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Date Clash Conflict: Open Letter to the ACU

Currently, there is some conflict between some of the biggest federations in the UK, over some date clashes. Yesterday, we posted a press release from the ACU stating that some of their own date clashes had been resolved. But, the issue is far from over, as this has prompted Matt Bates (E22 Sports Managing Director) to write this open letter to Brian Higgins of the ACU:

Dear Brian,

It comes as no surprise that today I read that the ACU have now solved the youth sport’s ‘major date clash’!

Since September the sport is well aware that we, as the MCF and the sport’s ‘leading youth motocross series’ (totally self-proclaimed but we thought we’d also stake our claim to this as everyone else seems to do the same!), announced dates for the 2014 Elite Youth Cup series. Shortly after this, another of the sport’s ‘leading youth series’, the British Youth Nationals, announced dates where one round clashed with us on May 10th & 11th. Both Roy Barton and I spoke to Gareth Hockey about this to which we were told that we should wait until after the FIM congress where a number of dates would change the shape of the 2014 calendar.

So we waited…and waited, only to find that yesterday your press release did indeed change the shape of the calendar – by increasing the date clashes to two rounds.

In your words: ‘We realise that the second date does clash with a rival championship [we’ve been elevated to ‘rival’ status at last!] but realising they chose to clash one date anyway and no other alternatives available: we feel this is unavoidable’.

You have your facts wrong Brian as I’m sure you must realise that we are not beholden to the FIM releasing their schedule and can therefore announce dates much earlier than you. You also thank your two promoters for making the only sensible option – personally I find it worrying to know that youth motocross is so safely in the hands of yourself, Claudio and Gareth!

One year ago Brian you may recall that as a group of licensing bodies we sat down (or, in your case, stood while trying to dictate) at the Dirt Bike Show with the sole aim of trying to avoid these unnecessary date clashes. I can’t speak for everyone around the table but I actually thought we had made much-needed progress. What I wasn’t aware of was that your commitment was clearly only for 12 months…

So here we go again, back on the merry-go-round of time-consuming date issues that quite frankly none of us want to be bothered with leaving me with one final thought – if only you channelled more of your energy into promoting the sport to wider audience, or even thought of your licence holder first, we would all be in a better place. Surely you have realised by now that date clashes only lead to three losers – both organisers and, more importantly, the licence holder!


Matt Bates 
Managing Director
e22 Sports

Image courtesy of Elliot Spencer

MX Vice Editor || 25

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