FORMER Coventry Bees owner Avtar Sandhu has released a public statement after Warwickshire Police dropped the Coventry Stadium ‘crime scene’ case earlier this week.
Coventry Racing Club were accused of criminal damage and theft following the removal of fixtures and fittings from Coventry Stadium – home of the Coventry Bees Speedway team and Coventry Stox.
It was claimed by stadium owners Brandon Estates that the subsequent investigation would take a year to complete, and that it was not clear what the future holds for Brandon Stadium while the investigation takes place.
However, now that the investigation is over, members of a campaign group fighting to save Coventry Bees and Coventry Stox are asking the question ‘Why?’ with regards to the return of motorsport at the popular facility.
Mr Sandhu’s statement read: “Earlier this year, Coventry Racing Club was accused of criminal damage and theft following the removal of fixtures and fittings from Coventry Stadium.
“The accusations were made by Howell and Company, solicitors acting for Brandon Estates and when they reported it to the police, they claimed the stadium was a ‘crime scene’.
“They claimed the subsequent police investigation would take the rest of this year to investigate and that as the stadium was a ‘crime scene’, there was no prospect of either speedway or stock car racing being staged at the stadium this year.
“The accusations resulted in immense damage to my family’s reputation. In the period since the accusations were made, I have endured enormous criticism from fans of both sports, and knowing the accusations would not be proven, I have maintained a dignified silence.
“Earlier this week, I was contacted by the investigating force, Warwickshire Police, who advised me the case was being dropped and there was ‘no case to answer’.
I and my team have been vindicated of any crime.
“I went to extraordinary lengths to strike a deal which would have resulted in both speedway and stock cars continuing at Brandon in 2017 and beyond and despite agreeing a deal on three separate occasions, on each of those occasions, the other party involved failed to sign a contract.
“I was left with no alternative but to remove the fixtures and fittings before we were required to vacate the stadium at the end of our period of lease.
“Having removed those fixtures and fittings, I still offered to return them and reinstall them, at my own cost, if an agreement could be reached.
“The offer was rejected and Brandon Estates chose instead, to go down the route of calling in the police.
“I am desperately disappointed, that despite my best efforts, we are in this situation with speedway and stock car fans deprived of enjoying their sports.
“The anger and distress this has caused to myself and my family makes me want to take action against the false allegations but it is not good for Speedway or Stox to prolong this dispute.
“For the sake of speedway and stox I have decided to sit back at this time to see if solutions can be found to get both sports back on track.
“I want to see a return of racing at Brandon Stadium for a period of time, whilst Brandon Estates pursue their planning application.
“I am prepared to work with them in bringing that about whilst simultaneously working with both Rugby and Coventry Councils to find suitable land and gain their support for a planning application that would result in a longer term replacement stadium.
“I am committed to bringing both sports back to the Coventry / Rugby area and urge all parties involved to work together to achieve that goal.”