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SPEEDWAY STAR NEWSDESK

Outgoing Peterborough owner Ged Rathbone. Picture: STEVE HONE

Two offers on the table

OWNER Ged Rathbone has revealed there are two concrete offers to purchase Peterborough.

The SGB Championship club were put up for sale earlier this month and have attracted plenty of interest.

Rathbone, who is set to bring his four-year reign at the East of England Arena to an end, declined to speak publicly regarding the identity of the interested parties or the figures involved.

He said: “There are a couple of offers on the table but I’ll be completely honest in saying they are not quite what I was hoping for financially.

“I’m giving them strong consideration at the moment and weighing up all aspects involved.

“It’s only right and proper that the identities of the parties keen on buying the club remain completely confidential.”

Rathbone staged a well-attended fans’ forum in Peterborough last Friday night at which he spoke publicly for the first time about another major factor in his decision to walk away from the sport

A deal to purchase 10 assets from Coventry Speedway has collapsed, with Rathbone pointing the finger of blame at the Bees supremo Mick Horton.

“We did a deal to buy 10 riders,” added Rathbone. “Five of them were purchased back in March with all paperwork and finances completed.

“The other five riders were due to be paid for in June and the payment was sent on schedule.

“But Coventry Speedway had not completed that paperwork and Mr. Horton decided that he wanted the written contract we had previously drawn up to be changed.

“That is something which was not acceptable to us and we had correspondence with the BSPA who were in full knowledge of what was going on.

“At the end of August, we received an e-mail from the management committee stating the entire deal was now null and void, with all 10 riders involved in the purchase becoming the property of the BSPA.

“We were refunded some of our money. The rest was kept to cover loan fees for riders that we had bought and paid for as assets all the way back in March.

“We are both amazed and confused that, after not breaking any part of our contract with Mr. Horton, we seem to be the club to have suffered.

“The collapse of this deal is another factor in my decision to put Peterborough up for sale and step away from the sport.”

Seven-time British Champion Scott Nicholls and fellow former GP star Chris Harris were two of the initial five riders bought in March. Jason Garrity, Ben Barker and Adam Roynon are the others.

A further deal to swap Garrity for Michael Palm Toft with Scunthorpe was then completed, but that has also now been voided.

The identities of the five other Coventry assets due to be bought by Peterborough during the summer were never made public, but they are understood to be overseas stars.

Report: MARK PLUMMER

Cook accepts re-staging edict

JON Cook was quick to stress he fully understood and respected the decision to make his Lakeside team race Peterborough again in midweek.

Cook handed the matter back to the BSPA management committee and Speedway Control Bureau after the Championship semi-final was abandoned after eight heats when lights went out at Rye House on Sunday.

And Cook sought urgent assurances from Rye House to be sure necessary repair work would be done to enable the meeting to be restaged last night (Wednesday).

“Initially it seemed impossible for us to race at Rye House again this week and after what happened it was a desperate situation,” said Cook.

“I can only apologise once again to everyone in the stadium, this was beyond the control of Lakeside Hammers and I was just so sad for everyone who was kept hanging around.

“We put the matter back to the sport’s authorities because we were in such a commanding position and if they made a judgement based on the scoreline, it would have avoided the need to do it again – and the risk of losing more money.

“But when word came back late on Monday afternoon, we were quick to understand and fully respect the decision which is in accordance with the rules of the sport.

“Thankfully we were able to get a new date of Wednesday night at Rye House and based on the scoreline on Sunday, we also agreed to face Workington back at Rye House on Saturday should we have been successful.

“I’m not keen to talk anymore about the prospect of a final, but I was keen to emphasise when we were instructed to restage the semi-final there was still a league title to be won.

“It’s all been very chaotic but fingers crossed everything can go ahead smoothly from now on, including another visit or two to Workington!”

Report: RYAN GUEST

Doyle

JASON Doyle rates as “very high” his chances of remaining in British speedway next season – but even he has no idea of his destination.

The 33-year-old was one of only two permanent Grand Prix riders left on the domestic scene by the end of 2018 alongside Belle Vue’s British ace Craig Cook.

Based in Norfolk, the Swindon asset led Somerset to the playoffs and victory in the Knockout Cup 12 months after heading the Robins team that won the inaugural SGB Premiership.

His future is likely to depend on what next month’s AGM brings, a delay that is a source of frustration for Doyle who announced a two-year contract with Polish club Torun on Sunday.

“I cannot say too much about next year because the clubs don’t know themselves about the rules or what the race nights are going to be,” said Doyle.

“It is difficult to plan for the future in the UK but from what I think and see at the moment, I would still like to ride over here.

“The possibility of me riding in Britain is very high but we have to wait for the AGM on November 12.”

Asked about preferred clubs for 2019, Doyle replied: “It is up in the air.

“What happens with the averages and how I would fit into a team is pretty open. It is hard to say much because I honestly don’t know myself.

“It doesn’t work out too well with the meeting being in November, we want to get our contracts sorted out and organised while everything is fresh.

“Hopefully we will understand the situation over the next couple of weeks or so and it will be a good outcome.”

CMoney dicta

O-PROMOTER Garry May revealed Somerset could drop back to British speedway’s second tier after just two seasons in the top flight.

Money is the main consideration with bosses at the Rebels awaiting decisions from next month’s AGM before choosing which level to race at in 2019.

The Speedway Star reported last week that many issues are understood to be unresolved over next season’s plans with a lack of support for proposals which would

2 speedway star October 27, 2018

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