Dick Barrie's picture


So there was this little speedway club.

It had been running for years and years, mostly among the also-rans in the second division with just a few moments of glory, but always running. Always there.

Then, not long after it had been taken over by a new owner – someone new to the game and not necessarily wise to the ways of the speedway world – along came the big league sharks.

“Come and join us” they whispered seductively to the new owner. “All will be well, your club will become part of the privileged class, and we will make you welcome…..”

To the naive little new promotion, it seemed almost to good to be true.

It was.

After accepting the invitation to move out of their comfort zone, some of the drawbacks of the elevation to higher things that hadn’t been mentioned to the newcomers began to emerge.

“Of course, you’ll have to employ really expensive international stars to compete at our level – but only the ones we can’t ourselves afford and don’t really want at our clubs”

“Race-night? Ah, didn’t we say? Although you agreed to join us as a Saturday-night track, you will now have to face up to running a lot of meetings on a week-night”.

“Here’s your fixture-list. What, the week-night matches will cripple you financially? Tough!”

“No, of course you don’t get a vote at our closed-shop meetings. Who do you think you are, part of our cartel?”

…..and so on.

Not surprisingly, the little club – while very much holding its own on track, giving a few of the established big-leaguers the odd bloody nose – struggled to make ends meet once the fixture-list agreed by the cartel began to bite.

On a Saturday, things were rosy and the big new stars drew (just) enough customers to pay the bills.

But as their Saturday meetings dried up, it was obvious that week-night meetings were a financial disaster.

As the end loomed the vultures were circling, seeking to pick the carcase clean, snap up rider-assets to aid their own cause, offering not a pennyworth of help to the helpless victim.

You think it hasn’t happened before? You think it won’t happen again?

Think again……

Want to disagree with Dick (as so many do?). He is always happy to hear from interesting people at dick@crystalfm.co.uk