WEYMOUTH Wildcats’ co-promoter James Tresadern is concerned for the future of British speedway and suggested the sport needs a “good overhaul”.

With the pandemic hitting all sports hard, speedway has been particularly badly affected.

Riders are often paid per point earned on the track and, with no lucrative sponsorship deal in place in Britain’s top flight, clubs have been delving into their pockets in 2021.

Fan attendance at stadiums is also key, with good numbers helping clubs pay not only for their riders but overhead costs too.

Eastbourne and Newcastle have likely closed their doors for good and Swindon have chosen not to ride in 2021, while there is an uncertain financial future at Birmingham.

Nomadic teams such as Weymouth have also been forbidden from competing in leagues, leaving Tresadern to urge the sport’s governing bodies to act.

He told Echosport: “The amount of supporters you get in through the gate pays the riders’ wages.

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“You’ve also got to take into account rent fees, medical care, electric use – that’s an astronomical amount – and riders get paid per point.

“Where councils were putting a limit on the amount of fans entering a stadium (in 2020), it took a lot of the spare cash tracks have got to pay for riders and all that.

“As for where I see speedway going, it’s not as funded as football. It doesn’t have sponsorship like football.

“So it needs an injection of cash from somewhere and really needs a good overhaul of the BSPL (British Speedway Promoters Ltd) and SCB (Speedway Control Bureau).

“My personal opinion is that they don’t seem to be doing much to help these clubs that are struggling.

“It needs teams like ourselves, Milton Keynes, Exeter, Carmarthen, Reading, Isle of Wight to run so we can bring up the next generation of riders and get them on the track.

“But with all these clubs folding, slowly, there’s not going to be many tracks to get them on.”

Explaining the costs further, and putting forward suggestions to increase attendances, Tresadern added: “Some of these riders will get paid £70, £80 a point.

“If they score 10 points, it’s £800 as well as a travelling fee so there’s a lot of cost involved. £800 is 80 people paying £10 each to get in.

“It needs the fans to come back, it needs to be more entertaining. That’s what the Isle of Wight are doing.

“They’re letting the kids run round the track during an interval on little bikes. Make it more entertaining.

“Get the riders to wander round, speak to fans while the track’s being sorted. It needs to be more family orientated for people to come out and say: ‘Yeah, it’s worth a good night’.

“Not just turn up, watch 15 heats and that’s it. Have (development) races at the end, that’s another six heats. It just needs thought going into it.

“Have a little bit of entertainment on before the meeting, singing on the centre field, involve the public more.

“Make people want to come and give them something they’ll want to come out of the house for.”