Costs to rocket with new ACU website – now with update

Costs to rocket with new ACU website – now with update

Since the item below was issued and published, the ACU have now made a significant change with the Directors deciding that the Permit Fee for all trials below international level will revert to £20, which is the figure currently paid by clubs to the Northern Centre.

However, permits will still need to be applied for via the ACU’s head office at Rugby and judging by the paperwork requirements, those making the application should consider doing so much earlier than they may have done so in the past.


You may be aware that currently the ACU (the main governing body of motorcycle sport in the UK) to which the Northern Centre is affiliated, are changing the organisation’s website from the one that has been in use for the past 12 years to a new system by a company named Sport 80, which is due to go live at the end of November.

Very little information has been released with regard to the new site’s capabilities except that it will replicate to a great degree the old site with a number of extra availability added in. Clubs will have been circulated with the basic details as supplied by the ACU, and some of those details have caused consternation within the sport as to the significant increase in costs that clubs will face in future.

Alex Sykes, the Treasurer and Permit Secretary for the North West Centre, which abuts with the Northern Centre has been in contact with Robert Wilson, who until last Sunday was the Northern Centre Chairman, and that email communication is repeated below for all interested parties in the Northern Centre who use this website to be informed. (The Stripe transaction fee is the card payment system the ACU will be using.)

—— Original Message ——
From: “Alex Sykes” <>
Sent: Tuesday, 15 Nov, 22 At 18:10
Subject: Sport 80 etc

Dear Robert,

I am not sure whether we have ever met, but I am the Treasurer and Permit Secretary for North Western Centre. Bob Livesey has mentioned you with great respect and noted your displeasure with recent developments including the move to Sport 80 and the centralisation of permit requests.
Earlier today, I received a copy of an email being circulated around clubs in the Cheshire / N Wales centre and, with their approval, expanded upon it and distributed it to the Centre’s affiliated clubs. The financial implications of the planned moves are quite staggering and are summed up – with examples – in the email.
If it is of use to you, you are very welcome to use it in whole or in part for your clubs.
Kind Regards,
Alex Sykes
Treasurer / Permit Officer for now – ACU North Western Centre

Dear All,

Having read through Neil Doctor’s email and attached PDF Presentation, I have done a few calculations which may help you with your decisions regarding membership and event fees for next year – and how you collect them. The calculations are based upon my own understanding of the charging structure as shown on the final slide of the presentation and my own records from my time as the Darwen Club Secretary.
Please understand that ACU Centres have received no more information than affiliated Clubs have received. Anything which the Centre has received has been forwarded to clubs. Nor have we been consulted at any stage of this process. There have been presentations at National Council level however, when clubs within the Centre and Centre Officials have submitted feedback, this has often not even been acknowledged. We are as much in the dark as you are. Similarly, we have no knowledge of how future club affiliations. membership applications, licence applications, event entries or permit applications will work other than ’they will be through Sport80’.
The current situation is as follows:
Event permit Fee – set by Centre – £20
Handling charge for memberships taken through ACU online system – 0%
Handling charge for event entries taken through ACU online system – 3%
Under the proposals for 2023 onwards, these will be:
Event permit Fee – £50
Handling charge for third part(sic) transactions – 4% hosting fee + 2.4% Stripe transaction fee + 20p per transaction – the example shows £1.48 retained from a £20 transaction.
Handling charge for Club Management module – 3% Sport80 fee + VAT + 2.4% Stripe – with 80p being retained from a £10 transaction.
I am guessing that the Third Party Transactions are typically event entry fees and the second example represents a club’s membership fee. As quite a number of clubs have made their memberships Free of Charge during the Covid period, I am not sure how this would work – but would imagine that an online system would simply charge 5.4% (plus VAT) of zero!
I have also seen calculations produced by a neighbouring Centre which show their view of a likely breakdown for a well-attended trial – and please remember that, however well-attended an event is, fixed charges such as the permit fee are fixed.
Example – Manchester 17’s Tower Charity Trial with a big entry of 134 adults at £30 and 6 Youths at £5.
Total entry fees paid by riders £4050 less 3% = £121.52 taken by ACU for card fees = £3928.50
New Sport80 system looks to cost:
Total entry fees paid by riders £4050 less 4% hosting fee = (£162.00) less Stripe Transaction Fee 2.4% = £97.20 and £0.20 per transaction = 0.2 x 140 = £28.00
Total cost was £121.52 under new system will be £287.20 = 2.36 as much!!!!! Add on the increased permit fee and the total is more than two and a half times as much.
I hope that you do find this helpful. Of course, any on-the-day entry fees and membership fees taken in cash would not be liable to these charges but would involve additional demands on paperwork, licence checking and helpers for yourselves.
Should you wish to raise any queries, please contact Rugby directly although a CC: to myself of any correspondence would be appreciated.
Kind Regards,