Future of speedway hangs in the balance at Berwick

Speedway has been an integral part of the fabric of life in and around Berwick for nearly 50 years.
Speedway has been an integral part of the fabric of life in and around Berwick for nearly 50 years.

The future of speedway at Berwick hangs in the balance as a search for new investment or a potential buyer gets underway.

In a statement issued by John Anderson on behalf of his fellow directors, he said that closure was a “serious and very final optional” if they don’t find new investment or a viable purchasses before October.

Anderson said: “Speedway has been an integral part of the fabric of life in and around Berwick for nearly 50 years, and we want this to continue – but it might be time for fresh attitudes, people with newer, younger ideas to take over the task and help us share a burden which has become very, very heavy to carry.

“I don’t want to be thought of as scaremongering – this isn’t us saying that we are closing down, we’re not! Myself, my son Ryan, George Hepburn and George Fairgrieve are the shareholders, the ones who have to ensure the club comes up with the money each week and we are proud to say we have always paid our riders, and our bills, right on the nail.

“It isn’t just the financial burdens we are carrying, heavy though these are, it is a terrible strain on our mental and physical health, and when that begins to take its toll it has to be time to take a step back.

“So what I am saying is, there are two ways to go from here. We would welcome further investment from interested parties who might want to take on a part of our shareholding and stand beside us, working with and taking some of the load off the present directors and in time perhaps taking more and more control.

“Alternatively, we would be prepared to sell the company outright. Lock, stock and barrel to a new custodian who we feel could be trusted to serve the Bandits and their fans in the way of our honoured predecessors. If a total sale was to happen, this would be required to be decided well in advance of the BSPA’s AGM in mid-October.

“I said there were two ways to go from here, but there is a third option.

“Our dearest wish is that speedway continues at Shielfield Park, but to be honest, we could close the doors at the end of the season and cash in. Take the money and run!

“We’d take our share of the League’s profits from big events, sell off the rider-assets, the safety-fence and regain our bond – and by doing so, our company would almost certainly end up well in profit for the year.

“But this is the last thing we want to do, despite the obvious financial advantage.

“We really want new partners to join us to take the club forward, or we want to sell it on as a going concern to a suitable buyer. We are saying this now, at the end of July, to allow any interested parties to make contact while we aren’t too busy preparing for matches.

“But we have to make clear that if we don’t find new investment, or we don’t find a viable purchaser before October then the dreadful alternative of closure has to be contemplated as a serious and very final option.”