POOLE promoter Matt Ford has warned Chris Holder and Darcy Ward could be making their final Elite League appearances at Blunsdon this evening unless action is taken to keep the sport’s top stars in British speedway.
Both riders have openly stated they may have to turn their back on the sport in this country unless their hectic schedules are reduced, with a possible solution put forward to allow riders to share the number one berth in a bid to cut their workloads.
The pair will take to the Blunsdon track this evening for the first leg of the Elite League Grand Final, and although they will return to the Abbey Stadium for Saturday’s Elite League Riders’ Championship, Ford is concerned they could be lost to British speedway if their calls for help are ignored.
“Chris and Darcy have made it abundantly clear they are doing too many meetings. I don’t think they would cry wolf, they would like to be heard,” he said.
“They are telling people it is too much to be doing 20 meetings in Poland, probably 15 in Sweden, 11 or 12 Grand Prix meetings, a minimum of 10 other meetings and then 40 during a domestic season in the UK.
“Let’s not run the risk of losing these guys. For goodness sake, listen to them.
“As far as Poole is concerned as a club, we clearly want Chris and Darcy in our team every match next year. But what I am concerned about is having neither of them in the team every single match next year and that is too big a risk for me and too big a risk for British speedway. “I genuinely think that, as an association, we would be absolutely killing ourselves if we didn’t listen to what these boys had to say.”
Ford insisted his support of the scheme was not just in Poole’s interests, and claimed all clubs would benefit as other riders would be interested in returning under the potential new ruling.
He added: “If there is an agenda, it is to keep the best riders in the UK and try to bring back plenty of the other ones. It is just purely a case of us trying to give the fans more rather than less,” he said. “There are many riders I already know that would be happy to talk about coming back to the UK if this rule is passed.”