Everyone knows I always wanted to return to Smallbrook and it is great that Martin and Barry have found a way forward with meetings that should be great nights out for riders and fans alike. I’m looking forward to seeing all the supporters and once again doing my best for the club.” Turning to the Wightlink Wizards, it has been confirmed that the first fixture for new manager Tony Cook and his team will see the welcome return of the Weymouth Wildcats to the Smallbrook Stadium as part of an integrated programme with the first round of the Island Masters individual event. The Island co-owners and the Wildcats management have enjoyed a close working relationship over several seasons as the Dorset side continue to seek a suitable venue to re-establish the sport in the seaside town with Weymouth co-owner Martin Peters saying, “James (Tresadern) and I are thankful to Barry, Martin and the Island team for inviting us over for the first meeting at the new look IOW set up. We hope that everyone has a fantastic evening and our team will be doing the best we can to add to a memorable night”.
  4. barrybishop

    IOW 2020

    WIGHTLINK WARRIORS BRING IN ALEX SPOONER RATHER THAN LATER Wightlink Warriors team boss Steve Piper has only been in post just a few days, but has wasted absolutely no time in tying up arrangements to bring in Essex based Alex Spooner to the Warriors team following approval for him to ride on the Island. Steve said, “I know that Barry and Martin were hugely impressed with Alex at a recent My First Skid event on the Island and once they passed this on to me, I felt he would fit in well to the quartet I have in mind. Alex is a committed rider looking to expand on his current racing arrangements and has always caught the eye of the Warriors management, previously receiving regular invitations to open meetings at Smallbrook where possible. Let’s welcome Alex to the club - we are sure he is going to do us all proud.” Talking about coming to the nation’s largest track Alex said, “I’m grateful to get the opportunity to ride on the Island this year! Like every rider it’s about racing your bike, improving and entertaining the fans, which I hope to do! Now we have the green light, I want to leave the politics behind and use these meetings to gain more experience and track time in a very quiet season while entertaining the fans and sponsors in what look to be some very entertaining meetings.” The admission pricing structure for the seven meeting Summer Spectacular series was also confirmed today as follows: On The Day Admission (cash only at the turnstile): Adults (17 and over): £12.00 Seniors (OAP’s), Service Personnel & Students (with ID cards): £10.00 Children (16 and under): Free if accompanied by a paying adult Visitors with additional needs: One carer free per paying guest A match day programme will be £2.00
  5. barrybishop

    IOW 2020

    Wightlink Wizards Ready To Roar In To 2021 In Summer Spectacular At Smallbrook Stadium Following the news that Danno Verge is to be the first rider for the Wightlink Warriors in 2021, supremos Martin Widman and Barry Bishop continue their theme of rider announcements with the exciting news that they are able to present the complete Wightlink Wizards side, all of whom are regular attendees at My First Skid, the speedway school based at the Smallbrook Stadium. Barry Bishop said, “We view the Wightlink Wizards as a vital part of our presentation package offering riders a development opportunity and to be part of the main event and not just a fill-in. All of these riders came through our speedway school and we want them to continue to push for Warrior places while remaining race hungry for the Wizards, and that’s exactly what we have here. We are extremely proud of the commitment and ethos of all our Wizard teams over recent seasons and we are sure that this one will be the same. We are also incredibly excited to announce Tony Cook (“Cookie”) as the Wightlink Wizards Team Manager. Cookie, an experienced track motor cyclist in his own right, has been everything to the club, sponsor, volunteer, handyman, mechanic, comedian and now to add Wizards Team Manager, I know he will get the best out of the squad.” Tony Cook (pictured) said, “What an honour and privilege it is to be asked to be the Wightlink Wizards Team Manager. It is an incredible group with lots of talent to nurture and I know we can all expect some great action on the track. Personally, I cannot wait for racing to start on July 22nd.” The riders are also relishing lots of track time. Jamie Sealey said “I’m absolutely over the moon to be back racing for the Wizards. It’s been a long wait to be able to get back racing and I can’t wait to get started again.” Morgan Williams added, “I’m delighted to see the return of speedway to the island following what has been a very difficult time for the promotion. As the “local boy” I’m very keen to progress and show that the island can, and will, produce from the grassroots of the sport. I’m very grateful for being given the opportunity to compete in what will no doubt be a summer series of fantastic racing.” Chris Watts said, “I am delighted to be back racing for the Wizards again in 2021. When the news came out, I was quick to show my support towards the Isle of Wight set up and wanting to race for them. In previous years, I have always been their highest average rider and top point scorer and I will be doing my best to keep that up, scoring big points and helping out the team wherever I can.” Jamie Evans said, “I’m the new face for the Wizards. After learning to ride speedway at My First Skid, I cannot wait to finally race for the team and especially meet up with all the fans.” Steph Whitlock said “It’s great to be back involved with the Wizards team once again. I can’t wait to get back on track racing as I feel I’ve developed a lot since getting back on my bike after the restrictions were lifted and I cannot wait to see everyone.” The team lines up as follows: 1. Jamie Sealey 2. Morgan Williams 3. Chris Watts 4. Jamie Evans 5. Steph Whitlock Team Manager Tony Cook
  6. barrybishop

    IOW 2020

    WIGHTLINK WARRIORS NAME STEVE PIPER AS NEW TEAM MANAGER The Wightlink Warriors are delighted to announce Steve Piper as the new Team Manager for the 2021 season. Steve, who has been involved in speedway for many years, takes up the job from today and will formulate the team for the Three Team Tournament meetings against Cradley and Oxford in July and August. A clearly overjoyed Steve Piper said, “It was an honour to be asked to become team manager and it took me all of one second to say yes. After being part of the set up with my son George in 2016 I understand the ethos of this special club and what makes it work so well on the Island. I have always enjoyed a close relationship with Barry and Martin and I am truly humbled to be asked. Now to build a team with a great spirit, who will represent the Island in the best possible way and who will fully embrace all that is right about the Warrior Way. We race as one. Bring on the season; I can't wait to get started.” Wightlink Warriors co-owner Barry Bishop added, “It’s been a challenging time of late, however at long last we have reached a position where Martin and I feel we are good to go and so we are thrilled to bring Steve onboard for 2021. He brings a wealth of knowledge and ideas to the table for the betterment of our sport and we are delighted that finally we are able to get Steve more involved with the club. For sure he will add strength to the management team and I know he is elated. With Steve’s arrival it means sadly we have to say goodbye to Jackie Vatcher who has done a wonderful job over recent years and has been excellent and a first-class role model for women in the management of speedway. It is a shame that Jackie could not participate this year and she will be missed by us all for sure, but we understand why she cannot be involved with the Warriors, and we all sympathise with her situation. We should also mention Kev Shepherd, our Clerk of the Course at Smallbrook, who was also our Wizards team manager as well as managing the Warrior team at many away meetings. Our involvement with NORA means that his Clerk of the Course position carries much greater responsibility and this senior position within the club will now see Kev oversee all aspects of events on the Island. We will issue an update on the Wizards team manager post shortly. Back to 2021 and I can feel the excitement starting to build already and personally I cannot wait to unleash our Summer Spectacular series for you all.”
  7. barrybishop

    IOW 2020

    DANNO VERGE RETURNS FOR THE WIGHTLINK WARRIORS SUMMER SPECTACULARS Steve Piper, the Wightlink Warrior’s new Team Manager has wasted no time as he confirms that Danno Verge is the first rider to put his name forward as it was announced that speedway would return to Smallbrook Stadium on July 22nd and Piper was only too delighted to see him back for his home town club. Talking about his first signing for the season Steve said, “I’m delighted that Danno has agreed to return to the Wightlink Warriors in 2021. We have three really important team matches against Cradley and Oxford and I said I wanted to put a team together with heart and determination and Danno fits that bill perfectly. Additionally, Danno has previously competed in the US Style Handicap meetings held on the Island so I am confident he will do well in these 'pass-a-minute' action packed events. He knows he will be part of the engine room of the team with plenty of knowledge to pass on and I am sure his local sponsors, friends and family are as thrilled for him as we are to see him back.” Verge, who moved to the Island a year ago and set up home, had two successive seasons with the Warriors in 2018 and 2019 said, “I am delighted to be going back racing for the Wightlink Warriors in some kind of speedway action at Smallbrook stadium in 2021. After what I feel were two successful learning years for me on the bigger tracks, I can look back on 2019 as being a pretty decent year for me and the club in general. Now in a year where there has been a limited amount of racing going on, my fixture schedule is less than half of what it was in 2019 so I am glad Barry and Martin are putting what sounds like a few fabulous meetings on for the fans and of course us riders who desperately need to stay on the bike and keep sharp for our league racing. There has been a lot of uncertainty over the plans that are due to be happening but it's all starting to fall into place now and I can't wait to get racing and put a Warriors race jacket on again and most importantly get to the tapes, score some points and put on a show for the fans and I would urge all Island motorcycle fans to turn out to support us riders and the club for what is sure to be a great show.” Danno’s first meeting is July 29th when the Wightlink Warriors take on Cradley and Oxford in a three team tournament - a meeting that will also feature an Upright Motors speedway challenge GM v Weslake, Pee Wee bikes and 125cc Youth Races. The preliminary action starts at 6.15 pm, gates open from 5.15 pm.
  8. barrybishop

    IOW 2020

    Wightlink Warriors Summer Spectacular Season Is Go! Fixture List for 2021 It’s been a while coming but Shale Track action will be returning to the Smallbrook Stadium as Martin Widman, Barry Bishop and former Wightlink Wizard Ben Ilsley supported by their dedicated team of volunteers are delighted to announce there will be a magnificent SEVEN meetings taking place during the Isle of Wight Summer Spectacular shale racing season – almost all in the major holiday weeks. The seven amateur meetings outlined in the fixture programme below - some of which will be in a team format featuring sides from across the UK – will include other motorcycle disciplines including a three round Island Masters individual competition. The action kicks off on Thursday July 22nd with Round One of the Island Masters that will feature 12 riders in a Grand Prix style meeting, along with Pee Wee bike action and 125cc youth races plus Category B 500cc speedway team racing with the Wightlink Wizards. The Wightlink Warriors have planned a bumper action-packed kick-off meeting and there will be no shortage of great entertainment. The programme for the whole season is designed to be as entertaining as possible with every meeting filled to the brim with motorcycle action, fun, and family entertainment. Co-owner Martin Widman said, "We are absolutely delighted to finally announce the seasons’ entertainment for summer 2021. It's been a real struggle as we faced up to new challenges almost every day, but we have navigated a way through them and we are confident of providing "top drawer" entertainment for all the family. Barry and I would like to thank Ben for coming onboard to help with the Island Masters Series which features some top-class riders from the world of grass and long track racing, and we could not have done that without him, but we also want to pay a special tribute to our volunteers who, despite all the problems going on behind the scenes, have been steadfast in getting the stadium perfect and ready for the season. We hope that their efforts will be well rewarded with the action we have prepared for everyone, and we cannot wait to see all our old friends and lots of new ones." Here is the fixture list and the Club hope to add more fun motorcycle disciplines too such as the infamous ‘Chicken Chasing’ mopeds: July 22nd Island Masters Round 1, plus a Wizards team match, Pee Wee bikes and 125cc youth races July 29th Warriors V Oxford V Cradley team challenge also featuring Uprights GM v Weslake, Pee Wee bikes and 125cc youth races Aug 5th Island Masters Round 2, plus a Wizards team match, Pee Wee bikes and 125cc youth races Aug 12th Warriors V Oxford V Cradley revenge challenge also featuring Uprights Jawa v Weslake, Ladies Match Race, Pee Wee bikes and 125cc youth races Aug 19th Individual Handicap Speedway plus ‘The Old Boys On Track’, Pee Wee bikes and 125 youth races Aug 24th Warriors V Oxford V Cradley ‘Final Showdown’ team challenge also featuring Uprights Jawa v GM, Pee Wee bikes and 125cc youth races Sept 2nd Island Masters Round 3 plus a Wizards team match, Pee Wee bikes and 125cc youth races Admission pricing will be announced shortly.
  9. barrybishop

    Whats actually going on?

    Sorry this is a long one everyone, but the big chief Martin and I had to respond to Mr. Godfrey from this week's speedway star. I hope you will read it thoroughly and make up your own mind as to what is going on..... All the best Barry (and Martin) I have read with interest the statement by the BSPL’s Chairman Rob Godfrey in this week’s Speedway Star, which to me reads as an attack on me as opposed to any constructive debate about why the Warriors left the BSPL. From how I read it, it seems that Mr. Godfrey wants you the reader to think I made all these decisions, that I threw the rattle out of the cot because I didn’t get my own way. Martin and I find this personalisation of myself very surprising, hurtful, and factually wrong and very disrespectful to Martin and me. Firstly, every decision, including this response, with regards to the Wightlink Warriors is jointly taken by Martin and me. Not once has a single decision been made without the approval of the other. This is because, put very simply, we are a team and have been since we embarked on bringing speedway back to the Isle of Wight: equal investors who live and die by our joint decisions. It is the only way we want to work and can work. Secondly, it is the case that, except for one or two email requests for the date on the NL AGM sent by me when Martin was ill, that every single piece of correspondence between the BSPL Office and the Warriors was sent by Martin. Of course, we had worked on every email together and reached every decision together, but each email was sent by Martin and in many cases replied directly to Martin and omitting me, and in some cases using a personal email address which is hardly used. Now to the contents, Mr. Godfrey states that it was a directive of every club to make these changes. Our response to this is. 1. We have an email from the BSPL stating these were a Board decision and the email was sent the day following a Board meeting. 2. If every promoter stated it, please prove it. We already know this is not the case from our discussions with promoters but of course they could have been giving us sympathetic flannel, but we think not. 3. If it was the case – let’s say the statement is true. Does anyone truly believe that it is right for clubs who have no interest in the league or our business to state how the National League should be run, or that clubs who do have an interest in the National League should be allowed to contribute to decisions made when 2 clubs (Mildenhall and IOW) could not. Any club intending to participate in the National League should not have been permitted to participate in any rule making whatsoever unless they were part of the 2019 NL, as is the usual way during the NL AGM. 4. Why didn’t Mr. Len Silver attend or be invited to attend any of these meetings as the NL representative to relay information to standalone clubs? Note - Clause 3 of the Articles of Constitution states the BSPL was established to protect all its members. Clearly only some. Mr. Godfrey says that we had fair warning of the NL “returning to its roots” which is a true – he did say the National League will “return to its roots” during the AGM, but just what does this statement actually mean? Does it mean the BSPL can impose rules upon the league members? Does it mean the BSPL can choose which clubs have an input to the rules it makes? No, it doesn’t. It actually means as he said during that meeting it was seen as a way to “reduce costs of riders moving up to the Championship” (which by the way we have never disagreed with, clubs must cut their cloth accordingly in our view.). And to make the league more amateur than it already was. There was an addition to that statement about returning the sport to its roots, and that was that all standalone clubs would be invited to attend a Pre or Final Championship AGM to see if it was possible to step up to the Championship – that invitation was never received by us or to the best of our knowledge, by the other then standalone clubs. In the article Mr. Godfrey continues, the BSPL fully support that Isle of Wight run amateur meetings and this is true, here is a paragraph of the email. “The BSP fully support you running amateur and practice events with Nora 92. However, if you intend to expand your events outside of the amateur status the BSP will be forced to instruct BSP Registered Riders that they will not be permitted to participate.” What the BSPL omitted to tell us in the email was that even though the National League was always referred to as amateur, always development (how they love this word) the BSPL view the National League riders as professional riders, yet we know by any definition of the word “professional”, they are not so and do not receive all the benefits other league's riders have as part of their contracts – for example different insurance cover. So, how does this statement now affect the Isle of Wight? It means that any rider who has a contract in the BSPL would be instructed that they cannot participate in Isle of Wight meetings, and if they do they risk sanctions – as many clubs have told the riders we have approached to ride. Mr Godfrey quotes Rule 6 of SCB regulations which actually have no bearing over non SCB events (ie the Isle of Wight) so participating on the Isle of Wight is like doing road racing, grass track, trials, banger racing and other motorsport. We are outside of the SCB and therefore no sanctions can be applied against the riders or officials for taking part and the BSPL know this but in the current circumstances we can understand the rider's apprehension about taking part. He goes on to say I (we) left at my (our) our own request – again this is true, but he omits to say why. The fact is, we asked if in future years the BSPL Board continue to impose rules without a voting system on clubs and the response from the BSPL Office Administrator was “this could not be guaranteed” or even no, direct reply at all. Had we received this statement to say AGMs will start in 2021 again, that’s clubs can vote on changes to rule books and averages, we may well have put our license on hold for the year and return to the BSPL in 2022. Furthermore, he says, “no one wanted Barry (and Martin) to leave”. I put this to you reader… if you didn’t want a club to leave your organisation which if they did it would have a financial impact on your company, and you knew the club expressed a wish to leave, would you at least call them, request a meeting/zoom call, email them personally, send a personal text message, because I can tell you, even to today we have received no communication directly from ANY board member of the BSPL and indeed the only time we were referred to speak to Mr. Godfrey if we wanted to, was if we would like to sell the BSPL/Mr. Godfrey the promotional rights for speedway on the Isle of Wight. This is how much the BSPL did not want the Isle of Wight to leave the NL, BSPL and SCB. (Mr. Godfrey sits on both BSPL and SCB so one assumes both bodies were aware of the situation). Of course, we never say never to a conversation with Mr. Godfrey and a recent offer to the SCB to meet up with them and the SCB has currently met with no response however we do realise that circumstances are not the best when the likes of Somerset close, Birmingham is put on hold and Wolverhampton has pushed out a warning about their future operation. What we will say is that before any meeting about us returning to the BSPL, the BSPL need to clearly understand why we left, why we believe we are vital to the future of the sport and why we also believe we can help take all that is great about the sport to the next generation. Regrettably, we are again forced to clarify what statements are made by the BSPL when in truth, we just want to put on a show for the fans, sponsors, riders and volunteers at Smallbrook Stadium. This is not nor ever has been a personal competition between the Warriors V Mr. Godfrey/BSPL – we don’t view it like this and we never want to portray speedway negatively, we promote the sport at every possibility, especially now the sport is in crisis, one fact there is no escaping from. We did have a significant programme of various events planned to start at the end of June, which included a 3 round Individual Championship with quite a large prize fund to be distributed at the end for riders completing in all three rounds, but that will have to go on hold now due to riders not coming forward to participate. As this issue will not be solved quickly in the current climate, we are now working very hastily on an alternative shortened programme of events which we hope to disclose shortly.
  10. barrybishop

    Whats actually going on?

    Yes this is correct.... we wanted to introduce to the 2020 NT 2 new innovative rules. 1. The team manager of each side could choose two heats in which to select 1 rider from the oposing team to put on 15m in two heats which may not include heats 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 13, 14 and 15 and it cannot include a previous heat selected for 15m handicap. The away team manager would chose the first heat, home TM 2nd, away 3rd and home 4th heats. A brilliant yet simple rule to inject more action to the racing and a rule which is already used (tapes rules) so confirmed as OK for safety and every UK track. This for sure will feature in our meetings this year should we find ourselves in a position to actually race. 2. When 6 points behind the team manager can choose gate positions. Again a simple rule that could have a great affect on the match. Note - during the AGM it was AGREED to introduce both these rules by the NL only for it to then be stopped at a later date saying no clear rule could be written. !!!!!! Or was it a fear that this was the NL once again leading the way forward However, even with these great enhancements to the show, along with all the other ideas we will implement, I also refer to Poland. They use the same thing (all be it with different rider positions) but 4 bikes, 4 laps, 15 heats. The greatest part of going to speedway in Poland is 100% the atmosphere - the crowds 100% back their team, chanting, applaudings, scalves, massively sponsored, rider interaction with fans and what does this all equate to....... a show, theatre, drama....... all what is missing in British Speedway save for the play offs. Perhaps controversially, the Polish squad system works well in my view too, forcing rider to ride to the best of their ability or be dropped as opposed to virtually guaranteed a team spot regardless of performance due to lack of riders. I am not saying our riders do not really put their best efforts in, they do, but there is not consequences for behaviour, or poor performance. Finally another huge difference is ethos.... In poland is club, club, club - one for all and all for one... yet in UK is about the rider who rides for a club... If a team makes a change (which none take lightly and for Martin and I we would do anything to avoid it because of the fan / rider relationship) the club get totally hammered online and the rider complete sympathy - but I can assure you there have been occassion when riders behaviour would disgust you all but to protect the club and to a degree the rider it is hushed up and the club in general takes the negative PR on the chin. Then sponsorship... in Poland it the club and brand where most sponsorship is directed where as UK its, in general, rider related. Even when clubs get sponsors, riders do their very best to get in there with them which in turn reduces the club sponsorship money available. As a club that relies heavily on our brand and sponsorship this is something that really hurts us both in the bank account and credibilty when it goes pearshaped. We did introduce something else at that AGM too, we asked to have a promoters end of season dinner (yes that is right little old IOW) to celebrate all the great in speedway much like the WSRA dinners. Of course it was immediately shot down until we offered to organise it, Mark Lemon seconded it.... then the BSPL agreed to stage and organise the dinner and it was a HUGE success. Anyways... Now I am off to study Mr. Godfrey's statement in the speedway star and I am sure we will be responding with some clarity #truths As I always write support your club they need you. These are troubled times and stay positive / constructive and we will all come through this. Stay safe and all the best,
  11. barrybishop

    Whats actually going on?

    I believe you may well have the answer in the last sentence.
  12. barrybishop

    Whats actually going on?

    This is a very challenging time for Martin, myself and everyone associated in one way or another with the Isle of Wight, and personally I am close to saying it's enough now. All we wanted to do was put on a viable speedway product, the BSPL emposed rules upon us giving an yes/no ultimatum to join the league in 2021. That means, no discussion, nor any prospect of allowing discussion in future years. While we did not agree with the points limit we were not allowed to discuss it - its this or nothing.... We are told that every promoter in the sport wanted it... yet I can name at least 6 who we deal with regularly who will say no such discussion has happened and even if it did, why are their views more important than ours for our league, our business. Of course it is not, but they didnt view it like this. Even to today.... Martin and I have received no communication from any member of the board of BSPL other than the office manager during the time that we wanted to leave. There was no "please come to the office or take a zoom call and lets discuss it", there was nothing... Yes - no, in or out... and like this for years to come. Now we are left in a situation where it is OK for BSPL clubs just to hire and fire riders at will, nomadic club names can used in amatuer events that bring in private hire revenue but cannot be used in amatuer second halves, and rising stars who are supposed to be protected clearly are not. And.... all the time the Isle of Wight has the ability to give these riders more rides, in a safe, relaxed, entertaining environment, and yet ultimately because we did not agree to not having a say in how our league is run while others who have no vested interest in it can, and without a prospect of this changing, rider will have the fear of sanctions for themselves or their BSPL club's and the only people who will miss out are the fans, volunteers, sponsors and riders of our sport. Believe me, while working full time too, running a speedway club is no pleasure ride, there are so many challenges, so much that you will never see or hear of that just makes us all want to stop it. But we love it...nothing gives us more pride when people have really enjoyed the show, or a young rider who we help scores well, or a rider from MFS becomes a mascot, MDSL rider, and so on... but the personal toll that we have to endure and now this increased toll.... its just heartbreaking. Enjjoy your speedway everyone wherever you view it... every club will need you all and all your positivity this and the coming years.... oh and BTW my smiling/laughing face earlier on a previous comment was only because even now people still think the reason Martin and I left was over the points limit, it totally was not... it was over how we were treated (and continue to be) by the BSPL. All the best.............
  13. barrybishop

    Whats actually going on?

    WIGHTLINK WARRIORS SUMMER SPECTACULARS AT RISK After the incredible support shown to the Wightlink Warriors following their withdrawal from speedway's National League (NL), news that the plans for the summer spectacular of racing are at risk will come as a huge blow to many fans across the UK, and especially our loyal fans and supporters on the Isle of Wight. The reason is not Covid this time, or a lack of interest, but it's a lack of suitable riders who are concerned at the threat of possible sanctions. Warriors Co-owner Barry Bishop explained, "After the news that the Directors of the British Speedway Promoters would allow amateur status riders to come to the Isle of Wight to participate in our events, everyone associated with the club was delighted, and the feedback from the public was that it was a great move for the sport and rider development. With riders literally chomping at the bit to ride on the Island to improve their skills, get more track time and competitive racing under their belts, we now find that the BSPL appear to view the NL riders contractually in the same way as Premiership and Championship riders even though NL riders are classed as amateur and not professional, with clubs stopping riders from coming to the Island. If you recall, we were delighted that a way forward with the BSPL was found as the NL has always been presented as amateur with riders being paid effectively expenses but this, we are told now is not the case and NL riders have the same professional status as Premier and Championship riders. To be honest the threats being made to some riders should they come to the Island are really very sad to see ranging from receiving bans or fines for stepping into the stadium (to support us) to participating in a meeting that "could lead to a ban or a fine" - and even practising at Smallbrook could incur the same measures being imposed which is in complete contradiction to what the regulating body have told us. Only yesterday, another new reason for refusing permission to ride emerged when the charging of entrance fees and payment of riders became an issue. With full medical cover and ferry costs to meet, along with all the other costs of a stadium, why wouldn't we charge spectators to watch an evening of entertainment? The future now is unclear with riders being prevented from racing by rules that the BSPL clubs and riders do not appear to be aware of - there is no defined statement. The Warriors are being prevented from entertaining our fans which will include some of the expected large number of holidaymakers this year, and our sport overall goes a little further downhill. In an ideal world, there needs to be a public statement from the Speedway Control Bureau (SCB)/BSPL immediately telling riders what the rule is with regards to coming to the island as even non contracted riders are hesitating about coming over. All BSPL riders are self-employed and permission from their promoters to do other events may not be unreasonably withheld and coming to the island would be in our view be no different than participating in a grass track, road race, motocross, banger racing, international events and other Nora events. It should not be the case of you can only do one or the other as riders are being told. With the recent dreadful news of Somerset closing, we cannot understand why the BSPL would want to prevent riders racing, fans being entertained, sponsors being advertised, and another club prosper/saved. Perhaps it is the opposite they wish for? We would like to say that we are happy to meet with the BSPL to discuss things; we have spoken to the SCB and Auto Cycle Union already. However, we are continuing to work on our options and are in constant dialogue with the teams that have committed to support us in Challenge matches and who in our view are vital to the future of the sport, and an update will be issued as soon as more information is available and a revised start date”.
  14. barrybishop

    IOW 2020

    WIGHTLINK WARRIORS SUMMER SPECTACULARS AT RISK After the incredible support shown to the Wightlink Warriors following their withdrawal from speedway's National League (NL), news that the plans for the summer spectacular of racing are at risk will come as a huge blow to many fans across the UK, and especially our loyal fans and supporters on the Isle of Wight. The reason is not Covid this time, or a lack of interest, but it's a lack of suitable riders who are concerned at the threat of possible sanctions. Warriors Co-owner Barry Bishop explained, "After the news that the Directors of the British Speedway Promoters would allow amateur status riders to come to the Isle of Wight to participate in our events, everyone associated with the club was delighted, and the feedback from the public was that it was a great move for the sport and rider development. With riders literally chomping at the bit to ride on the Island to improve their skills, get more track time and competitive racing under their belts, we now find that the BSPL appear to view the NL riders contractually in the same way as Premiership and Championship riders even though NL riders are classed as amateur and not professional, with clubs stopping riders from coming to the Island. If you recall, we were delighted that a way forward with the BSPL was found as the NL has always been presented as amateur with riders being paid effectively expenses but this, we are told now is not the case and NL riders have the same professional status as Premier and Championship riders. To be honest the threats being made to some riders should they come to the Island are really very sad to see ranging from receiving bans or fines for stepping into the stadium (to support us) to participating in a meeting that "could lead to a ban or a fine" - and even practising at Smallbrook could incur the same measures being imposed which is in complete contradiction to what the regulating body have told us. Only yesterday, another new reason for refusing permission to ride emerged when the charging of entrance fees and payment of riders became an issue. With full medical cover and ferry costs to meet, along with all the other costs of a stadium, why wouldn't we charge spectators to watch an evening of entertainment? The future now is unclear with riders being prevented from racing by rules that the BSPL clubs and riders do not appear to be aware of - there is no defined statement. The Warriors are being prevented from entertaining our fans which will include some of the expected large number of holidaymakers this year, and our sport overall goes a little further downhill. In an ideal world, there needs to be a public statement from the Speedway Control Bureau (SCB)/BSPL immediately telling riders what the rule is with regards to coming to the island as even non contracted riders are hesitating about coming over. All BSPL riders are self-employed and permission from their promoters to do other events may not be unreasonably withheld and coming to the island would be in our view be no different than participating in a grass track, road race, motocross, banger racing, international events and other Nora events. It should not be the case of you can only do one or the other as riders are being told. With the recent dreadful news of Somerset closing, we cannot understand why the BSPL would want to prevent riders racing, fans being entertained, sponsors being advertised, and another club prosper/saved. Perhaps it is the opposite they wish for? We would like to say that we are happy to meet with the BSPL to discuss things; we have spoken to the SCB and Auto Cycle Union already. However, we are continuing to work on our options and are in constant dialogue with the teams that have committed to support us in Challenge matches and who in our view are vital to the future of the sport, and an update will be issued as soon as more information is available and a revised start date”.
  15. barrybishop

    Breakaway League

    You see I dont view any meeting as "Mickey Mouse", although I admit some maybe more attractive than others. However we put on a show, week in, week out... and this is what people want to see now. It's true to say in my view we risk having a sport where the only entertainment is whether your team gets the league points or not and not the "show" on the track. For me, it's showtime every time. All the best
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