Published on 27th August 2021
Author Sarah Charalambous

It’s certainly been, for want of a better word, a tumultuous week in the land that is British Speedway.

We finally saw the announcement emanating from Arlington that Eastbourne have been withdrawn from both the championship and NDL due to their well-publicised financial problems.

Why it took so long and why people genuinely had hope, more so if you believe the figures that are being touted around, is beyond me. But there we are, another club gone. And really, does there need to be an investigation into why?

It’s easy enough for anyone to blame Covid for everything but could the demise of Eastbourne have been prevented had their cloth been cut accordingly?

I know, I know….. I’m the worst one on here for moaning: “We need a big Number One”…

Words that I and many, many others have uttered several times over the last few seasons..… but then I think back over the years… 2005 we had no “real #1″ and IMO, a stronger and more varied league……

What we had though were seven riders who clicked…… riders who raised their averages….. and came pretty damn close to winning the league.

Same could be said of 2008 (although I’m aware that Adrian had a blistering season that year)…… 2010 (see 2005)…… 2012 (okay, we had Ricky and Seb that year)….. 2014….. 2018/2019…. We did all right!

Your “real number 1’s” tend to cost a LOT of money…… money that Berwick aren’t prepared to risk for the stability of the club…..

Even without a big #1 I think deep down we’ve been one hell of a club….… and I say it again…… this is because we’ve cut our cloth accordingly….

Our riders are paid…… Our bills are paid….. is it perhaps time for other clubs to model themselves on Berwick, rather than folk (like me) wanting us to emulate the big spenders?

Look at the fact that we continue to come to the tapes each spring while others fade away…. We still have the Supporters Club working away with with the club’s monthly STARS 5-1 Draw… we don’t pay over the odds, but our riders are clearly happy to be here as part of the local speedway “family”…….

What does that tell you about us….. ?

Anyways, so no Eastbourne… and it looks as though the divvy up of the Eagles has commenced with Richard Lawson heading to Plymouth and the “inevitable” announcement still to come that Tom Brennan will be picked up by Glasgow – where we are racing tonight.

Talking of Glasgow, Craig Cook has announced that he will be taking a break from racing to concentrate on his mental health issues. Me personally, I was never his biggest fan BUT I am a human being…… and I genuinely commend his decision for this.

He has had well-publicised issues in the past and we are all aware of the consequences of mental health not being dealt with in the manner and care it truly needs/requires.

I hope he concentrates on himself and his family only and truly establishes in his mind what is important to him.

As much as I hate to say it as a bitter Bandit fan (🙄😱😗) this league is poorer without riders the calibre of Cookie in it!

Craig’s well-documented battle also got me thinking here..… do the SCB or ACU perhaps need to look at hiring a sports psychologist or the like?

Some may agree and others may not… some think why bother racing in a professional league if you have such issues?! But mental health is a deep, deep issue… some may see riding bikes as “their release” and the “normal world” as the place where such demons in one’s life can be heightened! ………..I’d be interested in others people’s opinions on this!

For our Bonny Banditos, this weekend is a busy one. Tonight we head up the road to Glasgow. The Tigers will be lining up with Richard Lawson guesting for Cookie and Tom ‘Soon to be a Tiger’ Brennan in to replace Ulrich Ostergaard!

Tomorrow night at Shielfield, although a challenge, could potentially be a look at the future of speedway!

An idea for the way ahead to be put forward by our promotion……….. We’ve seen the teams, I’ve seen the programme layout……….. but will still be intrigued to see it played out on track!

It’s definitely a way that gets more thinking needed from the team manager! Get yourselves trackside folks……..… continue supporting the club….. even the booze is cheaper tomorrow……….. maybe take out a 5-1 ticket!

I don’t think I could echo that message any more clearly right now!

Sunday sees us tootle down the road to Redcar….. quite why I’ve decided to put myself through going I don’t know 😁…… for the love of my club is the only reason I can put forward!

Either that or the fact there’s generally sod all to do on a Bank Holiday weekend seems a more-plausible answer 😂

#UpTheBandits #UpTheBullets
Disgree with Sarah? Contact her on: – if you feel brave enough!

Sarah Charalambous
Sarah Charalambous

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