Edinburgh MONARCHS have committed themselves to installing an air fence at Armadale in time for the 2014 speedway season. This follows a recent directive by the Speedway Control Bureau that all tracks in the UK must have an additional protective device fitted to their safety fence. Despite some Premier League clubs insisting the cost could force them out of business, the SCB ruling is not open to debate. Any club which does not comply will not be able to run .
Monarchs chief and British Speedway Promoters Association chairman Alex Harkess is determined that all clubs must fall into line with the ruling and says: “ The cost is likely to be in the region of £14-15,000 and we believe riders will honour a commitment to ride in meetings, for expenses only, to help clubs raise, at least, part of the necessary funds.
“The Premier League is the only professional division in Europe not to insist on protective barriers for riders’ safety, and it’s time to put that right.”
Co-promoter John Campbell commented: “Monarchs were saved from closure last season by the generosity of our supporters, and we are very happy to give them an early commitment that we will be racing at Armadale in 2014.
“The kind donations we received have put the club in a far stronger financial position than we have enjoyed for many years. We have used this money wisely but have put some in reserve for the ‘rainy day’ which is sure to come along.
“However, it is not our intention to go back to supporters to ask for further donations to help pay for the air fence. Instead we aim to promote a major fund-raising meeting, with the help of the riders, before the end of this season, and also organise a series of other fund-raising events.
“We will also be looking for corporate sponsors to purchase an air fence panel at a cost of £425, giving the company advertising rights to that section of the fencing for two seasons.
“These are exciting times for Ednburgh Monarchs and this latest initiative is another positive step to ensuring the long-term future of the club.”
Meanwhile, SCB officials have ruled that Monarchs were not entitled to use the rider replacement facility to cover for Theo Pijper, who was enroute to a World Longtrack meeting in Finland, for their home Premier League fixture against Redcar Bears on June 7 which the Bears won 47-46.
The points scored by Pijper’s replacements have been deducted with a revised scoreline: Monarchs 39 Redcar 47.