Is greyhound racing a viable industry for trainers?

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Is greyhound racing a viable industry for trainers?

The Greyhound Board of Great Britain is a centre for governance, regulation and welfare as well as a lead for commercial development and growth of the sport. It is supposedly committed to managing its functions to the highest standards achievable and being efficient, effective and accountable to those that it licenses, and the public.

Effective and operational from January 1st 2009, the GBGB’s primary goal should have been to build a good relationship with all those connected to the sport; in particular with the trainers, to try and tackle the worrying decline.
It baffles me that the GBGB seem quite willing to give hundreds of thousands of pounds to millionaire owners to improve restaurant facilities at tracks, which in result has increased the track’s tote and attendances by up to 40% yet continue to penalise the trainers by slashing prize money in graded races.
Champion trainer Mark Wallis touched on the subject recently to GOBATA (Greyhound, Owners, Breeders and Trainers Association) and claimed that many trainers have been feeling the pinch with his own Imperial Kennels at Lakenheath in Suffolk running at a loss of £15,000 a year for the past two years.
“Just because I have won the Trainers’ Championship doesn’t mean the money is rolling in,” said Wallis, “in fact, far from it."

Wallis has inevitably suffered since the closure of Walthamstow and also Rye House is no more, Portsmouth went the other week. When oh when will there be some good news for greyhound racing?

Legendary trainer Charlie Lister has also been infuriated by the GBGB’s action to axe sponsorship of the monthly programme The Dogs, televised on Sky. The programme would have just cost a small £4000 per show which is hardly very much considering the audience you reach and comfort you provide for all the greyhound racing enthusiasts.
It would seem to appear as if the GBGB is targeting a niche and not looking at the bigger picture. The truth is the sport lacks exposure and would appeal more to people if better marketing was in place.
The industry has been fortunate that big sponsors such as, and Ladbrokes have stepped in to ensure that all the major Derbys get the go ahead. This year’s English Derby has seen an all time high of 217 entrants - not surprisingly. If I was a greyhound trainer I would surely cherish the opportunity to cut my losses.
The GBGB need to work alongside trainers and try and tackle any problems together. If things continue the way they are I can project a big withdrawal from many big contributors resulting in a complete slump.



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