Elite League Speedway: No danger to Poole Pirates from football team
Last Updated: 28/02/14 8:43pm
Poole Pirates insist there is no danger to them after local football club Poole Town expressed an interest about returning to Wimborne Road.
The Pirates, one the powerhouses of British speedway who boast one of the biggest fan bases in the country, have been based at their current home since they were established in the 1940s.
However, stadium operators Stadia UK revealed earlier this week they had held talks with Poole Town about the prospect of turning the venue into a venue capable of holding not just speedway and greyhound racing as it currently does - but also football.
Former Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell is the new driving force behind Poole Town, and they have an aim of making it to the Football League and with that they need a bigger stadium.
Poole chief Matt Ford told the Daily Echo: "I have to confess I have been rather shocked by this statement from the stadium - it's come right out of the blue.
"I had no knowledge, but if there is an opportunity to improve the stadium facilities then I will be absolutely thrilled.
"We will monitor the ongoing dialogue and I will be delighted to embrace anything that can make Poole Stadium better.
"I will reiterate that the speedway will continue to run from March to October and we look forward to going out on track next month as the reigning Elite League champions."
Ford, though, believes there is little doubt that speedway in Poole will be unaffected.
"I felt it only right to make it clear to all Pirates devotees and speedway fans in general that Poole Speedway is here for the long haul," he said.
"We have just committed to a five-year contract with Sky Sports and we intend to honour that commitment.
"Bikes have roared around Wimborne Road since 1948 and they will still be enthralling Dorset speedway fans in the long term.
"Last year alone, Poole Pirates were shown on over 80 hours of TV time on Sky Sports. This year will be no different.
"The fact we help enhance Poole tourism and can bring national titles to the town for me is a lifetime achievement fulfilled.
"If this is an opportunity to make the stadium better or help the town, then I think it's something we should all be extremely positive about."