In-limbo Niels-Kristian Iversen slates British speedway asset system
15:03 08 January 2013
© Archant Norfolk 2012
Niels-Kristian Iversen has slated the British speedway system as the saga over his future continues.
The Danish star wants to ride for King’s Lynn next season, but his parent club Peterborough Panthers will not allow him to join the Stars.
Having spent two seasons on loan at the Norfolk Arena the 30-year-old has made it clear he only wishes to ride for Rob Lyon’s men when the season starts in March.
However, his parent club, Lynn’s fierce A47 rivals, have claimed the Stars made an illegal approach to secure Iversen’s services for 2013 and continue to block his Saddlebow Road return.
The British Speedway Promoters’ Association’s (BSPA) management committee will soon end the three-time World Cup winner’s wait. Peterborough are reported to have appealed their initial decision to sanction Iversen’s move to Norfolk.
A final call from the BSPA will sort out the row over the Speedway Grand Prix ace, who has not raced for the city club since 2010. Yet because he became a Panthers asset in 2005 — and is unlikely to get the opportunity to become a free agent – the Esbjerg-born man continues to be in limbo.
He insists his ‘former’ club should not continue to be allowed to dictate where he rides this year, especially because they don’t pay his wages while he races away from the East of England Showground.
Iversen told Speedway GP.Com: “If you’re owned by a club, they should be responsible for your payments as well, but that’s not how it is. I don’t get it. You start with a contract for a year normally and when it’s up, you still remain an asset, which is stupid. If the club that owns you screws you about and doesn’t want to use you, who is going to pay your wages the following season if you don’t get a job?
“I really don’t get it. In Poland and Sweden and everywhere else, when your contract runs out, you’re free and you can do whatever you want.”
King’s Lynn chiefs have refused to respond to claims made by Panthers’ hierarchy at the weekend that they ‘tapped up’ the Dane. They insisted they will make no further comment on the matter until the BSPA’s decision has been announced.
The on-going dispute could leave the Elite League without one if its star performers if the issue doesn’t go in Lynn’s favour because Iversen has claimed he will ride for no other club in Britain.
The Stars have already named six of their seven-man line up for the forthcoming term — Rory Schlein, Mads Korneliussen, Nicolai Klindt, Sebastian Alden, Simon Stead and Kozza Smith — but are desperate to bring last year’s number one back to Norfolk.
Stars’ co-promoter Jonathan Chapman, talking at the club’s fans’ forum when initial news about the Iversen situation broke, said: “We’ve got a back-up plan, but we don’t want to be using it.
“We’re desperate for Niels to return. He loves the club dearly. In all our years of speedway, even in the Premier League — the likes of Chris Mills and Tomas Topinka who bleed Lynn from the heart — this guy is up there with them all. He absolutely loves this club.
“Unfortunately we’re not in the position to splash the cash on him, as well as Rory, with all the other things that are happening. He’s a guy we’re all fond of and he’s been with us for two seasons.
“We’re absolutely desperate to welcome him back as our number one.”
Peterborough are also in dispute with another club, champions Swindon, after the Robins expressed an interest in two of their other assets, Hans Andersen — who they made an offer for — and Troy Batchelor.