Plymouth Devils: Speedway club to fold due to lack of support

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Plymouth Devils
Plymouth Devils had their most successful season last year, reaching the Premier League play-offs for the first time

Premier League speedway club Plymouth Devils are set to fold due to a lack of support and financial losses.

Poor attendances prompted Plymouth directors to 'close the club'.

"We opened with a number of very popular riders and we were sure we would get a good crowd, but we didn't and we lost a lot of money," co-promoter David Short told BBC Sport.

"The directors of the company concluded that there's no prospect of Plymouth becoming viable."

Short continued: "We felt that we should close it down before we incurred more debts."

The club reached the Premier League play-offs for the first time ever last year, but Short said the club - based at the St Boniface Arena - has not made money since it was taken over in 2012.

Two years Short warned they could go out of business after falling attendances hit the club, which returned to Plymouth in 2006 after a 36-year break.

"We have sustained the losses - virtually every match we've made a loss," added Short.

"We tried with a team more akin to the budget of Plymouth Speedway and that resulted in a reduction in the people attending.

"The amount of sponsorship we got this season was virtually nothing. Those that did contribute we're very grateful to, but we just felt we could not carry on when the level of support would not be there."

Short says there is no possibility of the board of directors changing their stance, but added that the club is for sale.

"If someone wanted to come in to buy Plymouth Speedway they'd be more than welcome, but myself and my co-promoter and the directors of the company do not wish to continue.

"A lot of clubs keep going as they've got very generous people who support them, and we've had generous people support us. But they cannot go on indefinitely, incurring the losses that they have and that were clearly going to have this year.

"Speedway has lost a lot of popularity in recent years and there's no getting away from that fact."