Blogs & Opinion


Elite success

Nigel Pearson looks back at what he thinks was a great Elite League season.

Nigel Pearson - Nigel Pearson Posted 17th October 2011 view comments

It wasn't nice for the unfortunate ones, but how nice was it to see a capacity crowd and folk being turned away at Poole in the Elite League Final?

The UK has taken a battering from riders and fans alike as a 'second rate' Speedway nation behind Poland and Sweden, but the capacity crowd last Monday coupled with another massive turnout at Cardiff in the summer for the British GP shows we are still a country which enjoys our speedway.

Darcy Ward: Let Poole to victory

Darcy Ward: Let Poole to victory

Over 5,000 fans packed into Wimborne Road and the best team of the season won the league title. Poole have topped the table for the majority of the season and nobody can argue with the fact that they are worthy champions.

It was a good effort by Eastbourne and it's good to see the Eagles back as a competitive force in the sport after some years in the doldrums when their Elite League future was in question.

Success

But the biggest success for me as been the Elite League itself. By accident, the league became 10 after the prolonged dispute between two clubs and the BSPA was resolved, although the wounds are struggling to heal.

And my one wish for this winter is that the sport has a more peaceful and straightforward time of it.

What happened last winter was completely unacceptable and, whilst listening to both sides of the story, the wider public really don't care who was at fault and who fell out with who. That needs to be remembered because the sport as a whole is bigger than any club or individual ego.

If anything similar happens, I fear far reaching consequences which will change the face of the sport in this country forever. Let's enjoy the season we've just had and hope for more of the same in 2012.

As for the Premier League, congratulations to Glasgow for their wonderful success - but the league has missed a trick.

Of the three leagues in British racing the Premier is the only one which doesn't follow the play-off system because it's not fair on the team that finishes top of the league.

Time to change that view. I refer once again to the thousands of fans who packed into Poole to see them lift the title as opposed to the numerous meaningless PL meetings for a large part of the season because the title has been in the bag for some time.

And I'm told the crowd at Ashfield was pretty poor to see them win the title. Time to look at the bigger picture, PL bosses.

Comments (4)

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Stephen Bastow says...

Good to see big crowds at Poole. Good to see big crowds anywhere. Does that mean that a team that's been the best over the whole season should be labeled 'losers'? I don't think so. There's nothing wrong with having a Play-off competition at the end of the year however. It just needs to be called something different. If it had a big money prize and developed some 'history' of it's own it would still be a draw for the crowds. What about the British Cup?

Posted 17:25 19th November 2011

Martyn Savage says...

I feel your comment that the sport of speedway is bigger than one club is the one that the BSPA should start to promote may be then the "fair play" system would be adopted.At last years AGM it was decided that you would be allowed to have only one rider with an 8 point average or over in any team!! .Can you ever recolect that being opperated before in any season and was not changed! i am going back to pre1960 and i cant think of one,and i would be quite sure that you will not see the same next season.It is for this reason the BSPA should be a total separate body,as it appears that manipulation might be the primary reason.The ELITE league should be full of world class riders at least No1 to No5 so you can show case the worlds best but yet we now have wars as to who has the best riders avaiable from the lower leagues,The way the GP is run is great for that show case but we have seen so many riders leaving these shaws to race in the GP but still race in other countrys why? is it because of money or tavel or may the politics that surround the sport over here who knows but one thing is for sure this exodus will only get bigger if somthing radical is not done and soon As the comment above from PL bosses have said time to look at the bigger picture and make some serious changes.But please do not stop your sponsership or the brilliant coverage.

Posted 18:17 17th October 2011

Paul Cornish says...

i agree with the pl bosses,there should not be play offs,its totally unfair that a team finishing fourth can be league champions.how would man. utd. feel being top of the league all season,have one bad day and not be crowned champions. i dont think that would happen.please pl stay the way you are,the team finishing top whatever the gap deserve to be champions,its all about what happens over a season not two legs.congrats to Poole and Glasgow

Posted 17:28 17th October 2011

Keith Dennison says...

Totally disagree with you regarding play offs , they make a mockery of the league system , agreed it makes for some much needed revenue and excitement in a sport that actually has almost come to a dead end in britain , they , and the double points rider option during a match really are mickey mouse . Obviously you and your team do your best to build up the sport but let's be honest if one looks around at the handful of people attending league matches the reality is there for all to see .

Posted 15:56 17th October 2011

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