BRUMMIES' SEASON ON HOLD
Birmingham have put their SGB Championship season on hold with immediate effect due to the UK’s Covid-19 restrictions.
11 / 06 / 2021, 12:53
Birmingham have put their SGB Championship season on hold with immediate effect due to the UK’s Covid-19 restrictions, with co-owner Peter Mason admitting “things have to change for us to continue at Perry Barr.”
The Brummies have struggled financially at a time when UK stadium capacities are capped, with crowd levels set by local authorities – ensuring enough space is available for one-metre social distancing between groups.
With some stadiums boasting more space than others, the rules have hit some teams harder, with SGB Premiership club Wolverhampton also alarmed by severe losses in the opening weeks of the season.
The constraints with which we are working in are making it impossible to run as a sustainable business right now.
Brummies, who track a side led by former British SGP winner Chris Harris and German international Erik Riss, have confirmed they will not race home or away until July 1 at the earliest, with the UK Government widely rumoured to be delaying the scheduled removal of restrictions on June 21 due to concerns over the Delta Covid-19 variant.
Mason insists the decision to pause their season has been made in a bid to keep speedway in Birmingham alive until restrictions ease.
He said: “The constraints with which we are working in are making it impossible to run as a sustainable business right now.
“We are desperately trying to make it work and we are determined to keep this club afloat, a club with such a rich heritage and a focal point of the city, carrying the Birmingham name.
“A lot of people fought over many years to bring the sport back to Birmingham and we don’t want to be the ones who oversee its demise. On the contrary, we are determined to make this work and provide a bright future for this wonderful sport and wonderful club with a very loyal fan base.
“But right now we are working with our hands tied behind our back. I must thank everyone who has worked with us to get us this far and we don’t want to let all the hard work go to waste. That said, things have to change for us to continue at Perry Barr throughout the rest of this season.”
Co-owner David Mason admits rules preventing Brummies from selling tickets at the stadium on race night are not helping their cause, with some fans unfamiliar with booking tickets online.
He said: “A large part of our following is from the older generation, some of which are in their 70s and 80s and do not shop online. Many don’t even have access to a computer and this has badly affected our crowd levels.
“We were advertising pay on the gate until this was blocked 24 hours before the meeting and this decision alone cost us valuable revenue and we drove away from the stadium knowing we had lost thousands of pounds.
“That quite simply cannot continue and we are taking this decision to protect the long term future of the sport at Perry Barr Stadium.
“We would like to thank our fans and we need them more than ever before if and when we can restart from July 1. It’s absolutely vital they stay with us and as summer holidays approach we will be actively looking at encouraging more youngsters to the sport.”
The news has forced the postponement of Brummies’ home matches with Poole (June 16) and Newcastle (June 30), as well as their trips to Plymouth and Poole on June 22 and 23 respectively.