Bandits seek cost-cutting at annual conference

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Berwick Speedway promoter and chairman John Anderson will head to this week’s BSPA annual meeting with an ‘open mind’ and wait and see how decisions pan out before committing to team building plans and other decisions which will affect the Shielfield Park club for 2015.

Speaking on Monday Anderson said: “There has been a lot of pre-AGM discussion and various clubs and promotions have ideas on plans for next season, but until the hard and fast decisions are made at the annual conference we are a bit in limbo.

“Speedway is financially a tough sport to run at all levels from clubs to riders. I feel some hard and fast cost cutting measures must take place but it is a question of keeping everyone across the table happy. I simply don’t have a magic wand!

“We at Berwick found 2014 tough economically, like almost every club. We put together a decent team, finished fourth and made the play offs,yet crowd levels were not brilliant.

“We were perhaps charging the least of all Premier League clubs at the gate in an area where it is of course very rural and we had to be sensible.”

Anderson expanded on comments by fellow director George Hepburn last week in that valued main sponsors for the past two season, New Holland, will not be with the club next year.

He said “The problem is of course, where do we get a new team sponsor from?

“We need to put a package together to suit potential backers. In the past few seasons our main sponsors have gleaned excellent coverage from their deals.

“For instance, DVD coverage, website, programme, Grand Prix meetings, live Sky Sports TV coverage at Berwick etc.

“So in reality we are looking hard to bring in a new major backer and sponsor. Having said that we simply cannot sit on our behinds, we need to go out and work at it.

“In the past two seasons the club associate sponsorship scheme has worked very well for us, and I feel this could be the way forward.

“We will be looking at speaking to firms or groups of fans etc., with a view to say having 20 associate sponsors (the club had around 12 last season) with a ball park figure of £500 for the season each.

“We could then discuss having a full page programme article per sponsor separately each week plus website coverage, PA coverage, hospitality packages, rider of night presentations, pits visits plus any other ideas we could bounce off each sponsor.

“It is open ended of course. Basically anyone interested can initially contact us via our email club@berwickbandits.co or call our commercial manager, Lani Rae or myself on 07779 227535 or 07503 540236.”

The Berwick boss added: “After the AGM this week we will put out another release early next week as we have some further ideas in mind, but fans can be reassured we will work hard to keep the sport we all love alive in this area and remember next season is closing in on the 50th anniversary of Berwick Bandits!”