Speedway: Birmingham Brummies go out of business

The Birmingham Brummies speedway team have been closed with immediate effect.

The decision was announced by the British Speedway Promoters' Association after the financially-troubled club failed to meet the 14 July deadline to find new owners.

"I'm gutted about this outcome but sadly there was no alternative," BSPA chairman Alex Harkness said.

"With no promoter willing to take the club forward, I'm afraid the club is now closed for business."

Analysis

"The announcement was fully expected but none-the-less sad for that. Throughout the sport's history, speedway clubs have come and gone, but the news, and the developments leading to it, will leave all those who campaigned for the revival of the Brummies during their last 20-year absence with heavy hearts.

"No doubt blame for the club's demise will continue to be apportioned and deflected, although there is little to gain from playing that dismal game. Since potential saviour Tony Mole withdrew from talks to save the club a fortnight ago, there has been speculation that he might seek to re-establish the club in the future.

"For speedway generally there are more immediate concerns. The Elite League is now down to nine clubs and another, Eastbourne, has already indicated it will not continue beyond the end of this season without a change in ownership."

Mike Taylor, BBC WM Sport

The news brings and end to seven years of racing at Perry Barr since the club returned to the sport in 2007.

The future of the Brummies has been under threat for the last fortnight, ever since a takeover by Tony Mole failed to materialise, with Mole saying the level of debt made any move to save the club "not viable".

Former promoter Allan Phillips had his licence annulled on 4 July, with the BSPA stepping in to pay the Birmingham riders for their most recent meetings at Poole on 25 June and Belle Vue on 30 June.

The Brummies have not raced at their home track at Perry Barr since a 50-40 win over Belle Vue on 11 June.

The club's ex-team manager and co-promoter Graham Drury told BBC WM that although the news was frustrating, he was sure it did not necessarily mean the end of speedway in the city.

"I feel for the supporters and season-ticket holders, it's a sad day," he said. "If run properly, I'm quite sure Birmingham can be a profitable club again.

"Birmingham Speedway must not be allowed to die and I've every confidence it can come back fitter and stronger."

Speedway first came to the stadium in 1929 and was the Brummies' home until 1983 when they moved to Bordesley Green. The club closed in 1986.

Brummies can return - ex-boss Drury

After reforming in 2006 and coming back into the Premier League the following year, they stepped into the sport's top division - the Elite League - in 2011.

The team's growing success culminated in finishing top of the table last year, before losing the play-off final to Poole Pirates 104-79 over two legs.

Although there will be no more speedway involving the Brummies from now on, the club's season-ticket holders have been given the chance to attend Coventry Bees' remaining home meetings for free.

The Bees have announced they will be welcome at the club's nine fixtures at Brandon, beginning with the visit of Belle Vue on Friday, 18 July.