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Bates talks about end of the MCF

The MCF Federation has closed its doors after a tough 2020. Owner and founder Matt Bates has issued the following statement.

It is with a heavy heart that we bring the news that as from 31st December 2020, the MCF will close its doors to off road events in the UK. Both current affiliated clubs and licence holders will still be provided with the same levels of cover and support up until this date.

TWELVE years ago the MCF set out to make Motocross more accessible, more entertaining, more realistic for organisers and above all, more in line with what was needed to stage modern events that inspire a future generation. The investment to achieve this was huge in every way, but achieved in abundance and at every level being the licensing body for incredible events such as the DEP 2 Stroke British Championship and the Elite Youth Cup that collectively became the ground-breaking Red Bull Pro Nationals and the current highly successful Arenacross Tour.

Today’s leading British MXGP riders have also gained through the MCF licenced Red Bull Pro Nationals including past champions, Conrad Mewse, Josh Gilbert, Ben and Nathan Watson, proving the programme of mixing the UK’s best Youth with Pro riders and in a Pro environment was almost a decade ahead of its time.

Over this decade MCF affiliated clubs increased exponentially that widened their involvement in not just Motocross, but Trials, Enduro, Speedway, Quad, MiniBike, Beach and Side x Side racing. The MCF quickly became one of the largest off road bodies in the UK through passion, dedication and an exceptionally hard-working group of bike racing enthusiasts. It was never about one individual.

The MCF were the first in so many ways. The first to drastically reduce the highly marked-up insurance policies for club organisers to survive. The first to offer an on-line booking system to support club secretaries with their incredibly late nights taking entries. The first to offer Personal Accident insurance to every member and the first to actively get new people introduced to the sport as either a rider or a fan. The MCF set standards that kick-started other organisations back into life.The MCF have worked tirelessly to introduce new people into off road riding too.

Since day one of being in business have always stood by the mantra of giving the young and not-so-young the opportunity to try the sport for the first time. Since 2009 the MCF have put more than 50,000 people through first-time experiences at events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Carfest North, Red Bull Pro Nationals and Motorcycle Live at the NEC, to name just a few. We have created hundreds of new consumers for the industry year on year – something other licensing bodies can only wish to achieve.

Even recently during the global coronavirus pandemic, the MCF Team Aid rallied together affiliated clubs, members and staff to help raise over £10,000 for the NHS and Air Ambulance service, that so many people within the sport rely upon. In every way the MCF were pioneering, hardworking and thoughtful to the end.

“It truly is a sad day” explained MCF Chairman Matt Bates. “It’s so very hard to put in to words, but the fact is there are far too many licensing bodies for the current size of the sport and with such opposite demands, we’re all falling victim of the dog wagging the tail. By this I mean that many criticise licensing bodies for not investing and not being forward thinking enough but equally, expect so much for so little. So whilst there are commercially unviable licensing bodies in the market willing to work for less than nothing, we are not willing to compete”.

“I don’t have to spell it out, but a licence that costs no more than six packs of tear-offs or half of a graphics kit for your bike is criticised to an extreme degree for its cost. But the tear-offs and stickers will not find new riders, help clubs and support new growth in the sport. Equally race entries are seen as viciously over-priced, yet in almost thirty years of the sport, club entries have increased no more than 30% in that time yet a club is expected to now supply a start gate, timing system, marshals and a ‘ripped-up’ track and still survive on the income – it’s just not sustainable”.“For all the riders, parents, race teams, clubs, fans and licensing bodies still out there claiming to be lovers of the sport – please work together or watch it disappear”

Finally, I would like to personally say a HUGE great thank you to every licence holder, every first-time rider, every mum, dad, family member, mechanic and race team, every club committee member and above all every staff member of the MCF – thank you just doesn’t seem enough, but we can all hold our heads up high knowing that we made a difference.”

52Jon Giffard, Mark Aspden and 50 others29 comments45 sharesLikeCommentShare