Dick Barrie's picture


Nick Morris is back at Shielfield on Saturday – but he could have been Scott Nicholls!

Yip, until they were informed there was “absolutely no way” Scott could race at Championship level in 2018, the Hammers had done a deal with Scotty to headline their return to the better league as their team leader!

However, at the BSPA’s annual conference the clubs put the concept of riders such as Scott, Eddie Kennett, Max Fricke and David Bellego (to name but a few) coming into our league to the vote, and agreed by a fair majority it would not be a good thing.

This is called democracy, and as such must be accepted – even if you’re unhappy with the result of an election, referendum or any other vote – the majority have spoken. Move on.

So Lakeside accepted the result, and moved on. They signed Nick instead -- probably, on reflection a far better rider than Nicholls these days anyway.

Later on enter Peterborough, who thought they’d like to sign, Scott or Eddie, and wanted to put the matter to the test.

So there was another gathering of all the promoters in the BSPA held early this year, and – despite having already been voted upon and decided, at the AGM – it was again proposed that the excluded riders should be allowed to race in the Championship.

Again, the majority decision was no, they shouldn’t. Surely the end of the matter.

You’d think so – the BSPA has a constitution (yes, I know, who knew?) and the members are bound by it to uphold matters upon which they have voted. As I said above, this is called democracy.

Surprise, surprise, some weeks later it was disclosed that – regardless of the full BSPA council having not once but twice voted that the riders in question must be held ineligible to race in the Championship -- Scott could after all join Peterborough. Tough luck on Lakeside, who had obviously believed we still ran by the rules.

This is called anarchy.

It is not the first time a black-and-white rule in our regulations has been turned upside down recently without any reference to the general body of promoters -- the rank and file left trying to present speedway to the paying public as a sport with hard-and-fast rules and regulations.

A match didn’t reach the end of Heat 10. The rule-book clearly and absolutely says it must be restaged, as was indeed ruled by the referee on the night. A few days later, it was announced it wouldn’t be, and the visitors would be awarded four league points. Why?

The American Luke Becker was denied an appeal to the immigration authorities this spring, despite having what the visa people called “more than reasonable grounds” for the question to be at least asked.

Why? I regret to observe the true facts, must – like Luca Brasi – sleep forever with the fishes.

As a long-time onlooker on all things speedway, I had – until the past couple of years – believed the opening paragraph of our Speedway Regulations to hold true.

It reads: “All recognised sport must have rules and a body to enforce these rules. The Auto-Cycle Union Ltd, as the internationally-recognised Governing Body for the sport of Motorcycling throughout the British Isles, excluding Ireland, has delegated the Speedway Control Bureau as the sole national body appointed tocontrol the sport of motorcycle Speedway within that jurisdiction in a fair and equitable manner”.

Time to uphold your high ideals, Mister ACU – or our sport will indeed descend deeper into anarchy.

It will be well and truly Busted.


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