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What's Going On - Part Two
JEFF KING
Wednesday 27th September 2017
Ok, it’s been a day or so since Part One and I hope you’ve been able to digest it and have some opinions?
 
Probably not as no-one has probably read it but that won’t deter me from producing Part Two, as you can see.

One thing I did think about and I know this might get me in to trouble but …………………………………… There’s currently no right of reply or comment facility on my blog.

However, if you did want to say something about it or even want to ask me something then I’m happy to take that on-board.

Remember you can always tweet something or post something to Newcastle Speedway’s twitter or Facebook accounts and I’ll see it and reply. It just might not be instantaneous though.

After all, most of us, have full-time day jobs as well.

So, what of Part Two. Well, I wanted to say something about fixtures remembering and reminding you all that these are personal views and not necessarily ones that The Club agree with!

But before I get to fixtures here’s another one for you to ponder and actually it does tie in with my first statement/issue on fixtures.

Did everyone see the 2nd leg result from Glasgow? A Tuesday night fixture that saw The Tigers attempting to claw back a deficit and make the Grand Final.

In what might have been classified as their most important meeting of the season, The Tigers raced on a Tuesday night with only their three heat leaders available, the rest of the team being made up by three guests and R/R. Now someone please tell me how that can be right?

And, I said it was linked. We now have the line-up for The Grand Championship Play-Off Final which will be contested by Sheffield and Ipswich.

Weather permitting the two legs will be completed by Saturday night with Sheffield having to concede home track advantage and take the first-leg at home.

Now, I think I can hear some saying, so what? Well, the what, to me is that we will have our Play-Off Champions confirmed before some teams have even completed their actual Championship fixtures!

I’m not suggesting that I could make the situation any better and we are largely in the hands of the weather and stadium availability as well as team and rider availability but surely you can’t have the climax to the season finishing before the actual fixtures are all completed?

Yes, I know, that the remaining fixtures would not have affected the top four positions but really, have we come to a situation where the league champions and play-off winners will be confirmed before teams have even completed fixtures?

Goodness only knows what’ll happen if either leg is rained-off as I believe that in Sheffield’s case they may not be able to get another date to run? There’ll certainly be a lot of finger crossing going on over the next day for two sets of promoters at least, not to mention their riders.

What about our beloved Diamonds and their remaining fixtures. I know we’ve got Mondays as a fail-safe but things look awfully tight to me. By my reckoning we still have six meetings definitely to race before the end of the season plus, depending on the Knock-Out Cup, a possible four more?

So we could have to race ten more meetings before the end of the season. Would that be possible especially as at the moment we only have two dates free? Three of our remaining Championship fixtures have been fitted in and allocated leaving Redcar at home to organise.

Then we have the Cup Quarter-Finals against Glasgow to arrange and then if we win that the semis and then possibly the Final. I’ll tell you this, one person I wouldn’t swap places with is Wor George. He must have shares in Anadin!

Goodness only knows what teams we’ll be able to put out and what team makeups we’ll face? Throw in doubling-up or down, other competitions/events already scheduled and even other countries getting precedent over this country in some cases and you begin to see what a problem it all is.

This may all seem a wee bit negative? I’m trying not to be and breaking it down it’s all pretty factual I believe. But, it simply cannot be good for our sport that there are so many ifs, buts and maybes hanging over it and even more worrying, little or no clues as to how to fix it all.

There has been a call for structured and formalised race nights. This is something I think that must be looked at but, you have to remember that a lot of Clubs have established nights/days when they run and it suits them and their fans.

I like us riding on a Sunday for instance and would not be enamoured with a move to a Monday. I could still do Mondays but it means later starts and later finishes.

But, what of those Clubs that have curfews in place? Could for instance our near neighbours Berwick run on any other night than a Saturday and still survive? I know not!

I mentioned in Part One whether squad systems which sound good to me would work? I mentioned the promotion of National League Riders as a consistent and fair allocation of strength?

Again, not sure if any of that would work but I’m putting it out there for discussion and consideration.

I’ve also heard that a lot of people are questioning with so many riders doubling-up whether we need both a Premiership and Championship? Perhaps it’s time to move to a two-tier system? What about a North/South divide with play-offs for the end of the season?

So many questions it seems with two few answers but questions that need addressing in what seems to me to be a very big, important and crucial off-season looming.
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