In the light of the recent announcement that Glasgow Tigers will not contest Championship League Speedway in 2020 should racing commence, the Directors of Eastbourne Speedway have issued the following update.
We fully understand and respect the decision of Glasgow Speedway to notify their intention not to compete in any league Speedway in 2020.
The reasons they have given have been detailed, concise and very transparent and as our own Supporters will know, we believe that regular and transparent communication is absolutely vital to growing the Sport in general and our Club specifically.
We wish everyone at Glasgow Speedway the best of health and luck, and look forward to renewing friendly rivalry with them in 2021.
We feel it appropriate, therefore, to update all of our own Sponsors and Supporters on our current position and reasoning.
The ACU / SCB / BSPA have now sanctioned limited and closely monitored “private practice” as from June 1, 2020.
A further assessment will be made in early July in terms of opening up “private practice” to increased numbers and this will be in line with any further easing of Government Lockdown protocols.
Beyond that, the situation remains fluid and will evolve in due course.
The BSPA are continuing to explore various scenarios and options for the return of the Sport at a competitive level later in the summer.
They have our full and unequivocal support and we will seek to co-operate fully with any requests and feedback that they may seek.
We would thank them for their proactive approach and also their flexibility in allowing all Clubs to make individual decisions without fear of any penalties or impositions.
This is very welcome and appreciated at this difficult time.
The final decision on the resumption of the Sport competitively will clearly lie with decisions made at National Government level in terms of the numbers of Spectators that may be allowed at Sporting Events and crucially – when.
We will await further news and update you when appropriate.
We have conducted a detailed survey of Registered Supporters and we are analysing the results.
We are also conducting a similar survey of all staff and those results will be closely analysed too.
Any decisions that we make regarding our own participation in the 2020 season will be very much based on your feedback and concerns.
The situation is evolving and whilst the UK is clearly still the worst affected country in Europe, there is some hope that the worst is over for now.
There are fears of a second and more waves and that remains a distinct possibility.
If we feel there has been dramatic and sustained improvement in the Covid-19 data, and if lockdown measures are significantly eased further, we would not rule out having a further snapshot survey before any final decisions have to be made.
We do have access to some local Covid-19 data. It is specific to a 30/40 mile radius of the track and this may tell a very different story to national figures.
At the time of writing we know that Eastbourne/Hastings and surrounding areas have some of the lowest infection rates in the whole of the UK, but there are a few “hotspots” within 30 miles of the track.
We will continue to make ourselves aware of this important data.
We have written to all Season Ticket Holders with regards to a detailed Refund Policy and are in the process of having conversations with our Sponsors regarding their thoughts on 2020 and 2021.
We remain committed to continuing the upward momentum of the Club and Sport in East Sussex.
As a Company/Management Team our overriding priority is the health and welfare of everyone associated with the Club and the wider community.
We also passionately feel a duty of care to our Riders, all of whom are British, and all of whom are eager to race and earn as and when it is safe and practical to do so.
We are doing what we can to support them at this time and, like you, can’t wait to see them all in action at Arlington.
Whatever decision we may have to make regarding participation in 2020 / 2021, it will not please everyone given the complexity of the situation.
As always, we will try to explain decisions openly and transparently.
In conclusion, it is our intention to remain “at the table and prepared to race in 2020”.
If and when there is a scenario that will initially come from Government and then from the Sports Governing body where decisions regarding 2020 can be made, we will decide whether or not the health and safety considerations at the time are acceptable to everyone in making that decision, and then consider the viability from a business perspective.
At this stage we rule nothing out and nothing in.
We will make further announcements as and when there is anything substantive to report.
Image Credit: Tiffani Graveling Photography