So here we are! The difficult second post, how can I possibly top my last paragraph based effort? Well lets have a crack, and what better crack to…crack on with? Than the mighty speedway AGM!
The big talking point of this years AGM was always going to be the now infamous 8 point rule, which upon its inclusion, saw the league pretty much tear itself a part a year ago. The ruling basically dictated (if you didn’t guess from the title) that only one 8 point averaging rider would be eligible to ride per elite league side during 2011. Now I’m not going to get dragged into the who’s right and who’s wrong RE the insanely hell bent dolly throwing saga that followed during the ‘winter of discontent’. All I will say is that the ruling made the inclusion of Kings Lynn and Birmingham a lot easier to swallow and as a result, we (the punters) got an action drenched season that Sky (and the big cheeses within) could have only dreamt of in previous years. But a year has past, Kings Lynn and Birmingham currently find themselves held firm to the hectic, yet alluring bosom that is the elite League and the time has come to ditch the rule. Rejoice I hear you say, lets party! *Cracks open sparkling wine*
Ironically, due to the nature that is sports fans (especially those passionate about a smaller sport such as speedway), some will claim that the move to get rid of the rule is wrong. But in the cold light of day, our sport is a product and in order for a product to shift units it has to be worth buying. I personally can’t see a single downside to having more GP standard riders lining up to represent a team on a weekly basis. Say what you want about costs and teams not being able to splash out on Matej Zagar’s travel fees; the crowds we all witnessed at Poole last season are a living, breathing justification that the notion of spending money to make money is something that this sport needs to do in order to grow. But thats enough about that.
The second biggy sees the elite league pairs tournament somehow finding itself on the shelf for the foreseeable. Following the decision, a collective ‘meh’ has been heard around the nation. I kinda got that feeling you get when you’re told that your aunty that you don’t see very often isn’t showing up to your 12th birthday party. Ok, you’re down a present, but the present was probably some shite picked up from a 24 hour Tesco Express on the way over. I mean it wasn’t even in a box for god sake, just 99p’s worth of glittery tote bag with an unwritten tag hanging from the strap.
In principal the tournament is a great idea, seeing the two brightest from each Elite league outfit mirroring off against rival clubs offerings. However the nature of the sport (and any sport nowadays for that matter) means the process, money and a whole host of logistical factors make for an event which is dogged before it has even begun. I still feel the competition has its place within the UK calendar, but with the fiercely competitive (and busy) continental leagues clogging up riders diaries, I cant help but feel perhaps putting the comp to bed for a year may be for the best.
Now there are plenty of other rule changes published within the AGM statement, however, its 2:48am and I am losing the will to live, let alone the desire to type coherently (I have trouble enough with that as it is).
I will leave by boldly stating that 2012 looks solid for the elite League. It looks bright for Sky’s domestic coverage and it looks bright for us, the loyal trackside dweller. The GP’s however, well, maybe we’ll tackle that topic at a later date!
Until next time! :)