Josh Pickering: We must not let the Edinburgh Monarchs go under after new stadium setback

Josh Pickering says every option must be explored to ensure the 'incredible' Edinburgh Monarchs fans still have a side to cheer on track next year.

The Scottish speedway club's future is under serious threat following an unsuccessful bid to secure land for a new stadium at Deans Industrial Estate in Livingston. The Monarchs put forward a proposal to relocate in June after it was revealed their current home Armadale of 26 seasons, is to be sold off later this year.

And the sensational 25-year-old Australian, who has been a Monarch since 2017, says the club's supporters – some of the most passionate in the sport – are at the forefront of his mind.

"It's a bit of a s**t situation to be in," Pickering told the Evening News. "For us riders it's disappointing also not knowing what's round the corner. Every year with me going back to Australia knowing that I'll be coming back to Edinburgh, we've got an unbelievable promotion, the fans are second to none so it's easy to go home for the winter.

Australians Josh Pickering (blue) and Sam Masters (red) are held in the highest esteem by Monarchs fans. Picture: Jack Cupido

"But with the concern of what's going to happen now, it's really disappointing. I feel very sorry for the club for putting so much effort into securing this new location and it hasn't paid off.

"We looked to have a new stadium being built in a class of its own but at the moment we don't have that opportunity. I know the guys are going to be working tirelessly to try and sort out the plans for next year. We're just going to have to sit tight and see what they can come up with in the next six to eight weeks.

"Edinburgh are the reason I came over to the UK in 2017 and have the chance to showcase my talent, so without the them I wouldn't have had that opportunity five years ago. I consider myself very lucky and privileged to be a part of such an excellent club."

The Monarchs are back on the shale tomorrow night when the Redcar Bears travel north for the Championship play-off quarter-final first leg before the return fixture at the ECCO Arena on Sunday. Monarchs came up short in their quest to reach the KO Cup final against the same opposition last Friday.

Pickering added: "Sam (Masters) isn't going to score four at Redcar on Sunday again, Lasse (Fredriksen) showed good speed round there on our last visit and if all the other boys do what they're capable of then we should have enough to move into the semis."