King's Lynn rider owed £8,000 by crisis club Eastbourne
King’s Lynn Stars spearhead Richard Lawson says speedway crisis club Eastbourne Eagles owe him nearly £8,000.
The Lynn News already revealed that Lynn’s 2021 skipper Lewis Kerr says he is owed £4,000 by second-tier outfit the Eagles who withdrew from the Championship season in August, citing financial problems.
But Lawson says he is owed double that amount.
The promotion, under Eastbourne Eagles Ltd director Ian Jordan, was closed down and the BSPL (British Speedway Promoters Limited) has now re-issued Trevor Geer with his promoter’s licence prior to a likely return during the 2023 season.
He said: “I’m owed just under £8,000. I hope Ian Jordan is never allowed back into speedway. I’m out of pocket. It’s not just the money he owes. The way I race it costs me £500 to ride every meeting. You’re putting your bike and body on the line and it’s not on.
“I’ve got my fingers burned at Lakeside, when I was at Lakeside and Eastbourne, in the last four years. It’s been at least £20,000 I’ve not been paid over the last four years.”
Lawson, like Kerr, recalls what turned out to be the final meeting of the season when riders had a team meeting informing them of the financial issues and states supporters did not know what was going on.
Lawson added: “I know a lot of fans get on your back but the BSPA forced me to ride unless I get a 28-day ban. Eastbourne asked me to do a rider replacement ride and an extra ride. I said: You must be joking. The fans don’t know this. I’m not going to put in extra rides for free.
“At that point I had asked to be sacked and released from the club. If they sacked me or let me go it wouldn’t have cost me money.
“I was the highest-paid guy in the team. I said that if you let me go, your club would be more sustainable. It fell on deaf ears.”
Lawson wants the rules changed to protect riders when situations such as Eastbourne’s occur: “I understand you can’t give the riders too much power and you can’t just pick and choose when you ride,” he added.