SPEEDWAY STAR NEWSDESK
NThe shape of 2022
EXT year’s Premiership looks set to stay with six teams.
The news comes as Oxford’s entry at Championship level is confirmed and no other clubs have applied to join the top table of the sport with Swindon sitting out a third successive season – this time only due to stadium issues. As things stand, the Championship has 10 confirmed clubs with the door still open for Birmingham and Kent to return to take it up to 12.
The points limits have been agreed by the respective leagues at several meetings where it seems they have gone their own way rather than going through the traditional AGM.
Premiership clubs are signing riders working on 39 points for six plus a Rising Star and some Championship clubs, including Newcastle, have confirmed they have completed their team already and we understand clubs are working to 42 points for seven.
Hopes are high of a bigger National Development League next season with the possibility of Oxford doubling-up with their Championship fixtures, plus there are growing hopes of Northside in Workington entering a team.
Ambitious plans are in place for the Northside track and, if it happens, it would be a welcome return for the sport in Cumbria after Workington folded with huge debts following the 2018 season when they won the Championship.
British Speedway chairman Rob Godfrey said: “The members of both the Premiership and Championship have held in-depth discussions over the past few weeks and months.
“Riders are starting to be announced by clubs because there is an agreement in place in both leagues regarding team building rules.
“We are delighted to welcome Oxford back into the sport at the same time as continuing to support Eastbourne in their hope for a return in 2023.
“We also hope Kent and Birmingham’s issues can be resolved to bring them to the tapes for 2022.
“The 2021 season, particularly towards the end with the wonderful success of the GB national team and the brilliant Grand Final showcased by our broadcast partner Eurosport to a huge audience, underlines that speedway is still very much alive and kicking in this country. Long may it continue.”
• Track work is in full swing at the Northside circuit in Cumbria, which could be hosting National Development League racing next summer. Picture: DAVE PAYNE
Wolves are staying put
BOSS Peter Adams has confirmed Wolverhampton will remain in the Premiership – even in a six-team league.
Parrys International Wolves bosses had previously raised concerns about the viability of such a small lineup over the course of a regular season and insisted they wouldn’t enter with such low numbers.
But the possible introduction of new competitions and therefore extra fixtures appears to have calmed any worries.
Adams confirmed the news to supporters at Rory Schlein’s Farewell live on stage event at the Cleveland Arms in the city on Monday.
And he’s since told Speedway Star he is anticipating a stronger looking top-flight overall in 2022.
“There’s a new points limit coming, new competitions coming and irrespective of what you hear or what you think you hear, Wolverhampton will definitely be in the top-flight of British Speedway once again next season and we’ll have a very good time I promise you,” he said.
“From the league’s perspective, my only concerns are whether there are enough riders about to fully stock six teams up to that new level.
“The other promoters seem fairly confident that they’ll be able to achieve that, or at least get near to it, and we’ve been working hard on our team of course.
“We’re well down the road in terms of team building and we’ll also be able to get very close to that new limit.
“We’re blessed in that apart from Rory, everybody who rode for us this year wants to come back.
“So there’s still one or two things to sort and finalise, but going back to the league as a whole, providing it doesn’t create disparity, because equality is the name of
the game in speedway, then we’ll be happy with the increased limit which opens the door to a higher calibre of rider coming back here, providing they can be enticed of course.
“Despite it still looking like a six-team league, I don’t have the same concerns with the competitions and fixtures that I did a few weeks ago.
“That’s because there have been other significant moves in the background about how the Premiership is structured and run, which we’re very pleased about and encouraged about, and those new competitions will give us additional fixtures at Monmore, so those concerns, for the moment anyway, are very much in the background now.”
Meanwhile, passionate Wolverhampton supporters have launched the Wolfpack Speedway Support Team.
The aim is to raise regular funds to help the club with any outgoings and help maintain the future of racing in the Black Country.
Supporters are asked to make monthly contributions of at least £5 per month and full details, alongside all the benefits, are available via Wolverhampton-speedway.com/wsst.
8 COPPERGATE MEWS, BRIGHTON ROAD,
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VOLUME 70 NUMBER 37
2 speedway star November 13, 2021