King's Lynn Stars co-promoter reflects on what could have been
King's Lynn Stars would have begun their campaign on Monday versus local rivals Peterborough had the 2020 professional speedway season gone ahead, revealed co-promoter Dale Allitt.
Following a four-month lockdown, last week the authorities bowed to the inevitable considering elite sports like speedway with crowds are only permitted to return in October according to government guidelines.
The Minors & Brady Stars had worked out a short fixture list of a league programme with play offs, starting with an away A47 derby on August 3 and were “close to racing” according to Allitt.
However time was running out to fit this schedule in, as Allitt confirmed: “It was a constant, constant changing target,” he remarked.
“What I will say and quite happy to share it, we got as far as we had a full fixture list ready for the third of August which was done a few weeks ago.
“We were close to pulling the trigger and racing. King's Lynn would have been at Peterborough on the third of August, racing in a short league campaign, obviously. That’s how close it got.
“Ironically the announcement came probably when we would have made that call anyway (to postpone the 2020 elite season) because we couldn’t have waited any longer. The time restraints for getting a league with a play off system in were fast approaching quite quickly.
“The government making their announcement took it out of our hands, not in a great way, but at least we got clarity.”
While the Adrian Flux Arena club hopes to do a few individual meetings in October, it is not a straightforward matter, pointed out the former Stars team boss.
“You have got to be careful as a lot of these riders are maybe on furlough or they may have taken jobs; some haven't ridden for 12 months," Allitt said.
“It’s not as simple as flicking a switch and saying: Right, we’ll get 16 top riders and we’ll do a top-level event. That may not be possible.
“We would like to do something but I really wouldn’t want to comment because there will be some riders who will say: Look, I haven’t ridden for a year. I’m just taking a year out now. I’ll do practice for next year and we’ll start again.
“Others may well do that but that’s an individual choice. You’ve got to respect that.”