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CLOCK TICKING AS BRITISH SPEEDWAY EYES AUGUST LAUNCH

British Speedway bosses admit they could “run out of time” to launch their 2020 season if racing cannot commence in August.

10 / 07 / 2020, 11:38

British Speedway bosses admit they could “run out of time” to launch their 2020 season if racing cannot commence in August, but they are encouraged by an easing of government restrictions.

The UK Government has announced plans to allow the return of grassroots sport, with cricket commencing tomorrow and the Football Association in England lodging proposals to restart lower-league football with fans present.

The changes could open the door for speedway clubs to stage events with spectators at the venue as long as national social distancing guidelines are followed, with every sport set to submit its plans to the government for approval.

In a statement, British Speedway confirmed it has been working on proposals to allow the safe resumption of meetings with fans on terraces and insist social distancing would not be a problem at stadiums which often operate well below full capacity.

SGB Championship side Glasgow has already withdrawn from the second tier this year and it is feared other teams in the Premiership and Championship could opt against taking part in a shortened season.

But with the summer passing by and clubs running out of time to resume racing, British Speedway bosses acknowledge that even a truncated 2020 season may not be possible if they do not get clearance to get back on track in August.

Their statement read: “The board of directors at the British Speedway Promoters Ltd was encouraged by the significant easing of restrictions announced on Thursday.

“Oliver Dowden MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, revealed how grassroots team sports can resume from this weekend. Sports will need to publish specific guidance approved by government officials.

“Members of the British Speedway Promoters Ltd have, in the last two weeks, been working on how our sport can work safely for competitors, officials and spectators alike. We believe the biggest risk to riders is the natural danger element of racing motorbikes with no brakes.

“Clubs have already been planning how social distance measures can be taken for spectators and again we must emphasise speedway venues rarely host capacity attendances.

“Grassroots team sports inevitably include a small spectator element and we believe we are within touching distance of our sport being able to start a reduced season.

“However, we acknowledge the clock is ticking and if we cannot begin league racing in August there is every chance the season will run out of time.

“We thank all British Speedway supporters for their patience and understanding and wish to assure everyone we are doing everything within our power to start the season next month in a safe and enjoyable manner. We will update more as soon as further information becomes available.”

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