Keith Chapman owner of Peterborough Panthers

East of England’s resident speedway team, the Peterborough Panthers, has stated that due to British Speedway’s inevitable decision the Panthers will be cancelling the remainder of their 2020 season.

The Panthers issued the following statement:

British Speedway bosses were left with no choice but to pull the plug this week, following Boris Johnson’s announcement that spectators would only be allowed back into stadia from October.

No league racing has taken place anywhere in the UK, but there remains the prospect of youth racing and open meetings when fans are allowed in the final month of the season.

Plans are also in place for the British Final to go ahead with Belle Vue keen to host it when possible.

Said Chapman: “It’s a disappointment, of course it is, but we have no option now but to bounce back in 2021 with hungry fans starved of this wonderful sport.

“Every effort was made by promoters up and down the country to stage league racing but it’s just not possible and it’s great news for the sport that the TV broadcast deal remains in place going forward.

“I’d also like to think we can keep the same team, if the riders are keen to remain for 2021. I liked the look of the Peterborough team and was very keen to see them on track, so let’s see if we can pull them all back together for next spring.”

Chapman has also revealed how he enjoys a good relationship with his landlords at the East of England Arena.

“We get on very well,” he said. “In fact, through all this, they were working with us to facilitate new dates for an amended fixture list should we have got the green light to start in August.

“For now we have to thank our riders, our sponsors and our fans for their patience and understanding throughout a very difficult time for the sport, and life in general.”

Venue director, Jason Lunn, said, “The Panthers attract crowds that rival many football clubs, we understand that this is a decision taken at the highest level of the sport for everyone’s safety. We look forward to welcoming the Panthers back for a full season in 2021.”