Speedway: John Campbell worried by cash-flow problems

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Edinburgh Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell today revealed the Capital speedway club now have severe cash flow problems following the postponement of last night’s Premier League fixture against Newcastle Diamonds at Armadale – the fourth washout since May. And Campbell also hinted that Monarchs may have to consider holding a couple of double-headers in a bid to ease their fixture congestion.

Campbell, who admitted he is “depressed” by the current weather, said: “All these washouts are causing us enormous cash flow problems now. Our recent cup trip to Rye House cost almost £1000 in travel alone and it will be the same for our league trip there this evening.

“This has to be funded out of our home meetings, but we aren’t having any at the moment because of the rain. It is a major concern and it will take us a good number of weeks to get back on an even keel.”

And most of the Monarchs team are also out of pocket every time the “postponed” sign goes up. Said Campbell: “The whole side was hugely disappointed when I told them last night was off, they all hate receiving that text message. Andrew Tully, in particular, is always keen to to ride in any conditions, and was devastated when the match was cancelled.

“The riders are like the club and they too have cash flow worries. They have their lives to fund and currently are getting just one pay packet instead of two, they are getting their away match dues, but not their home monies.”

If there is no sign of summer breaking through soon Monarchs will look at staging double-headers, but Campbell ruled out trying to run two meetings in a week, he also said the British Speedway Promoters’ Association may have to extend the cut-off date for the championship play-offs which currently stands at September 17.

He said:“When we ran Friday and Saturday meetings two or three years ago, the Saturday crowd was miserable, with double-headers the crowd are coming out on a Friday anyway.

“Extending the deadline for the play-offs may be a possibility, but the problem with that is that some other clubs will take their time and plan their own situation, I don’t know what the situation is with other clubs in terms of how behind they are with their own fixtures.”

Losing the Newcastle clash was a big financial blow given that the Diamonds are currently top of the league, but Campbell said: “Our track was flooded first thing yeterday morning but by 2pm thanks to the hard work of our track staff it was perfect. We then had a torrential downpour two hours later and that was that.

“Berwick Bandits covered their track last week, and that is something we have been talking about. But we had a flood between the hamburger and souvenir stall, there is a main drain in that area, and we wouldn’t have been able to let people in to the stadium anyway, we could not have opened the gates, even if we had wanted to.”

Monarchs head for Rye House tonight without Dutchman Theo Pijper who is on World Longtrack duty and will user rider replacement as cover. Campbell thinks Monarchs have a chance of picking up some reward.

“When we defended our recent first-leg KO Cup lead we had the momentum and made a good start to the match, and that is what we must aim to do once again, however Derek (Sneddon) did not ride very well on that occasion and will be looking to improve this time, if everybody chips in with something, who knows what might happen.”