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 What Happens To The Prize Money ?

Now that the TT has been cancelled there are many problems to face for the Isle of Man Government, mostly financial. However, the large 'pot' of prize money will not be paid out, and many people are interested as to what will happen with these funds.

It is possible that the money will go back to the overall TT fund or it may even be added to next years Prize Money Fund. These may be the most likely outcomes, however there are many other things the money could be used for.

Recently it has been mentioned that the leading TT stars are going to suffer highly because of the cancellation, which is true. However what about the sponsors and entrants who provide the machinery in the first place, who year in year out pay large amounts of money to provide riders with bikes to entertain the public with.

The lack of race meetings this year could cause problems for sponsors well beyond 2002. People like Mannin Collections, Martin Bullock, John Shand, Winston McAdoo, Patsy O'Kane, The Royal Hotel and countless others invest thousands of pounds each year into our sport. These teams and sponsors are also supported by smaller interests which may be reluctant to become involved again due to the lack of exposure received this year. This may make it difficult for teams to provide the same level of support in the future.

Perhaps some of the prize money could be used to help out TT sponsors?

Going back to the riders, when the suggestion was made that the top riders should be reimbursed, many people thought it was wrong to forget the other riders who make the TT what it is.

There are many riders who ride at the TT who are in serious financial difficulty due to their addiction to the sport. Second mortgages, countless loans and several full credit cards are just some of the things riders find themselves facing to risk their life for the sport they love.

Again, the riders should be considered for financial assistance in this difficult time, and not just the 'stars'.

An interesting suggestion was made to me today regarding the Southern 100. Should the event run (and we all hope it will) would it be possible to take an amount, say £20,000, from the unused TT prize fund and add it to the Southern 100 prize fund in an attempt to attract some riders to the event and reward the other regular competitors?

The same could apply to the Manx Grand Prix, where there is no prize money. Could the organisers offer free entries this year?

There are a lot of ifs and buts here, but basically all I am saying is that we shouldn't forget the most important aspect of the TT, the sport itself. The decision was a political one, which it had to be, but since the decision was made, the riders and sponsors have been forgotten and politics has taken over.

Please don't let that happen. I am, as always, interested to here your views, so please post on our message board or if need be, contact me directly at

Long live the TT and long live Pure Road Racing.

Paul Phillips

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