Monday, 24 March 2014

The Coventry Situation (a short word)

ITEM: This is not the full story of what's been going at Coventry over the last week or so. I don't pretend to know all the ins and outs of the situation, and neither do I believe that it would help in this case to over-examine everything at this point. Apportioning blame can only do further damage, and what would be the point anyway? The worst two words in the English language are "should have", because they only get used when someone "did not." Never, ever, has it done any good to tell someone what they should have done because they didn't and they probably know it, anyway.

So where are we? At the moment there's a stadium fit for speedway (if a little neglected, but that's a battle for another day), and a track that - with some remedial work - could stage league racing. There are two teams ready to race on it, but until there is an agreement between the owners of the respective items, no such endeavour will take place.

Let me state right now: I will be very, very surprised if a Coventry team races a home meeting anywhere other than Brandon this season. It would be a pointless exercise unless you are talking about an easily-licensed track not currently operating league speedway and with enough local fans to support an Elite League budget. Non-starter.

Having accepted that, it's clear that there needs a thaw in relations between Avtar Sandhu and Mick Horton as quick as the freeze which landed us in this position. The sticking point - other than the inside of the first turn - is obviously Marek Meinert's trackwork, which the Bees' management regard as substandard. Surely this is easily rectified by suggesting a bedding-in period during which he works under loose supervision from a former Coventry track curator? Colin Meredith was - is? - the BSPA's go-to man for track issues, and surely wouldn't mind looking in. Mick Coleman, too, is local, and still keen to help. If he's as good as he's reported to be, I'm sure Meinert would welcome the advice, if it were needed.

If the track can be fixed, and a slice of humble pie shared by all interested parties - I'm sure the TGI up the road do a good cherry one - then we can get back on with the 2014 season. I'm not naïve enough to think that this is anything like a long-term solution but it does no-one any good at all to not work out an agreement through to the end of October - Mick Horton will make no money from a non-racing team, and Avtar Sandhu did not make his money by turning away thirty paydays from stadium rent and other assorted revenues.

In the longer term (and let's hope we even get to that point) it highlights the danger of not being in control of your own destiny, and Coventry will certainly not be the last speedway (or football, or rugby, or...) to find that out. For now, though, I want to see apologies and carpet-sweeping - there's simply too much at stake not to. My gut feeling is that we will see speedway at Brandon on Friday, but I've been wrong before. And often. I just hope this is one of those rare times when the trust I put in people is rewarded.

No comments:

Post a Comment