Patchett calls for KO Cup rethink
SWINDON co-owner Gary Patchett has admitted the Knockout Cup needs an overhaul after the Robins were eliminated from the competition in bizarre circumstances yesterday.
The Blunsdon side were due to travel to Peterborough for the teams’ quarter-final first leg, but rain caused the meeting to be postponed.
Then British speedway bosses stepped in and agreed with both clubs that with the end-of-season cut-off coming up on October 31 and time running out, the winner would be drawn out of a hat at BSPA headquarters in Rugby.
Peterborough were the team to progress and Patchett said: “It’s not ideal.
“I think we need to have a look at the standing of the competition and we should maybe consider running it to a conclusion at the start of the season.
“The interest would go up because supporters will have been starved of the sport for five months during the winter.
“You certainly have to question its place in the calendar at the moment, but that’s a decision for another day.
“It would be nice to keep the competition where it has meaning and value. We’ve got to think long and hard about it.”
The Robins have a busy period coming up with both legs of the grand final against Poole on Monday and Wednesday, in addition to staging the Elite League Riders Championship a week tomorrow.
And Patchett was adamant the decision to draw names out of a hat was the correct one.
“We’re very pragmatic about it, it’s gone on far too long for the competition to be able to evolve and maintain its interest,” he said.
“It’s all going to be rushed now as it is and had we progressed, we would have struggled to get two more rounds in.”
Peterborough now meet Poole in the semi-finals of the Knockout Cup.