Witches lose Swindon appeal

IPSWICH Witches have lost their appeal against Swindon's use of guest rider Joel Parsons in last month's meeting.

IPSWICH Witches have lost their appeal against Swindon's use of guest rider Joel Parsons in last month's meeting.

The Robins won by seven points in the Sky Sports Elite League battle at Ipswich on April 14.

But the Witches were unhappy with the use of Parsons, who scored seven points in the meeting, as the guest rider.

However, after a day of arbitration, it has been confirmed that Swindon will be allowed to keep the three points they claimed for winning the tie.

Swindon co-owner Terry Russell said: “As far as Swindon Speedway is concerned we've done nothing wrong and have acted fairly throughout this procedure.

“It's important to point out that we initially booked Joel Parsons as a guest not because he was a track specialist but because his average fitted the jig-saw.

Most Read

“On Monday 14th April, whilst on the way to Suffolk for the meeting against Ipswich we received a phone call from the meeting referee, Chris Gay, informing us that a new set of average had been released via e-mail at 2.30pm that afternoon.

“These new figures showed Joel Parsons' average raising and he therefore no longer fitted into our proposed line up.

“We contacted Graham Reeve, the SCB consultant administrator, who agreed to look into the situation and call us back.

“Planning for the worst, we made contact with Premier League rider Shaun Tacey to ascertain his availability if the inclusion of Joel Parsons was deemed illegal by the BSPA.

“Shaun was reluctant to ride because he'd spent the weekend riding up North with Kings Lynn.

“Shortly after speaking to Shaun we received a call from Graham Reeve informing us that it would be fine to use Joel Parsons as the averages that were issued at 2.30pm that afternoon wouldn't apply.

“At no point during, before or immediately after the meeting did the Ipswich promotion express their concern about the situation.

“They didn't lodge an appeal before the meeting and only began to get vocal when they had been defeated.

“The new averages were released at 2.30pm, five hours before we were due to ride. As the management and riders were travelling to the circuit none of us had internet access and therefore tracking a replacement at that late stage would be virtually impossible.

“We are satisfied by today's decision and can now put this matter to bed.”

No-one from the Witches was available for comment.

- Log on to this week's speedway webchat with Mike Bacon at 12.30pm on Friday for his take on the controversy.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter