There has been much talk -- and hilarity among insiders -- over the past couple of weeks about plans announced and apparently endorsed by a couple of former promoters at Scottish tracks to start up a rival Grand Prix circus, luring away established riders and running their show in parallel with road-racing’s MotoGP series.
About which I’m not going to comment. Read ‘Speedway Star’ magazines for last week and this, and form your own conclusions.
But it set me thinking. Since I louped the dyke and found myself in the pits and later the announcer’s boxes at the northern circuits, I must have known, observed and formed opinions about at least fifty bosses at the various tracks here at Berwick and north of the border.
Some have been, and remain the salt of the earth.
But in and around some of the ups and downs – even here, although less so – there have been those I felt at the time might give me cause for worry about our sport.
Honest men and women aside (and we know who they were and are) there have been too many carpet-baggers, incompetents, fly-by-nights, chancers, bullies and charlatans involved in running speedway in these northern climes…..
Even some of the good guys might have found themselves being led astray by the money-changers in the temple before better saviours arrived to chase out the baddies and lead the nice ones out of temptation.
So - what constitutes a good promoter, a fair and successful speedway boss?
Well it helps if, after shaking hands I don’t feel a need to carefully count my fingers!
But generally speaking, we know the good ones. We can see by their efforts, and even if bad luck, bad weather and bad injuries prevent on-track success, it is usually obvious if the boss is doing all that can be done to provide entertainment.
A good promoter will give his or her audience everything they were expecting, plus something extra they weren’t.
As I see it, if spectators have paid £15 for a seat and are served up a £20 meeting, track bosses can hold their heads up and stand tall with any rival promoter, anywhere, from any time.
Which, as I see it, means as often as not that we here at Shielfield have been pretty fortunate over the comparatively recent past.
Which is good.
Want to disagree with Dick (as many do?). He will always be happy to hear from interesting people at firstname.lastname@example.org