Statement from Mildenhall Speedway – Eastbourne v Mildenhall National League fixture Friday 26th October.

With the recent comments on social media and in some areas of the press concerning the Eastbourne v Mildenhall fixture which was cancelled on Friday, the club wish to make the following statement.

The original National League fixture between the two clubs scheduled for 14th July was called off by the host club some 48 hours prior to the fixture date due to a football match! This act caused considerable costs to our travelling fan base who had booked a mini bus to travel to Eastbourne for this meeting and in some cases hotels. When we next visited Eastbourne on 21st October this fixture was in their programme as provisional, and that evening we advised Eastbourne we would be unable to confirm that date due to work commitments. We advised Eastbourne that we could most likely bring an acceptable team on the following Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday but were told this was not possible due to the fence being packed away, although the season does not end until Wednesday (it should be noted we have to put up and pack down our fence after most meetings!).

The reasons for our unavailability on the 26th October was as follows, Danny Ayres and Jordan Jenkins had suffered season ending injuries, Ryan Kinsley and Josh Bailey who are both in full time employment at garages in Norfolk were unable to get time off work and Drew Kemp had college followed by a long standing event to attend for his contracted club Ipswich. Kevin Jolly contacted 27 riders in an attempt to put together a viable team but to no avail, riders were either working, packed up for the season or did not want the meeting. An official of the SCB also tried to help with the search for riders but he was unable to source suitable riders either. We would also question why Eastbourne are allowed to have three league fixtures outstanding after the Play Off final.

It has been our understanding that a club should be offered three dates to choose from for a fixture, this has not been the case and we have been unable to obtain a satisfactory reason as to why this was not the case in this instance. It was not our intention to send a weakened team to this meeting and other dates were offered by us. It should be noted that at the annual meeting to discuss fixtures Mildenhall’s representatives put forward a strong case that fixtures should be more structured with the National trophy being completed by July, the KO Cup by August and the League (including playoffs) by the end of September. This was clearly ignored, and in all cases Mildenhall have been left awaiting their opposition in the season’s finals after completing their meetings in a timely manner.

We are disappointed by the attacks on Mildenhall Speedway which have attempted to besmirch the clubs fine name and hope this statement clarifies the situation in a more considered manner.