Bandits’ boss issues warning on a ‘tough future’

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BERWICK promoter John Anderson has warned of tough times ahead in the sport of speedway.

In a statement released through the club last week the majority shareholder said:

“Times are tough all over. I hear of clubs struggling financially at all levels of the sport and this coming winter could prove to be the most difficult – ever. While we’ll be making one exciting announcement in this week’s programme, I have to add words of caution.

“Nothing can yet be set in stone for 2013. This is a sign of the current economic times.

“We have for the past few years kept a good standard of Premier League racing going at Berwick and that is our aim in the future. But we need financial support. We cannot balance the books without more people coming along. Myself and George Hepburn do not have a bottomless money-pit.

“We simply cannot continue to put personal funds in on a regular basis to keep our speedway afloat here at Berwick as we have been doing recently.

“We must also identify and attract a new main sponsor. A & J Scott’s three-year agreement ends this month and at present no one is set to move in. That means hard work from us all. Andy and everyone at Scott’s have been brilliant to work with and we know we will continue to welcome them as patrons and occasional meeting sponsors – but we cannot run this club without new sponsorship.

“We need everyone to go out and promote for us too! Please look for possible sponsors of any kind, programme, heats, whatever and try and pass on what a good product we have here to possible sponsors and to possible new fans. Point us in their direction!

“I know when we came into the club four years ago we said we were in for the ‘long haul’ and the new safety fence certainly cemented that! But that was before the nationwide financial depression hit everyone so hard, just as the club’s lengthy injury-list has hit the team this season.

“The Olympics, the Jubilee, a lack of continuity within the team – I could go on, but let me take stock. The reduced admission is something we wanted to put in place and is something we need to look at in the future. Speedway admission around the country is too expensive, but this is a Catch 22 situation.

“Yes, we want to reduce admission costs but we need more people to come in at the lower costs.

“I honestly don’t know what the formats, points limits, pay rates etc will be for next season but I know Speedway needs to cut costs all over considerably in the UK.

“We always want to keep our public advised, hence this statement. Let’s be positive, let’s all pull in one direction and let’s find further investment, sponsorship and backing of all kids to keep our Bandits going – with all guns blazing!”