OPINION: The importance of paying entry fees on time
The news today that the Tipperary Forestry Sean Conlon Memorial Rally has been cancelled will ring alarm bells with other event organisers.
But competitors need to be aware of their actions too as this will cost them even more money in the long run.
The club cited in a statement that the event is to be cancelled due to: “insufficient entries and unpaid entries”
The latter part of that statement is very concerning.
When a driver enters a rally, the club will go to the trouble of printing road books and door panels, a volunteer will spend hours seeding this entry, an entry list will be typed up and placed in the programme. All of this costs time and money.
There seems to be a growing trend that competitors place an entry for an event but they do not hand over the readies in a timely fashion.
This is very unfair on the club, they have bills to pay before the rally.
If a competitor does not turn up – more so if many competitors don’t turn up – it places a huge financial burden on the organising team.
This money will have to be recuperated somewhere and the only way to do that is add more money on to next year’s entry fee to offset the losses this year.
We all know the uproar that was caused earlier this year when Motorsport Ireland wanted to set the entry fees. Every competitor in the country was crying because these fees were too expensive.
But drivers who enter events and don’t pay up on time, or worse again fail to turn up, are creating unnecessary headaches for clubs.
It is not the club’s fault that your car is not ready, that the cat died or any other excuse presented at the last minute- the clubs have heard them all.
For the club that is too late, they have printed material sitting in the rally office with your name on it – and guess what – you should pay for that material.
Otherwise you will be paying on the double next year and nobody seems to like rising entry fees.
I often cite Belgian rallies as a way that things could be done in this country.
Over there you pay an entry fee to the club, this secures your entry for the rally, and you pay this on time or your entry wont be accepted and you wont be on the final entry list.
If you fail to turn up, because the cat died, then the clubs keep this fee, to offset the cost of printing your roadbook and all the other work that needs to be done, for you, to get the rally off the ground.
So, competitors, show respect to event organisers, pay on time and accept the club has expenses to offset from the moment they decide to run a rally and for many weeks after it.
Otherwise we will be reading a lot more statements like the one the Tipperary club put out this morning and worse still, we will all be paying a lot more next year to off set this year’s losses.
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