Ford threatens to pull Pirates out of EL

POOLE Pirates chief Matt Ford has broken his silence over his fellow Elite League promoters' decision to reduce the play-offs from six to four teams in mid-season.

POOLE Pirates chief Matt Ford has broken his silence over his fellow Elite League promoters' decision to reduce the play-offs from six to four teams in mid-season.

And he has intimated Poole Castle Cover may pull out of the top-flight at the end of this season with a view to trying to join the second-tier Premier League.

Poole has once again vigorously defended the Dorset club by categorically denying unsubstantiated allegations of average manipulation after the Speedway Control Bureau held an inquiry into their matches at Swindon and Peterborough last month.

In a statement posted on Pirates' official website, he said: “The meeting could possibly be our last live Sky TV meeting as an Elite League club.


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“It is only right to see out this season first and then make our decision, but I have already alerted our team of major sponsors, especially Castle Cover, of the dilemma we find ourselves in at the current time.”

Ford says the day the league changed the rules mid-season was a “catastrophic” decision - a “black day for British Speedway.”

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He writes: “I think my duty as promoter of Poole Speedway is to protect riders, sponsors and every supporter from allowing outsiders to dictate our business in future.

“I don't make idle threats. This has nothing to do with me throwing dummies out of the pram because we're not winning.

“This has everything to do with a rule that was unanimously voted on at the AGM last winter that the Elite League play-offs at the end of this season would consist of the top six clubs.

“Why continue in a league where we have absolutely no confidence? You simply cannot change the rules when it suits. What's going to happen next week?

“My fellow promoters don't like the new league points structure, so that will change too? They have opened up a can of worms which now says any rule can be changed at any time if the majority of promoters don't like it.

“As far as I am concerned the play-off rule was voted on and passed, and that was that until next winter's AGM.”

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