Monarchs chief John Campbell frustrated by mystery call-off

Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell was left mystified by last night's cancellation. Picture: Ron MacNeill
Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell was left mystified by last night's cancellation. Picture: Ron MacNeill
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Edinburgh Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell today described the surprise cancellation of last night’s Premier League speedway clash at Peterborough Panthers as “very disappointing” and remains in the dark as to why the fixture was postponed.

The Monarchs team were just 80 miles from Peterborough following their superb victory at Scunthorpe Scorpions on Monday afternoon when they received a message to say the meeting had been called off due to an undisclosed “health and safety” issue at the Peterborough Arena.

However, Campbell was unhappy at the timing of the announcement. He told the Evening News: “We were informed they had a health and safety issue at the stadium and they were not in a position to put on the meeting.

“They would not pass comment on the health and safety matter. It does seems strange that Peterborough Arena had it on their own website at 10am that the match was off, yet it took Peterborough Speedway until noon to say it had been cancelled…a very strange situation.”

Speculation that a Truckfest event which was held at the venue over the Bank Holiday weekend and caused damage to the speedway track, was dismissed by Campbell, who said: “It would surprise me that whatever was on there the day before would prevent them from getting the track into a raceable condition. They do pretty well with the track preparation at Peterborough.

“It’s annoying that we were within 20 miles of Peterborough and the weather was sunny and warm. To have it cancelled was very disappointing to say the least.”

Monarchs will not be out of pocket after making the long journey south, Campbell revealing: “Peterborough will have to pay for us to return whenever we go back. The team were in good spirits after our win at Scunthorpe and were looking forward to the match, and we had a chance of winning given the way we are going right now, and obviously with us riding so well, the more matches we can get the better, the team spirit is superb and that is a big step towards winning matches.”

Monarchs co-promoter and British Promoters Association chairman Alex Harkess said the Peterborough management were gutted at having to call off the meeting, but it was down to circumstances outwith their control.

Said Harkess: “ I understand It was nothing to do with the speedway track or the speedway directly, it was something connected to the Showground itself. The track was apparently in perfect condition to ride on and there was no problem with its condition. Peterborough were just as frustrated over what happened as anybody else.

“The weather was good and they were looking forward to a good crowd and a cracking meeting, but it had nothing to do with them.”

Peterborough co-boss Trevor Swales said: “ It was a very unfortunate situation and we were all gutted that we had to cancel the match. The health and safety issue was something that could not have been rectified within hours and we did not want to find ourselves in the position of having to postpone it much closer to start time.”

A source close to Peterborough commented: “Everybody is remaining tight-lipped about this which, of course, leads people to form their own opinion as to why it was cancelled. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that a Truckfest had caused damage to the speedway track, but no-one knows if this is the reason or not.”

With Monarchs having no home fixture on Friday, their next assignment is away to Plymouth Devils on Saturday night. Former Monarch Kalle Katajisto is in splendid form for the home outfit.