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Pirates: Poole chief Ford ready to move with the times
DEFIANT Matt Ford is promising to move with the times to ensure Pirates can launch a fierce title defence and insists: “We are already up, let’s stay there.”
The Pirates promoter admits that this winter could see major changes in British speedway – with many rumours circulating about a possible overhaul of the league system.
Sky Sports have yet to announce whether or not they will continue to screen the sport after their current contract, understood to be a lucrative one for Elite League clubs, expired this season.
Ford has already voiced his concerns that a lack of television revenue could mean that big names such as Pirates trio Chris Holder, Darcy Ward and Maciej Janowski are unable to be retained by UK clubs.
However, the Wimborne Road chief is hopeful Sky will decide to renew the deal and he is also vowing to track a competitive team, regardless of the format and budgets for 2014.
Ford, who has won five Elite League championships in his 15 seasons as Pirates promoter, told the Daily Echo: “If things had to change, we would change with it and we would still make sure we were competitive. Who knows what will happen and let’s just see how it goes.
“All I can promise is that – as everybody knows – I will do everything I can to put together a team that will be as competitive as possible.
“I don’t like losing and this year has showed that more than ever. It is not a case of onwards and upwards.
“We are already up, let’s stay there.”
Ford will attend the British Speedway Promoters’ Association AGM in November, with the summit likely to be an intriguing one for the future of the shale sport on these shores.
Ford added: “It could be a winter of change but we really just have to wait and see now and let the (television) negotiations see if anything can be sorted out.
“I would hope that Sky would have been incredibly pleased about what has happened of late and would want to sit down.
“Potentially, there are alternatives, but we have had such a great rapport with them for 15 years that it would be a shame for anything to change.”
- The Poole Speedway Riders’ Equipment Fund is holding the first event in its winter programme on Wednesday, November 6 (7.30pm).
A general knowledge quiz will take place in Champs Bar at Wimborne Road, with prices set at £4 for members and £5 for non-members.
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