Let's be honest and rebuild this league, urges Eagles boss

Elite League racing like this could become a thing of the past at Arlington

Elite League racing like this could become a thing of the past at Arlington

First published in Sport

Trevor Geer wants Eastbourne’s rivals to be honest about their state of health.

Because he believes his own club’s future could depend on it.

Eagles are in the thick of a battle for an Elite League play-off spot as they prepare to host Coventry tonight.

But Eastbourne’s quest for the top four is being fought against a backdrop of falling attendances and question marks over whether they will race next season.

Senior promoter Bob Dugard has made it clear he intends to step down.

The club must offer some indication as their plans for 2015 by early September.

Geer is desperate for them to keep racing but admits no potential new promoter or investor has come forward.

He accepts the future is worrying – and he hopes other tracks are frank and honest when they meet.

Birmingham pulled out of the league earlier this season.

Geer is convinced other tracks are also struggling financially.

He believes they would benefit from a revamp of the league which could also save Eagles.

Geer said: “We’ve got to give some indication as to what we are doing next season by the first week in September.

“There is a meeting between clubs and they will want to know our plans.

“I hope there will changes that will make the league more attractive – and might also persuade Bob to keep going!

“I would like to see fewer meetings and I would like to see us do what we can to bring the top riders back to the league.

“We have had cutbacks and weakened the league to reduce costs but we need to make it more attractive.

“Other tracks are struggling. It’s not just us.

“You often hear promoters say ‘we’re all right, we’re quite happy to keep going as we are’ but then they lose six-figure sums.

“You get new promoters coming to tracks and they say they are willing to pump money into it.

“But they get fed up with losing money after a few years.”

Geer is an advocate of Friday night racing and backs a plan put forward by world champion Tai Woffinden recently.

Woffinden reckons big name riders would return to the Elite League if there were fewer meetings and the Elite League had one set racenight.

Geer’s more immediate concern is getting a team out for a busy period coming up.

Simon Gustafsson, the Swindon rider on loan from Eagles, guests for his parent club tonight with Mikkel Michelsen away at the World Under-21 Championship.

Michelsen will also miss the trip to King’s Lynn next Friday and the home fixture against Wolverhampton the following night.

Eagles are also having to book guests to replace their injured reserve Lewis Blackbird.

Adam Ellis of Lakeside steps in tonight and at Belle Vue on Monday.

In return, Eagles’ Danny Halsey guests for Lakeside at Belle Vue in the first part of Monday’s double-header.

Last night's clash at Coventry was rained off.

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