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EASTBOURNE CLOSURE

Eastbourne withdrew from the Championship last week. In a full and frank interview with ANDY MITCHELL, director Ian Jordan tells Speedway Star why...

DIRECTOR Ian Jordan is carrying the can for Eastbourne’s closure and has promised to clear all outstanding debts amid hope that speedway at Arlington can be salvaged in 2022.

Growing debts and a lack of cashflow saw the Eagles officially cease competing on Thursday of last week, a decision that Jordan revealed had been taken by club bosses on the previous Friday (August 20).

It came as riders, concerned over not being paid, began asking to leave in the wake of showdown talks prior to Eastbourne’s meeting at Leicester on Saturday, August 14.

The collapse and circumstances that led to it began in July and the rumour mill has been churning, particularly on Facebook and speedway forums on the internet.

Jordan says Eastbourne Eagles Limited, the company that ran speedway at a stadium rented from Eric and Margaret Dugard – the brother and wife of late Eagles promoter and stalwart Bob Dugard – owes approximately £30,000 overall, around £20,000 of which is to riders.

He fiercely refuted rumours that he had paid himself ahead of riders, insisting he had only ever received expenses from the company and that had ended up around £70,000 out of pocket from his time at Arlington.

Despite that Jordan has vowed to pay the riders by mid-September and other creditors by the end of the month through realising personal assets, stating it is “the right and honourable thing to do”.

He accepted personal responsibility for the “big mistake” of not reducing pay rates post-Covid and acknowledged that the size of the deals offered by the club had been “a niggling bone of contention with the BSPL for a while”.

Nevertheless, Jordan stands by his view that shortfalls in income were the key factors rather than the volume of what was going out, despite conceding that having three riders on guaranteed income rather than points money and another on a mix of the two had worked against them.

He closed with an apology to supporters but also a message of hope that investors who he had warned off rescuing a black hole of a season over fears of further losses could be prepared

HANDS UP BY JORDAN

September 4, 2021 speedway star 3

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