Louis refutes claims he is stepping down

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches' speedway promoter John Louis today refuted claims that this is going to be his last season in charge at Foxhall Stadium.The 66-year-old former Ipswich rider is now in his 20th year as Witches promoter having first taken over the reins at Foxhall Stadium in 1989.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches' speedway promoter John Louis today refuted claims that this is going to be his last season in charge at Foxhall Stadium.

The 66-year-old former Ipswich rider is now in his 20th year as Witches promoter having first taken over the reins at Foxhall Stadium in 1989.

“There is no time limit on when I will hand over the club,” said Louis, whose son Chris, 38, is being groomed to take control.


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“We will have to see, but at the moment I am planning to keep going.

“As time goes by we will see what will happen. There are lots of days when I feel like packing it in, but there have been more good times than bad.

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“It could be two months time, or ten years - who knows what the future will bring? But as things stand at the moment I have no plans to stand down.”

Thoughts of Louis handing over control have been reinforced with confirmation earlier this month that Ipswich Town FC life president and director of the plc company since 1994 Richard Moore has joined the Witches board.

“It is good news that Richard has come onboard as he has a great deal of experience in commerce and sport,” said Louis.

“I am sure he will have a big input, and help improve our fortunes in the years ahead.”

Chris Louis has hinted that his father might be going into his final year in charge.

The Witches skipper and rider/manager said: “It's perceived at the moment that this could be dad's last year.

“In the relatively near future Richard Moore could well gain a bigger stake in the club.

“We've got a year to work through, and then it will probably be another winter of re-organisation at the club.

“Elite League clubs have to be run differently these days.

“Dad can see that and this is part of his reasoning behind getting tired a little bit tired with how it works.

“When he took over Ipswich, you could run the cub on gate receipts, if no other money came into the club, it could survive.

“But now you rely completely on lots of commercial funding coming from other avenues. The pressure is far greater now.”

And talking about the 2009 season, Louis junior said: “I will make my mind up on whether I shall carry on riding next October.

“It's a family business and I don't see why, if I'm enjoying riding and doing a reasonable job, that I can't do both.

“To be a fellow rider's team mate and also his promoter is not an ideal situation and there would be technicalities to overcome in terms of promoter's licence and rider's licence, which might get in the way.”

The Witches were looking at Australian King's Lynn Trevor Harding to be their number eight, but after his recent injury they are now looking elsewhere to complete their squad.

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