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SWEDISH SEASON SET FOR JUNE START

The start of the Swedish season has been moved back to June 2 as league bosses make play-off and transfer changes due to the coronavirus.

26 / 03 / 2020, 10:45

The start of the Swedish season has been moved back to June 2 as league bosses make play-off and transfer changes due to the coronavirus.

Elitserien bosses have also shortened the play-offs, dropping the quarter final round. This looks set to see only the top four clubs battle it out for the title rather than the top six.

Meanwhile, clubs will also be allowed to make more changes to their squad to ensure gaps can be filled if travel restrictions, rider illness or date clashes with other leagues render their stars unavailable.

With these rules, the clubs will have much more room for manoeuvre and we can ensure a sporting and attractive league in 2020.

Mikael Holmstrand

With restrictions on large gatherings currently in place in Sweden, the Elitserien has opted against starting the season as planned on May 5. It is hoped delaying the first four rounds of matches will ensure fans will be able to attend.

ESS vice president and media manager Mikael Holmstrand said: “A proposal has now been approved by the clubs and the SVEMO federation, which means that the start of the season is postponed for a month and that a number of additional rules are introduced in 2020 to increase the possibility of a sporting and functioning season.

“First of all, it is obvious that we cannot race without an audience. We have therefore postponed the start of the season until June 2 and hope that the restrictions on larger gatherings have eased then.

“To be able to end the season in a reasonable time this autumn, we will clear the quarter finals. Should there be extended restrictions on public events, we have a number of different scenarios ready.”

Clubs were previously restricted to three transfers during the season, but this has now been increased to seven.

The minimum team-building limit has also been reduced from 8.500 to 8.000 to make it easier for clubs to track a legal team if they struggle to source riders. Teams have also been given the green light to sign a temporary guest if one of their riders is racing in another country on a Swedish race day.

Holmstrand added: “With these rules, the clubs will have much more room for manoeuvre and we can ensure a sporting and attractive league in 2020.

“The clubs and the association have shown great willingness to co-operate and humility over the situation, and quickly came up with a comprehensive proposal that we really believe will make the season possible.

“Now we keep our fingers crossed that the pandemic will turn as quickly as possible and the season can start as we have now envisioned.

“We also hope that our fans and sponsors will do their utmost to help the clubs with what they can so that we can have another great season of speedway in Sweden.”

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SWEDISH SEASON SET FOR JUNE START

The start of the Swedish season has been moved back to June 2 as league bosses make play-off and transfer changes due to the coronavirus.

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