Is the turmoil finally at an end for King’s Lynn Stars chief Chapman?
- Credit: Matthew Usher
King's Lynn Stars boss Buster Chapman is hoping for a new era on the track after almost unprecedented controversy off it.
A new-look Stars side host Swindon on Wednesday night, after Chapman axed leading riders Chris Holder and Troy Batchelor.
Their dismissals come after a fraught few weeks which saw former world champion Holder banned for 28 days for refusing to ride in a home fixture against Poole Pirates.
It was a meeting which appears to have turned the club upside down: many fans were upset at a long delay as the track was repaired, but it was the actions of riders who were reluctant to race which has led to the upheaval.
Holder and Batchelor paid the price for the ensuing stand-off with owner Chapman, who this week announced their departures, and new arrivals. In come former Grand Prix Star Tomas H Jonasson as well as Michael Palm Toft and Josh Auty.
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'To be honest, I've found the whole thing a refreshing change talking to these new boys,' Chapman said. 'After all the aggravation, protests and controversy, I've been delighted to speak to riders with such a positive attitude. I want to work with people who want to do well for King's Lynn Speedway and who are determined to make things happen.
'The guys we have brought in agree with that and fully understand what I expect.'
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With Swindon arriving in Norfolk on the back of eight straight top-flight victories, Chapman is hoping a fresh atmosphere around the place can help build a new togetherness.
'Swindon are the form team in the league right now and fair play to them,' Chapman said. 'A run like that takes serious teamwork as a result of a fantastic team spirit. That's something we've been sadly lacking here at King's Lynn up until now. I have found it hard to accept some of the things that have happened and felt I had to do something to bring something back to the club.'
King's Lynn: Robert Lambert, Thomas Jorgensen, Michael Palm Toft, Kai Huckenbeck, Tomas H Jonasson, Josh Auty, Simon Lambert.
Swindon: Jason Doyle, Tobiasz Musielak, Bradley Wilson-Dean, David Bellego, Nick Morris, Adam Ellis, Jake Knight.