LIONS SEEK NEW OWNERS

27/07/2023

LIONS SEEK NEW OWNERS

LEICESTER Speedway are seeking new ownership to take the club forward into the 2024 season and beyond.

Co-promoter Marc Bates has confirmed the club has been put up for sale, with a number of parties already taking an interest.

Bates says the decision has been taken for health reasons and the need to cut back on his workload, with the club currently in a strong position both on and off the track.

The Bates family took charge at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park in 2017, and have worked hard to turn the Lions into the successful business which operates today.

After two years they made the appointment of current team manager and co-promoter Stewart Dickson, whereupon the club enjoyed several years of success at Championship level, including the league title itself in the 2019 campaign.

This season they have stepped back up to the top level of the sport and the Watling JCB Lions appear set for the play-offs as they are currently on a club record equalling run of eight successive victories.

There has also been a thriving Youth policy with the Lion Cubs twice crowned National Development League champions, and they are in the running for that title again this year.

Bates explained: “This is a decision purely made on health grounds, and therefore I want to make it clear now that we won’t be running Leicester next year.

“At this moment in time I’m simply not in a position health-wise to keep trying to run speedway clubs, my health has to come first, and it’s a family decision to put Leicester up for sale.

“We do already have some interested parties, but we wanted to make sure everybody has the opportunity to speak to us before we take things further.

“I’ve got to stress that this isn’t a financial decision, and whoever takes on Leicester would be inheriting a viable business, and one that we’ve worked hard on over the years.

“The club is in a good position, finances-wise there are no problems, and there were major improvements made over the winter on the stadium and the track.

“We do get a huge amount of help at Leicester, and I’d like to mention Alan and Linda Jones, also Karen and Barry Hudson who were with us for many years, and of course Stewart and Jen (Crossland, general manager), and all the staff and volunteers there who are tremendous.

“But as much as they do, it’s still in our hands and with me having to cut back my work hours, it’s simply too much to do.

“I do think maybe it’s time now for somebody more local to come in and take it on and move things forward, somebody with the enthusiasm to give it another boost.”

Any parties interested in taking over Leicester Speedway for 2024 and beyond are asked to contact lions@leicesterspeedway.com on a confidential basis.

Meanwhile the Watling JCB Lions are back in action next Monday (July 31) with a big Sports Insure Premiership clash against Ipswich as they look to take a further step towards the play-offs.

Next Home Meeting

Leicester Cubs V Scunthorpe Stags / Sheffield Prowlers
May 19, 2024

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