AT THIS time in November it’s common to see the AGM referred to as being the most important one for years, but I don’t necessarily go along with that.
I think it’s only the ‘most important one for years’ if it takes place with the general view being that radical changes are required – in which case the important thing is that we need to make sure we get those radical changes right. If the general view is that radical changes aren’t required then inevitably we’ll end up with a similar structure to this year, and probably similar issues being debated over the next 12 months.
To be honest I don’t think a three-day AGM is the time or the place to be coming up with radical changes and I would prefer that to take place over a longer period. If we are going to go with something completely different then we should maybe start by floating those ideas now and then bring them in for 2016. That gives you the best part of a year to get it all fine-tuned.
Having said that there are still plenty of items to be addressed this weekend, we’ve had the current three-tier league structure for 15 years now and there’s now more overlap than ever before, due to the fast track and doubling up riders.
Both the Elite League and the Premier League are reliant on the other’s riders so they need to co-exist. The vast majority of doubling up riders belong to Elite League clubs.
The gap between the two leagues has closed, although I do disagree with the opinion of a Premier League promoter recently who said in the Speedway Star that the majority of Premier League clubs could win a match against an Elite League team.
What you can’t deny is that the current format in the Elite League makes it easier for certain riders to score in the top division than in the Premier League.
Coming up with a format for 2015 isn’t going to be easy and just scanning through the Premier League news pages in the Star last week is proof of that.
- Berwick are warning that their future could depend on them finding a new team sponsor, and they say they are ‘not in a good way financially’.
- Redcar think the Premier League is pretty stable and it’s the Elite League where things aren’t right.
- Plymouth want a reduction in operating costs due to losses since moving up.
- Peterborough have been working round the clock to raise £40,000 to keep the club alive.
- Scunthorpe say they will close at the end of 2015 if crowds don’t pick up, and have left the National League.
- Sheffield want the current points limit retained and no major changes to the league structure because it’s a good solid product.
It’s an interesting weekend ahead.