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Speedway signings on ice

PUBLISHED: 14:46 23 December 2010

Lakeside Hammers are planning for 2011 (TGS)

Lakeside Hammers are planning for 2011 (TGS)

Rob Newell c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images ar

Hammers plans on hold

Lakeside Hammers have been forced to put their teambuilding plans on ice as uncertainty surrounds the make-up of the 2011 Elite League.

The British Speedway Promoters Association announced this week that talks were ongoing with Coventry and Peterborough, in the hope of persuading them to remain in the top flight.

And until those issues are resolved, Hammers will not be able to more forward with their recruitment programme.

A statement said: “The BSPA, Coventry Bees and Peterborough Panthers have held discussions with a view to resolving the issues that have arisen between them.

“We are, at this stage, unable to relay any information as to the nature of content of those discussions, but can confirm all of the parties remain committed to resolving the matter amicably.

“We thank all fans of speedway, the commercial partners and members for their patience during this time.”

Hammers press officer Alan Sargent added: “There’s a bit of a news blackout at the moment.

“Everything is on hold and how quickly those issues can be resolved, we don’t know.

“We’ve got a rider who wants to ride, but that has been put on ice.”

Captain and No1 rider Lee Richardson is helping co-promoters Stuart Douglas and Jon Cook with building a competitive 1-7 under the 40-point regulations, but Hammers will be without Joonas Kylmakorpi and Jonas Davidsson.

Davidsson has been in talks with the club in recent months and will miss most of the British season to focus on racing in his native Sweden and Poland.

Kylmakorpi will not make his expected return to Essex after receiving a superior contract offer and the club have received a transfer request for the Finnish rider.

Cook said: “Stuart and I are excited about the team and to have Lee’s input is a considerable help.

“With JD taking a sabbatical we will be looking at our heat leader options, although it’s handy to have him available if needed during the season.

“Joonas’ situation was not unexpected and in the current financial climate we will not be breaking out wages structure for any one rider.

“It has been a turbulent close season so far outside of the club, but I can assure fans we will have an attractive team.”

Birmingham’s move up to the Elite League was confirmed at the BSPA AGM last month, as Ipswich dropped into the Premier League.

But the uncertainty over the futures of Coventry and Peterborough looked set to leave the top flight with only eight clubs, one fewer than this year.

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