Rob Lyon urges BSPA chiefs to rethink Elite League cut-off date after King’s Lynn Stars’ wash-out
- Credit: Ian Burt
Fed-up King's Lynn boss Rob Lyon wants British speedway chiefs to help ease the pressure of late-summer fixture pile-ups.
Not for the first time, almost every Elite League outfit is scrapping around to complete their regular programme before the pre-play-off cut-off date. That comes into effect on September 7 this year with King's Lynn still needing to see out three meetings after tonight's home clash against Leicester Lions fell foul of a 7.15pm downpour.
The heavens opened, forcing the clubs to find a restaging date during a calendar which is already rammed with lower-level clashes, matches abroad and individual meetings. And Lyon insists now is the time for those at the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA) to do their bit in calming the chaos.
Lyon said: 'It is the typical end of season scramble to get the fixtures in. It's got to be looked at because we're not alone are we?
'There are other clubs in the play-off situation that have got fixtures. Swindon, Coventry, Poole, ourselves and Belle Vue all have matches that need to be sorted by that date. I think it needs to be reviewed at some point so we can get some flexibility somewhere along the line.
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'The cut-off has always been a week before (the play-offs) to allow people to plan, Sky to advertise, and it sort of makes a lot of sense in lots of ways in an ideal world. In a not so ideal world there needs to be a bit of flexibility to allow these fixtures to happen. Nobody thought we'd have this bad weather consistently at this time of the year.'
This evening's abandonment was the second time this campaign Lynn have seen the plug pulled on a home fixture against their so-called A47 rivals. On July 29 they completed nine of their 15-race clash before the heavens opened – just one heat before the result would have been allowed to stand.
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'All of the four forecasts that were looked at gave a clear night after 5pm,' added Lyon.
'All were completely wrong. So what do you do? There's one thing that you cannot control and that's the weather. We've got to take stock, look at the situation and see where we go from there. We threw some dates around with Leicester before they left but we haven't come to any conclusions. It'll get discussed at an Elite League meeting today so hopefully we can pull something together for the benefit of everyone really.'
Lynn are set to host Swindon on Wednesday before travelling to Poole on September 2. The first leg of the play-off semi-finals are scheduled for Monday September 14. Leicester still have six meetings to fulfil before their 2015 efforts can come to an end.
The Stars chief added: 'The first priority, for the home and away team, regardless of who they are or what their position in the league is, is to run with their full side. Ultimately – if push comes to shove – and you have to run on a certain date without a rider then you've got to do it.'
Fourth-placed Lynn's inactivity allowed Belle Vue to move to within two points of the top four after they beat Wolves 57-33. The Stars do have a meeting in hand on their main rivals for the final play-off spot though.