PLANS are at an advanced stage for GOBATA to take over and re-open Swaffham. The Norfolk track, which had been trading for 13 years, closed in 2000 following a dispute between greyhound promoter Tom Smith and the holder of the header lease, Vince Moody. The derelict track was revamped a couple of years ago and has been used as a schooling facility by local trainers.

GOBATA chairman Martin White said: "We were approached to see if we would like to lease or even buy the stadium. We have been along to see the track, which would need money spending on it to get it operational, money that current owners Eddie Lesley and Maurice Kirby have agreed to spend. We would also need support from GBGB in terms of their rules which currently forbid any grants during the first year of trading. The fact that it is a stadium re-opening, rather than being a new greyhound track, will hopefully have a bearing. The next step is for the GOBATA committee to decide if we should proceed. We are also looking at the possibility of taking over another stadium, though it is too early in the discussions to go into detail". 
 
 
John Coleman, with over 50 years experience of working in the sport, today in the Racing Post shares his fears for the future of Greyhound Racing.

Reading the recent story regarding Belle Vue's apparent uncertainty over staging its Scurry and Gold Collar due to lack of sponsorship made me really question just where it had all gone wrong. Belle Vue was the track where Greyhound Racing began on July 24 1926 - effectively sinnalling in the start of the GRA. Over the next remarkable years, the company, sustained by the popularity and financial success of its Greyhound Racing activities, quickly became one of the leading entertainment groups in Britain.

Offering its equity to the public, GRA saw its shares become a hit on the London Stock Exchange. Within a few years of openining at Belle Vue, other company tracks opened in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.
The total soon rose to 9 and they became synonymous with enterprise, immaculate presentation, imaginitave promotion, lively publicity and large crowds.
 
 
THE blog from William Hill PR guru David Hood, published on the Racing Post website last week, was hardly going to take sides with the local racegoers at Plough Lane, those racegoers who have been re-grouped lock, stock and barrel on the old back straight side of the stadium and into the Mick The Miller bar.

The closure of the main grandstand restaurant, and all that went with it, has been for many of them like losing their right arm with the prosthetic replacement nothing like as good as the one they have lived with for decades.