Eastbourne Eagles fans want to get their club back on track next season.

But it would cost as much as £150,000 to get the engines roaring again at Arlington.

Four supporters have got together to test the water.

Eagles dropped out of the second-tier Championship midway through last summer amid financial problems.

The club competed in the top-flight Elite League for years under the supervision of Bob Dugard.

The hugely influential promoter died in 2018 and, though his son Martin and grandson Connor worked wonders to keep the club alive for three successful seasons in the semi-professional third tier, a step back up under new management proved unsustainable.

There are fears Eastbourne could follow the numerous clubs who have disappeared seemingly for good in recent years.

Steve Chantler, 54, is one of four supporters and former sponsors – along with Mark Horsman, David Graveling and Michael Gray - who want to prevent that.

They have struck up what they feel is a constructive relationship with stadium owner Eric Dugard and reckon it would cost up to £150,000 to run next summer, of which they can provide £50,000 themselves.

Now, absolutely no promises, but they hope there is enough support to make it all systems go.

Steve, who has been a fan since the age of three, said: “We have spoken to the BSPL (governing body), we have spoken to others who have been involved in running speedway at Arlington before as well as people as other clubs.

“We have had a couple of conversations with potential sponsors.

“It is going to be hard work.”

As well as the costs they always anticipated, Steve and his colleagues have found the stadium rent to be double what was expected.

The air fence must be replaced at a cost of £25,000 and the tractors needed to tend the track are no longer usable.

He said: “Everywhere we look, there’s money needed.

“The willingness is there. We get calls from track staff saying they are ready to get back on board.

“You speak to people who have been involved and they say you can’t make money from it.

“We are not too fussed about making money from it but we are not a bottomless pit where we can write off a debt at the end of one year, write a cheque and get on with the next one.

“We have got to, at the very least, break even.

“What we would love to do is make a profit and reinvest it into the club.”

If the hopes are realised, Eastbourne would run at Championship level.

It is a good league which currently involves Poole, Oxford and Birmingham and riders such as Scott Nicholls, Chris Harris, Hans Andersen, Adam Ellis and Hassocks’ own Tom Brennan.

But it is tough going. Birmingham recently revealed they need 1,000 fans per match to break even.

The big city track are struggling to attract 500 to Perry Barr.

And many of those paid up-front for season tickets, so their money was all spent months ago.

The evidence of recent years says Eastbourne can pull in crowds of 1,000 and quite a bit more on good nights – but not always.

Can it happen? Well, they are a long way from a green light yet.

But the red isn’t on either.

Steve said: “We get to a stage sometimes when we look at each other and say, ‘This isn’t going to going to happen, is it?’ but then the passion comes back.

“The thought of getting bikes back on track at Arlington takes over and we want to do it again.

“We want to invite potential sponsors and investors together, people who can make things happen and see what interest there is out there.”

Steve is appreciative of the massive support the Dugard family have given speedway for decades and makes it clear he and his fellow fans are in no way connected to any previous promotions. He said: “The stadium owners might be sceptical as to whether we can make it work or not.

“But they are friendly and they want to help us.”

Steve can be contacted via steve@trianglefiresystems.co.uk.