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Ipswich Witches fans receive double dose of good news - as Louis also takes up new position

PUBLISHED: 12:08 17 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:08 17 November 2019

Witches promoter Chris Louis.    Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.com

Witches promoter Chris Louis. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich will race in a seven-team Premiership, with Sheffield Tigers making the move up and Poole Pirates dropping down to the second tier.

And coupled with that the Witches were named the Premiership's most improved club in 2019 at the inaugural BSPA Awards night, after a fantastic season just gone where they reached the Premiership final.

Ipswich promoter Chris Louis is also taking up a new role on the BSPA - one he says he is looking forward to.

"It's an honour to accept my position on the board of British Speedway and join the new chairman Rob Godfrey, vice-chairman Damien Bates and fellow director Debbie Hancock.

"It's a very exciting time for the sport as we enter a new TV contract with Eurosport.

"I'm looking forward to working on new initiatives and am pleased with how our AGM has gone."

The Witches will race against Belle Vue, King's Lynn, Peterborough, Sheffield, Swindon and Wolverhampton. Race nights remain Mondays and Thursdays with a points limit for teams of 42.50. Teams will race each other twice at home and twice away with the top four in the table qualifying for the play-offs.

The Suffolk side have been drawn in the southern section of the Premiership Supporters' Cup against King's Lynn, Peterborough and Swindon. The top club from the section will progress to the final to race the winner of the northern section that consists of Belle Vue, Sheffield and Wolverhampton.

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This will be an early season competition with the final scheduled to take place on the week commencing June 1. The clubs wish to further examine and grow the social media interaction of this competition.

A proposal will also be considered at next year's AGM for clubs to retain their existing one-to-seven for the following campaign, with any changes to that team seeing them return to the points limit.

Scunthorpe promoter Rob Godfrey has taken over as chairman of the BSPA.

Godfrey said: "One message which has come out very strongly from supporters is that they don't want things tinkered with, and we've taken that on board.

"We do have plenty to look forward to, we have a fantastic new TV deal with Eurosport on a massive platform, and it's great to have brought in real commercial expertise via outside agencies to work on this and other issues.

"Naturally, league sponsorship is another step we would like to take, and another key feature of the AGM was that many clubs are working hard on promotional initiatives, which they will make public in the build-up to the new season.

"We also have a thriving youth scene, which is now paying dividends with 26 riders who have graduated from that scene racing in the Championship last season, and there's more to come in 2020, so there are plenty of good things happening."

The new season starts in March next year.

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