Eastbourne Speedway withdraw from 2021 season

Eastbourne Speedway bosses today revealed they were having to pull out of the rest of their season's fixtures after failing to find a solution to their financial problems.

Eastbourne Eagles in action against Scunthorpe earlier in a season that is now - for them at least - over / Picture: Mike Hinves
Eastbourne Eagles in action against Scunthorpe earlier in a season that is now - for them at least - over / Picture: Mike Hinves

They have been hit by much lower-than-expected revenue this year - on top of a whole lost season in 2020 because of the pandemic. Beyond this season, there are no guarantees at this stage of what will happen to the club.

It is a devstating blow for everyone involved in the club, for fans and for the local sporting community. The club hope to say more in the next week or so.

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This is not a great surprise - the Eagles called off a second fixture last week amid talk of their cashflow issues and that followed the first call-off, at which point director Ian Jordan outlined the issues that had affected them severely in recent weeks.

A statement from Eastbourne Speedway this morning said: "We are very disappointed to confirm that we will be withdrawing from the remainder of the 2021 British Speedway season. We have tried all avenues open to us to resolve our previously documented and relatively recent cash-flow issues.

"Despite some very generous offers by individuals and organisations, we have not been able to reach a satisfactory solution in a realistic timescale. As a result, we have asked to withdraw from the Championship and NDL.

"We would place on record our thanks to the BSPL Management Committee for their co-operation. We acknowledge and respect the issues that this will cause other clubs. We would like to thank all of our riders, staff, sponsors and supporters for their support.

"In respect of our Supporters and Sponsors: We will be contacting all Supporters who have purchased tickets for future events and memorabilia linked to those events to arrange refunds or fulfilment of items purchased during today. The message will be sent to the Ticket Purchaser.

"We will also be contacting all season and ten-match ticket holders to arrange pro-rata refunds of pre-purchased tickets before the weekend. If you will bear with us in this significant administration task and wait until you hear from us in the next 48 hours, it would be appreciated.

"Those who have already contributed financially to the 2022 Air Fence Fund have already been contacted and refunds are being processed where requested and those who have contributed to a “Just Giving” Appeal (which was closed for further transactions a few weeks ago) and which currently stands at just over £400, will be contacted via that Just Giving Portal and will be repaid in full in due course.

"The Teambuilder Lottery will run for the final time on September 1 and following pay-out of that we will ask all recurring members to cancel direct debits and standing orders.

"Those who have sponsored items such as Race Suits and Heat Sponsorships will also be contacted within 48 hours regarding their investment in the Club and fulfilment of that commitment in terms of memorabilia; and pro-rata refunds for the remainder of the season where applicable.

"Eastbourne Eagles Ltd will continue to trade until all financial commitments are paid off in full over the next 4-6 weeks. The Management Team will make a further, full statement in the next few days."