GODFREY HITS BACK AT BEWLEY SIGNING CLAIMS

PAUL BURBIDGE

British Speedway chairman Rob Godfrey hit back at suggestions from Dan Bewley that he was blocked from returning to Belle Vue.

Ahead of the 2021 season, Polish PGE Ekstraliga clubs limited its riders to racing in just one other league, while First and Second Division stars could enter up to two other leagues.

Manchester club Belle Vue is the only top-flight UK team yet to declare a full one-to-seven for 2022 and Bewley posted that a bid to bring him into the Aces side was halted by rival clubs.

The Cumbrian made the comments – which appear to have been deleted – in response to a fan on Instagram, who was unhappy with his decision to race in Poland and Sweden.

Speaking about competing in the UK, he replied: “I actually wanted to and could have, but three clubs in the UK ruled against it. It’s a shame, not just for me but for the other clubs in the Premiership. Thinking too much about their own success and not for the sport.”

It is unclear whether the Polish restrictions have been or will be relaxed, or whether the Aces sought special dispensation for Bewley to race in Manchester from the Ekstraliga authorities.

The BSPL released a statement this evening, refuting claims that they “blocked any rider signing for a club because the rule has been changed”, without naming a rider or team. But Godfrey confirmed he is keen to re-open talks with other national federations to increase the availability of riders for 2023.

He said: “I think it’s important to clarify where we are at with the situation after some incorrect claims I have seen on social media – some of which have been prompted by a rider.

“Over several months, representatives of the various federations have been in dialogue regarding the ruling and agreement has been reached to restart these discussions from the summer onwards with 2023 in mind.

“I sincerely hope positive discussions can continue which result in more riders becoming available to Premiership clubs in British Speedway next year.

“Anyone who suggests Premiership clubs have blocked any rider signing for a club because the rule has been changed is completely incorrect.

“That said, I’m hoping things will work out for all parties concerned, and I believe they can, for 2023 and the Premiership can see more riders returning.”

Photo: Taylor Lanning

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