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BRITISH BOSSES CALL FOR GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

British Speedway bosses are pushing for support from the UK Government after other sports were handed funds to get through the pandemic.

20 / 11 / 2020, 12:44

British Speedway bosses confirm they are pushing for financial support from the UK Government after other sports were handed funds to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

Given that supporters have not been allowed into elite sporting events since March in the UK, British Speedway bosses were forced to cancel the 2020 league season, with only a limited number of open meetings taking place and fans only admitted for a few amateur events.

It seems quite unfair and unbalanced when you consider we are classed as an elite sport which prevented us running any Premiership and Championship meetings with crowds and yet we aren’t part of the group of sports which have been awarded funding.

Rob Godfrey

While sports like football, rugby, horse racing, tennis, netball, basketball, ice hockey, badminton and greyhound racing are to receive millions of pounds, along with other motorsports, speedway was overlooked.

British Speedway chairman Rob Godfrey insists clubs still have bills to pay, even if they have not staged any racing, while some riders relying on British racing for their income have been forced to seek other jobs.

Godfrey is working with speedway’s All-Party Parliamentary Group to push for support for the shale sport.

He said: “This process was not by application but we have been in dialogue with MPs and our APPG (All-party Parliamentary Group) to try and ensure our sport was represented after learning of the funding through listening to Nigel Huddleston (Sports Minister).

“It seems quite unfair and unbalanced when you consider we are classed as an elite sport which prevented us running any Premiership and Championship meetings with crowds and yet we aren’t part of the group of sports which have been awarded funding.

“It is also strange that we were awarded a pilot test event by the government, the British Final, to work on the reintroduction of spectators to venues but this time we have been ignored. However, we have now been told there is some more funding about to become available for other sports and we will go through the appropriate process of applying.

“The loss of an entire league season is a shattering blow for the sport. Riders have been hit hard as self-employed workers and many have had to find work elsewhere.

“Clubs have had no income but there are fixed costs which cannot be avoided in a time like this.

“A financial boost for the sport would be most welcome. In the meantime as a group of promoters we are processing our thoughts for next season.”

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