The Wightlink Warriors and Wizards withdrew from the National League and Midland & Southern Development League last month when the board of the British Speedway Promoters Limited imposed rules ‘without consultation’ and ‘slashed the overall team strengths’ to what the Island’s promoters consider an unviable level.
But fears that this all meant an end to the sport on the Island have been removed with an official announcement that there will be a full programme of two-wheeled speedway action this summer.
Barry Bishop and Martin Widman resurrected the sport on the island in 2016 and turned the Warriors into the most talked about club in the country, winning the prestigious World Speedway Riders’ Association Community Club of the Year for an unprecedented 2 years in a row in 2018 and 2019. However, plans to return Isle of Wight Speedway to the Premier League never materialised.
Barry has said:
“As you can imagine it has been a very busy time for Martin and I to get ourselves into a position where we can update everyone in the direction we are taking the club.
“We have received tremendous support from all over the world on this and we cannot wait to implement the faith shown in us by so many. We have to thank everyone who has supported us to move this forward following our withdrawal from league racing, and it is this support and belief in the vision that will drive the project forward.
“With the help of so many, I am delighted to confirm that there will be speedway in 2021 at Smallbrook Stadium and we know you will be thrilled with what’s coming.
“We are working hard to have a full calendar of events and in addition to those, we have already staged preliminary talks with two international bodies, one of which is the French League, and while there are many challenges to overcome, our initial conversations have been very positive and well received.
“With a spectacular season ahead full of innovation, fun, technology and pride, we cannot wait to get started and welcome our fans, sponsors and supporters back to the club.”
The news will delight many of the Island fans and those from the mainland who visit Smallbrook Stadium regularly during the summer months, but things won’t be as normal. It remains to be seen if Wightlink will continue their sponsorship of the club after the current contract expires.
The club says that as soon as they are in a position to announce full details of what is being planned then they will do so.