PROMOTER Wally Mawdsley, in his time a rider, England team manager and chairman of the BSPA, advocated a reduction to six-man teams for league racing. In a circular memo to fellow promoters in late June, he wrote:

‘No-one involved in speedway promoting can but doubt that we are now in a position where something must be done to safeguard not only the long-term but also the immediate future of the sport.

Inflation on and off the track has bitten into gates and most tracks report lower attendances in 1977 than for previous seasons. The spiralling costs and demands of riders have forced most of us into an unpalatable financial situation (in which) something MUST be done if the sport is to survive without track closures. There are several possible answers - the most drastic of which are the twin suggestions of a total ban on four-valve machinery and the exclusion from the sport of the higher echelon of Superstars.’

Of his idea of six-man teams, he went on:

‘Most British League tracks have a foreign rider in a reserve position and could quite easily dispense with this rider without seriously weakening their side in comparison with all but the strongest.

The savings on one less foreign rider over a season could be enormous. Reducing teams by one will also reduce each promoter’s travelling expenses for home and away matches by one-seventh; another enormous saving.’



Six-man teams- the Wally Mawdsley memo

Speedway Fiction

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The Great Debate 1977

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