Swindon Robins owner Patchett concerned by rule change

Gary Patchett
Patchett has been co-owner of the Robins since 2006

Swindon Robins co-owner Gary Patchett says changes to rules will make it harder for his side to secure a number one rider for next season's campaign.

The decision to scrap the one rider over eight points rule was made at the Elite League annual general meeting.

"I warned the other clubs about the consequences of scrapping the rule, but they went ahead and did it," he said.

"That's fine for those clubs who are sitting pretty with two top riders in place, we haven't even got one."

Last year's number one Scott Nicholls has returned to parent club Coventry, and Swindon have yet to fill the void left by star rider Leigh Adams, who retired last winter.

Patchett also revealed that they had tried to sign Slovenian champion Matej Zagar but the move fell through.

"We have been in talks with Zagar but we have failed to agree a deal which would probably have made him the highest earner in the Elite League," he added.

"We are now facing an uphill battle to secure an out-and-out number one rider and both Alun Rossiter [manager] and myself cannot afford to hang around.

"Other clubs were telling me to sit tight and wait to see what riders became available, but whilst other clubs are signing their top men we can't afford to hang around.

"Effectively we are relying on the indulgence of other clubs as we don't currently have an asset of our own who is a number one. As of Monday we don't have permission to speak to one top rider from any other club and that's worrying and mainly down to the scrapping of the one rider over eight rule."

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