King’s Lynn to sign grand prix ace
King's Lynn co-promoter Jonathan Chapman revealed some of the world's best riders have offered their services to the Elite League new boys ahead of tonight's unveiling of a grand prix racer.
Lynn's hierarchy will present their first confirmed signing to a fans' forum at the town's football stadium – a rider with a wealth of experience across all the major European leagues.
'We're excited by this one and I think the supporters will be - he is an important cog in the wheel for us and what we want to achieve, and we believe we will be competitive this season,' said Chapman. 'It has even surprised me since the news was confirmed we are going Elite League that we have been contacted by some of the best riders in the world offering their services to King's Lynn. I take that to prove how well thought of we are within the sport.
'We came away from the AGM with every intention that we would be running Premier League but when the Elite opportunity came around it meant a very hectic period of talks and thrashing out contracts so we could get it right. This feels like something different, something fresh. We believe we took the club into the Premier at the right time a few years ago and we feel this is the right time to go into the Elite.'
Lynn will replace Coventry and Peterborough in a revamped top flight for 2011 with the Panthers stating earlier this week they were making a �140,000 annual loss attempting to run Elite League speedway.
'Finances have a big part to play of course and with the Sky television contract and fewer clubs it does make a difference in terms of the share each club can expect,' said Chapman. 'But there are also other factors here, like the enjoyment of competing at Premier League level.
'Obviously we had a team set to go that was there or thereabouts and, don't get me wrong, we would have tried to put a team together again to win trophies but it just felt last season things had gone a bit stale. The first time we won trophies it was amazing and the second was good but it is more difficult to maintain that year on year.'
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Chapman has promised to keep fans fully informed as they build toward a exciting new Saddlebow era.
'We know they may have concerns and if they come to the forum we will be as open and honest as we can with our answers,' he said. 'I know one or two are also unhappy we are holding this type of event at the football club as well but really at this time of year the speedway stadium is shut down. We have the luxurious facilities and a new bar just refurbished and we feel this is a much more welcoming environment.'
Doors open at 7pm this evening for an 8pm start in the Linnets' Lounge situated under the Main Stand at the Walks stadium.