Wightlink Warriors speedway team won’t be running in 2020 for health and safety reasons

There won’t be any competitive speedway on the Isle of Wight this year.

Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 7:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 7:00 pm
There won't be any competitive speedway on the Isle of Wight in 2020 after the joint promoters decided not to run it for health and safety reasons. Picture: Ian Groves/Sportography

Wightlink Warriors bosses Barry Bishop and Martin Widman have decided not to run the sport - even if the government and local council guidelines permit it.

In a joint statement, the promoters said: ‘While we know this news will be devastating to some, expected by others and to all of us a massive disappointment, we cannot see a way in which we can put speedway racing on without increasing the risk to our fans, staff, riders, sponsors and of course the wider public on the Isle of Wight.

‘The Island is a unique place and have been proud of their success in keeping Covid 19 under control.

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‘We would not want to be responsible for introducing an outbreak of Covid 19 however it was caused.

‘Nor do we want to increase the health risk to our fans, friends, staff, sponsors, riders and management by staging a public gathering/event.

‘Health aside, there will be an increased financial risk to run speedway now and our sponsors, quite rightly, will expect a return on their investment which we could not achieve in 2020 and this risks a knock-on effect for 2021.

‘Our sponsors have been brilliant, many coming forward to increase their sponsorship to help us become Covid-ready and we value that so very much, nor will we forget that support.

‘However, the risk is too great to health and finance, so we have therefore decided to not risk the club’s future by running speedway in 2020 and we look forward to 2021.

‘Our stadium looks perfect, ready to go, and probably the best it's ever been in our tenure. Like you, we love our club, our fans, and our ethos.

‘As sad as it is, this is the right decision in our view for the club and sport and we should celebrate the fantastic work currently continuing at the stadium to ensure that we would have been ready in 2020 while ensuring that the pride in the club shines through for the world to see.’