The Pay Up Campaign is only four weeks old. We have achieved a fair deal in that time, in my view anyway. Sky Bet have come to the table, Betdaq have publicly advertised their proud commitment to the greyhound fund, a tweet they have pinned to their Twitter timeline. The video we put out bringing people within the sport together has had a wide reach, retweeted almost 1000 times on twitter and even the Racing Post made it headline news. We have had greyhound track around the country showing their support and there is no doubt we have awakened a sleeping giant, greyhound racing!
Last night was the first time I have been racing since we started the Pay Up Campaign. Sadly I didn’t get to Towcester, Blakes Flyer, much to my bemusement was overlooked on Derby Final night. I was at Kinsley to see our Viking Jack pups, along with a huge crowd. I posted on Twitter that greyhound racing is alive and well at Kinsley, a fabulous crowd at a track that offers fabulous value for money and great food. There are plenty of real dog people at Kinsley and the one thing that came across was the support for the Pay Up Campaign. People are behind the campaign and there is genuine anger at the stance Betfair have taken.
The greatest achievement in my view of the Pay Up Campaign is that we have got people talking about it. We have been accused of being aggressive, faceless keyboard warriors and Mutley in The Post described us a social media snipes. As it was once said “they don’t like it up em! “. For too long Betfair have been allowed to get away without their unfair and ludicrous position from being questioned by the media, with the very notable exception of The Greyhound Star. But what this campaign has done is bring together the sport and it has spoken so loudly that even The Racing Post couldn’t ignore us.
I make no apology that we have upset people, there have been many brick walls built to protect the subject over the past five years, so to go through them we have had to hit hard. It is a crazy situation that The Racing Post has barely covered the subject of Betfair and when they do it is watered down, in my view, Their tone is completely different to that of the people within the sport. RPGTV which is the platform for the sport will not cover the subject at all.
We will not lose sight of why we are doing this, a well funded sport is vital for the future and at the heart of that is greyhound welfare. The shortfall from Betfair is up to £1m a year which adds up to around £5m in the five years (described in the post as a number of years) that they have not paid. It angers me what could have being done with this money. Jim Reynolds summed it up in his video message, if Betfair wanted to pay they would, if not they would find an excuse. They claim they will pay if everyone else does, but have put forward a ludicrous request, for audits of rival bookmakers.
This is completely unrealistic and surely they know that. To me this is like asking my neighbour if I can have a look in their house, root around their cupboards and underwear draw, I know what their answer would be. This is never going to happen and there seems only one purpose why Betfair would put this obstacle in the way of progress. We must continue to let Betfair know that we will not put up with it any longer. If greyhound owners trainers and punters voted with their feet and stopped using Betfair they would feel it, where it hurts, just like our sport has had to do for five years. Our focus now is to encourage people to Fire Betfair and switch to Betdaq.
Looking at what we have achieved in just four weeks, I am optimistic that we will eventually get the outcome we so desperately need for the future.
Follow the Campaign at www.payupbetfair.com