Well...yeah, I don't think she could do much worse to be fair and Sorry Kosmic....but this next bit is going to be long!!
I just finished reading last weeks Autosport Group B special which was great... what I found truly pathetic however is the continued 'Fanboyism' of David Evans toward North One Sport. North One don't need a PR director...they have David! His side-bar is possibly one of the most 'out-of-touch' pieces I have read from him all year.
When practically the entire sport of rallying and all within it, are calling for an end to this 10 Years of ISC/North One Sport excercise in failure... I will put forward some answers/motions that I have observed from others, as well as my own opinion:
David Evans - Rallies Editor - December 8th 2011
where's that foot? There it is. take aim. Fire! Bang. Both Barrels. Both Feet. When will the World Rally Championship get it right? The calendar was coming, the manufacturers were returning, the rallies were getting it right. And then the Russian was arrested, just days after promising millions and millions more.
It's not the World Championship that needs to get it right...its North One Sport David. The WRC is not an entity in it's own right but there are people who run it and those people are NOS employees, therefore when looking for the people that must be brought to task over this farce, it is they, who you must ask the question.
As to the next part...
We have one of the TWO main manufacturers teetering on the point of leaving the WRC (Ford), one new 'manufacturer' (Mini) that is so much a manufacturer, that despite having its best sales figures in November and Mini sales up 14% on the previous year, this new 'manufacturer' is not in fact giving the full budget required by Prodrive to compete, resulting in them having to seek a title sponsor elsewhere in order to carry on......combined with a manufacturer that actually wont arrive until 2013, by which time we may have lost two manufacturers leaving us once again with TWO!..... Is this REALLY manufacturers coming back?? #stretch
Then...the slap in the face to rally organisers the world over.... "the rallies were getting it right" er Hello?????? The rallies always had it right, it was not until they were instructed by Jerry Cottles Circus...to try clover leaf rally formats and daylight only rallying, that events lost their character. It was the RALLIES, like the Monte, who basically said 'Screw this..lets go back to what fans want'...so the rallies were never the ones that got it wrong...it was North One Sport!!!!
The sport is now faced with a major problem. The WRC is on the brink of being brilliant again. Everything is in place. Except those millions. But what do we do? Do we castigate them for the current plight or do we back them to get us out of this mess. What alternative do we have? Have I missed the queue of investment firms lining up the WRC and asking where to put their money? No. They're not there. We have have to get behind North One Sport.
Where to start...The 'sport' of rallying, will carry on regardless, while popularity of the WRC has been made out by many to be the be all and end all of 'the sport' it is in fact just the pinnacle. The only ones facing a justly deserved crisis right now is NOS. As to everything being brilliant again??? SERIOUSLY what bubble do you live in??? step out of the bubble for a moment and look at every internet forum, media outlet, Twitter, Websites, Youtube, the world over... there hundreds of thousdands if not millions of people stating that they have either stopped watching the WRC or cannot bring themselves to watch..EVEN IF THEY COULD FIND A BROADCAST!! It is far from brilliant...it is in one of the worst depressions of it's entire history. That's not just my view...you are massively outnumbered with voices of discontent versus those of support.
Yes we do castigate NOS from this mess, as they bloody made it! The list of failures of this management group is breath taking; 'New LIVE Rally coverage with fancy graphics overlaying cars on stages' made only possible by subsidised satellite time with sponsorship by Inmarsat! So having changed rallies to suit this new format of rallying and coverage...BOOM! Inmarsat ends its sponsorship and NO ONE stepped forward to pick up the tab of those satellite bills to enable that coverage. Begin the freefall here...........
Then there is the daylight only rallying, the computer game (because that's where the real audience is apparently), the famous 'we only need four manufacturers' statement, the loss of Free to air TV coverage... the total collapse of printed coverage around the world (Mr Evans excluded). Then the sub-championships, J-WRC, S-WRC, P-WRC....every single one dwindling in numbers....allowing the two main manufacturers to dictate the switch to 1600cc Turbo's wayyy too soon with too many electronics, when 90% of the sport were saying that S2000 followed by a well thought out, well funded NEW WRC for 1600T's in 2013.... the list of failures could go on..... In short... the sport's promoters have not had a single clue what the hell they are doing and have not done so since they took over as ISC and tried to cover their failings with a 'new brand' 'North One Sport'.
Then there is the 'investment' question.... having worked in and around the investment community, let me educate you to a little thing that the 'Investor' is looking for..... "IRR
" - Internal Rate of Return!! What exactly is the 'Investor' going to get a return on? and what prcentage will that be???? The reason there are no investors lining up...is the fact that there is the princely sum of 'ZERO' rate of return currently with the WRC!! The management entity has become a cost eating bohemoth...that requires a HUGE global audience, via enormous television numbers, in order to have a 'VALUE' that the investor can quantify in order to determine if they they can reach their intended IRR. In short....that simply is not there!!...If someone is then offering to give you MILLIONS in this current championship climate, alarm bells must surely be ringing???....
Newsflash (in-case you were not sure)..... the championship is at an all-time low, the television coverage is pitifull (not the presenters, they can only work with what they have), the printed media coverage is almost non-existent and 'New-Media' coverage, is getting slammed by people all commenting that rallying is not what it used to be, etc etc. HOW THE HELL..do you expect to find an Investor, when the promoter has created the mother of all 'swine-procreations' to leave the series with such an incredibly poor value? And you honestly want to say that the WRC is at the point of being brilliant again David??? Please.....
At the same time, the FIA must surely shoulder some responsibility here. It took a long time to rubber-stamping this deal with Antonov and his firm Convers Sports Initiatives and put plenty of diligence into its due diligence, yet here we are
Here we are indeed.... It is very simple to understand why the due-diligence took so long....because there were many that were not 100% about this deal within the FIA. Let's not GLOSS OVER THE FACT
David, that it was North One Sport that presented this group to the FIA, it was NOS that proposed this new investor.....why??? Because NOS had run out of cash and ideas and was having to revert to former formats of rallying with the faintest of apology... It was NOS that could find no other financial partner and in desperate bid to keep their Ivory Tower from crumbling..threw what was always going to be a questionable deal onto the table.... So what choice did the FIA have? other than to do what they could to check all the details and reluctantly, agree to the deal.... And while Simon Long was personally stating how great this deal was and giving his full endorsement... what the FIA SHOULD have done..is said..."On your head be it
So David Evans...your column is headed "AUTOSPORT SAYS".... it is long past time, that you take off the rose tinted spectacles and admit that the last 10 years of WRC promotion have been an un-mitigated disaster area..
You asked what do we do? Here's what we do....all commercial rights are cancelled and all TV agreements made null and void! The rights to the championship get taken back in-house within the FIA and managed by people that actually have some experience in this sport, taking 2012 and slashing the calendar to just a handful of high quality events, based in Europe if need be, to keep costs down, while a proper tender is created for a new promoter to take over from 2013!
Enough of the fanboyism.... formers drivers are calling for NOS to go, Photographers, Commentators, Ex-Champions, Organisers...the list is enormous, ALL calling for a radical change from the FIA and quickly.... North One Sport has had it's time, it is time for a new restructuring year..to make 2013 a PROPER return to what Rallying should be all about!