Interview: MARK BIRD Mark Bird joined the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, greyhound racing’s regulatory body, in 2015. Two years ago, he became the Managing Director, the head of the entire sport. In this three part interview, Mark addresses the many issues facing the greyhound racing, including welfare issues, media rights deals, funding and the need to recruit more young people into the sport.
MARK BIRD (part 1 of 3)
In part one, we learn a bit more about Mark Bird; his professional background and his personal interests. He discusses why he thinks greyhound racing is such a political sport, the potential re-opening of Towcester and his views on the so-called ‘media rights war’ between SIS and ARC and how it is affecting the industry.
MARK BIRD (part 2 of 3)
Mark tells us how welfare underpins almost every area of greyhound racing and will have the biggest impact on the future of the sport, hence why 80% of the GBGB’s £8 million income is spent in this area. Mark also assesses the success of various schemes introduced under his leadership, the GBGB’s relationship with the Greyhound Trust, the struggle to find homes for ex-racing greyhounds and how as an organisation, the GBGB are trying to educate trainers who unnecessarily euthanise greyhounds.
MARK BIRD (part 3 of 3)
Having secured a voluntary levy, the industry’s income is still not up to what was expected. In part three, Mark explains the reasons why and how he is trying to secure a higher income. We discuss the Star Sports Derby at Nottingham, the difficulty getting sponsorship for competitions, the apprenticeship scheme and the future for the sport, as well as how long he sees himself in the top job.