BRITISH Speedway bosses admit Swindon Robins’ withdrawal from this year’s SGB Premiership is a big blow.

The Robins have made the decision after plans for the construction of the long-awaited new stadium on the Abbey site took a step forward and work is due to last throughout the summer.

Now the Premiership will press ahead with planning for the new season with six teams, and efforts are being made to accommodate the Robins’ riders elsewhere when the competition is expected to get underway in May.

British Speedway Chairman, Rob Godfrey said: “We cannot dress it up, this is a blow to planning for the 2021 season.

“We sincerely hope everything goes well this year at the Abbey and that we can welcome the club back into the Premiership in a new stadium in 2022.

“Contrary to Swindon’s concerns over sport going ahead this year, however, as a sport we are pressing ahead and going racing this spring and summer.

“The vaccination programme is very encouraging and we are in no doubt we will be in for a good summer.

“Now there is a priority to try and fix the Swindon riders up elsewhere, and the Premiership will be a competitive product once again - I’m confident of that.”

Swindon made the announcement on Monday, with chairman Terry Russell saying the sport was unlikely to be able to properly function with a full complement of spectators this season.

The Robins boss went on to argue that “the economics of the sport, which relies so much on the paying spectator, are not robust enough to take any downturn in revenue - particularly after the cancellation of the 2020 season.”

Swindon maintain their desire to return to British speedway in 2022 at a newly-refurbished Abbey Stadium.