Fears for Tigers’ future in dispute over entry fees

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THE future of speedway racing at Mildenhall has once again been thrown into doubt following a dispute over entry fees for the National League 2012 season.

Speaking to the Journal yesterday, co-promoter Michael Lee claimed the sport’s governing body, the British Speedway Promoters’ Association (BSPA), have imposed an additional charge on to their entry fee for the 2012 National League season.

Should the promotion team pay the extra costs, it is believed the club would be paying almost double the fees of every other National League side.

“It is absolutely ludicrous,” said Lee. “We knew we had a promotional fee to pay which had been deferred and we were willing to pay, but this new cost is just ridiculous.

“We are fully intent on running next year and we have everything lined up, but we can’t afford the sort of money they are demanding.

“They are trying to rob speedway and rob youngsters from getting involved in the sport,

“After all the work we have put in we are absolutely dumbfounded.”

News of the dispute comes at the same time last season’s rider of the season, Lewis Blackbird, has verbally agreed to return for a second consecutive season at Mildenhall.

Despite not yet putting pen to paper, a deal between himself and promotion team at Mildenhall should be sealed before Christmas.

“I have spoken to Michael (Lee) and although I have not signed the deal we have a gentleman’s agreement in place,” said Blackbird.

Having started on a lowly three-point average at the beginning of last season, the 24 year old soon rose through the ranks to end the season on average of 7.40 points.

Blackbird’s return marks the second rider from last year’s successful National League Knockout Cup winning team to commit for the 2012 campaign after Dan Halsey put pen to paper last month.

“I think the plan is to build the team around my average with it being over seven points,” added Blackbird.

“I wanted to be back at Mildenhall next year as everything is great down there.”

n The BSPA declined to comment.