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Dave W

Running events in 2020

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Like many MSA clubs we're looking at options for 2020 in light of the massive relative increase in permit fees for 2020.

Is your club going to take the hit and increase entry fees for trials or have they looked at alternative options around event insurance ?

Yorkshire Off Road Club have not renewed our MSA membership yet until a decision is taken at the upcoming AGM and I'm a bit surprised that the changes appear to have gone without comment on here.

FWIW we have been investigating the practicality and cost of extending our current insurance to cover our events and running them outside of the MSA and will be presenting the results at our AGM for members to make a decision on.

For anyone that's not aware, the MSA at the end of 2019 announced that permit fees would be more than doubled for our trials events and, in addition, all competitors and passengers would require an MSA license (free) in addition to club membership. 

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We don't run competitive events so MSA is not suitable for us, although the number of clubs running play days supposedly under MSA regs is concerning given that the MSA themselves said it's not something they really support.

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have only done one msa event in the last few years & unlikely to do many more going forward im quite happy to continue to do events that are Nora/ MCF insured & governed, 

unfortunatley the msa are quite keen to keep there rose tinted glasses on & ignore anysort of sensible discussion relating to offroad motorsport, full hydro steer is one such subject

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The problem we have at the moment is simply the cost of most of the alternatives.

Our current entry fee is £15 for a trial entry. No license is required other than club membership which, for existing members, is £15 per year. Over the last few years entry numbers have dropped slightly but we've just about been breaking even over the year which is pretty much as we want it. We pay around £10 per entry to the land owner and just under £5 per entry to the MSA for the permit/insurance. With the MSA increasing their fee from just under £5 to £10 now is a good time to review our options.

We've tried avoiding increasing entry fees in the past as we've found that the entry numbers drop off proportionally so adding £5 to the entry fee is likely to reduce entry numbers. When we've tried more expensive land and increased the cost of entry, numbers have always dropped off. We also have issues with new competitors being put off by too much paperwork so adding another layer with the addition of a mandatory license is unlikely to improve matters.

What we would ideally like to find is a way to continue with our motor sport without increasing costs and paperwork... hence we're interested in hearing if any other clubs have found viable alternatives for grass roots competition. Most of the alternatives we've looked at seem to need a license for each competitor which is probably a bigger obstacle to new competitors than the MSA license given that the MSA one is free at the moment. Nora/MCF, for example would be way too expensive, as would the IOPD which would be the more obvious alternative.

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The MSA have just re-branded (as "Motorsport UK") and are (supposedly) making more of an effort to keep people engaged so it might be worth talking to them - I had a long conversation with them at last year's Silverstone Classic in their shiny new stand on the subject which is how I came to have the conversation about clubs running play-days under the MSA banner.

I agree that IOPD seems very expensive for submitting some paperwork to the council that it kinda feels like anyone should be able to do for free.

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I think that the massive increase in permit fees are a direct result of the policy that you mention.

Basically they are trying to leverage competitor data by ensuring that anyone taking part in MSA events has to submit their personal data to them first. Currently some of this data is only held by clubs but the MSA now want sex/age/address/relation information to sell on to third parties. In order to get a license you now have to agree to that.

In order to finance the new license scheme they have increased all entries across the board but grass roots events, as a percentage, are paying more than double.

I have asked the MSA why they have done this without consultation and got no reply. I also asked their privacy contact why the license form appears to contradict their own privacy policy and got no reply.

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Ah, hadn't seen that as we're not MSA, that sucks balls.

I really can't imagine they'd earn enough selling your data to be worth the hassle and ill will of doing it like this :( and it's far from their primary function.

I can see why they might want records of all individuals taking part to better control/monitor who's doing what, but why involve the advertising vampires?

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I'm not involved with any MSA events these days, but still know many who are, and it's fair to say this has caused a great deal of animosity. Ian Davis has a bit of a history of upsetting folk at Clubman level by imposing (IMO) poorly conceived new rules with no warning.

The ALRC have been all over this one Update here

I'll say no more, other than from experience, you're going to have to learn to live with it because the MSA don't do u-turns.

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We'd already assumed there was no way back, I hadn't seen the ALRC had met with them, seems they came up against a brick wall too but there does seem to be some confirmation that the original "press release" was, as suspected, complete fabrication.

It's interesting that the ALRC seem to have forgotten that they are one of the bodies in the UK that can issue exemption certificates though ! 

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The ALRC haven't forgotten they're one of the approved Licencing bodies.

As part of their actions related to the M UK Permit fee increases & new Licence demands, they're evaluating what the Pros & Cons of using the authority granted them a few decades ago. They'll be announcing the results as soon as they can follow up all the issues (remembering they're an unpaid voluntary organisation, whereas M UK have a £3m pa salary budget !).
The M UK changes were imposed at very short notice & without any of consultation with the "Grass roots motorsport" they allege to be promoting ?
They've obviously got no idea what goes on away from their clean tarmac tracks.

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I'm still waiting for a response to my GDPR clarification (First sent to MSA in November) but in the meantime we've not found a viable alternative. At our AGM there was a lot of ill feeling towards the MSA but also an acceptance that we don't have any good alternatives at the moment. All we can hope is that increasing the costs and complexity of competing will not have a negative effect on numbers.

We'll add something to our own privacy policy to warn members that we do not believe the MSA or their license application process is GDPR compliant until we get clarification or they change the process and/or privacy statement.

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Our local LRC use MSA I have been keeping an eye on this topic. Although MSA say the licence is free. To make use of it they have jacked up the price for events. Does anyone know exactly way the fee has increased and passengers need a licence. On the licence front could it have anything to with 3rd party claims?

O I will say it people at MSA need paid and some may feel they need more.

 

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The MSA have shot themselves in the foot to a certain extent because they keep changing their story on exactly why licenses are now required and why the permit fees have more than doubled. They then said that it was to help sustain them, then that it was to promote the sport. Then it was due to insurance, then they announced that they had combined the permit and insurance fee as that was now "confidential" and the split in costs (insurance/permit) is no longer to be disclosed.

The reality is that they want to harvest data for purposes they won't disclose, even in response to a GDPR request. The £5 extra per entry is actually to pay for the "free" licenses so the directors can increase profit whilst getting competitors to pay to harvest the data. The license application violates their own privacy policy as far as I can tell and they've refused to clarify what the data is to be used for or why they are gathering it.

I don't yet have figures for 2019 but profits before tax for the MSA have been as follows:

2014: £285,000 (7.3 million turnover)
2015: £73,000 (7.75 million turnover)
2016: £439,000 (7.72 million turnover)
2017: £432,000 (8.23 million turnover)
2018: £454,000 (9.55 million turnover)

Now, I'm no financial guru but it seems to me that if you're running a limited company and still declaring nearly half a million as taxable profit... you can live without taking £5 extra per month from trials competitors. They actually earn over £200,000 a year in interest, that must really give them sleepless nights.

The directors of the MSA are paid £650,000 and the employees get £2,753,000 between 50 of them. One of the directors gets paid £275,000 per year. That'll be the same director that decided to add £5 per entry because otherwise the MSA would not be financially viable...

They have £16,000,000 in assets of which just under £2,000,000 is "working capital" which is, presumably, where most of their interest income originates.

Between 2017 and 2018 Turnover increased by over 16%, pre-tax profits increased by over 5%, working capital increased by nearly 49% and shareholder funds increased by nearly 4%.

I've still not had a response to my GDPR clarification request from mid November...

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