Speedway’s governing body, the British Speedway Promoters Ltd. today shone a bright red light on any possibility of any league racing taking place on UK shale this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic in a release which appears in full after this report.
This of course means Newcastle Diamonds’ Brough Park will not see league speedway this year, as the Tyneside speedway management team headed by Rob Grant and Dave Tattum have acknowledged in a statement, which reads:
“All the management at Newcastle Speedway are deeply disappointed for all our riders, sponsors, and most importantly our loyal band of supporters.
“It’s a decision that was inevitable, but all the promoters, up and down the country, have worked tirelessly in the hope that we could get the UK Government go ahead with ample time to run a league campaign, and none more so then us.
“The winter takeover injected so much positivity into the club, and there was a great feeling of 2020 being a successful and enjoyable season. This is something that we believe will carry on into 2021, and we would like to take the same team forward and continue in 2021 in the same fashion we intended this season.
“We would like to remind all our season ticket holders that their season tickets can be used in 2021. We appreciate everyone’s financial circumstances are different and, if you prefer, you can get a full refund by simply emailing email@example.com where we will give you more instructions on getting a refund. Please be aware that we won’t be issuing anymore season tickets for 2021 other than the season tickets rolled over from this year.
“We have informed all our sponsors of the news and are delighted that they all want to stay involved by rolling their various sponsorship packages over to ’21. We are extremely grateful for this, and cannot thank them enough! They are truly the backbone of Newcastle Speedway’s survival.”
The full BSPL statement as issued at 12.30pm, Tuesday July 21st, 2020:
IT can now be confirmed with great reluctance and disappointment that professional league speedway in the UK has been cancelled for 2020.
This news comes following the announcements made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last Friday which stated October as the target date for crowds to return to sporting stadia. This does not give enough time for a full season of league racing to be staged.
In the meantime, work will continue on the grassroots level of the sport and clubs have been invited to gain the necessary permission from their local council to stage some form of racing before the end of October.
Rob Godfrey, Chairman of British Speedway Promoters Ltd, said: “We would like to offer our sincere appreciation for the supportive attitude shown to us from our broadcast partners Eurosport, they have been very understanding of this most difficult situation for the sport.
“Promoters up and down the country have worked 24/7 to try and give themselves every opportunity to stage league racing this season and I take my hat off to all those who have shown a positive attitude throughout.
“We have never given up and it is only the announcement from the Prime Minister on Friday that has left us with no choice.
“It is also important for us to thank all the riders who have remained patient throughout all of this, they have been left in an extremely difficult situation and our thoughts are with them all.
“In addition, the loyal sponsors throughout the country must also be acknowledged , their support is much appreciated by clubs.
“And we must also thank all supporters of this wonderful sport in this country. We must now embrace the future and look forward with a positive attitude as we look to grow British Speedway.
“I would also like to thank everyone for their support of the Monday night stream of past meetings and the Friday night quiz. We actively continue to keep the sport in the public eye in the build-up to 2021 and our social media channels will continue to engage with followers and provide regular content.
Jamie Steward, Senior Director of Production and Broadcast, Eurosport UK said: “Whilst very disappointing, we are fully supportive of what has been a difficult decision to make in these unprecedented times.
“We remain committed to speedway and we are already working in collaboration with the BSP Ltd to deliver the best possible viewing experience to passionate fans across all Eurosport platforms in 2021 and beyond.”
Further details of fixtures at those tracks which can and decide to stage meetings in August, September and October will be provided via the British Speedway website, media service and social media channels.