It is fair to say the decision of British Speedway’s governing body to withdraw Coventry Bees from the SGB Premiership came as a shock to many, writes Observer speedway reporter Robin Allen.
With riders now left without a job and most importantly the fans left without a club to support. What does the future hold?
I, myself, have been going to Coventry for many years, firstly as a fan but more recently as a journalist. It is a huge loss, not only for the people of Coventry and Warwickshire, but also for the wider community within speedway.
The club’s run of nearly 70 years of continuous racing in the area has come to an end.
When the news of Coventry’s withdrawal from British speedway’s top flight broke last week, the British Speedway Promoters Association released three key facts behind their decision on their Twitter account:
– Agreement with Leicester was only a short-term deal.
– No guarantee of Brandon return.
– Financial support for club withdrawn.
And after considering these facts, was it the correct decision? For the good of the sport in general I would probably say – yes.
My reasoning for this is – if the club got to the end of their agreement to stage meetings at Leicester but Brandon Stadium was not ready to host racing, what would happen then?
Coventry would most probably have to pull out of the league, which would then cause issues for other clubs with points won against the Bees then deducted.
Although the Bees having already pulled out is a blow, I feel that it could have done further damage if it had happened three months down the line when the season is in full swing because then you risk losing money if you were a sponsor, rider or club.
Coventry’s license has been “put on ice” meaning the club could still race in 2018 for example.
Of course, it is sad that they will not be racing in 2017. However, I do not believe for one moment that the club is dead. There are many people from all walks of life who care about this club too much, to let it cease to exist.
With hard work and dedication, if a new owner could be found and the issues surrounding Brandon are either resolved or new venue found, there is no reason why that famous Bees race-jacket could not be seen on track once again.