Eagles’ business model must be sound for them to succeed on the track

Eastbourne Eagles
Eastbourne Eagles

Eastbourne Speedway’s return to professional speedway racing in 2019 received a further boost last Sunday.

Supporters packed the clubroom at Arlington Stadium to learn from the managers what had happened through the winter and of plans for the 2019 season, which begins in April.

Directors Jon Cook and Ian Jordan were joined on the top table by promoters Trevor Geer and Mike Bellerby, along with headline sponsor, Les Fineing, of Fineprint and Barry Johnson the club’s staff training and health and safety officer.

Commercial director, Ian Jordan, explained to fans that speedway would have to pay its way. The death, last year, of Bob Dugard, meant there was nobody in the background to “sign the cheques” to cover outstanding debts at the end of the season.

Mr Jordan said a professional and business-like approach had been taken and something, perhaps unique in speedway had happened – a detailed business model had been built, rather than a model which relied on a benefactor.

He said the club’s managers would have profit and loss figures available within a couple of days of every meeting.

Director of Speedway, Jon Cook, told the fans they could look forward to having an out-and-out No 1 Richard Lawson.

“He is very motivational for the rest of the team,” Cook commented.

The aim for every home meeting was to put on a quality show of 15 heats of professional speedway racing and “send people home buzzing”.

Cook said the development of younger riders remained important to the club but they would be developed “elsewhere” and not in the public eye in front of paying spectators.

After the formal presentations, supporters were able to ask questions and then mix with the managers to talk one-to-one or in groups.

Afterwards Ian Jordan commented: “We were delighted with the number of people who came to the meeting and their reaction to what they learned.

“It was an extremely positive meeting and augurs well and gives everyone connected with the Fineprint Eagles confidence that we are heading in the right direction with the backing of the supporters.”

The first scheduled home meeting is on Saturday, April 6, against Birmingham in the Shield and Press and Practice Day is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2. The Eagles will run on Good Friday, April 19, once again against the Brummies, in round one of the KO Cup.