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Workington Comets speedway team owner set to withdraw cash support

Workington Comets owner Keith Denham is ready to pull the plug on the Derwent Park club after five years in charge.

Keith Denham photo
Keith Denham

He has contacted the British Speedway Promoters’ Association (BSPA) to ask what would be the ramifications of pulling out of the Premier League now, ending the Comets’ season early.

They still have two home league matches to race, are involved in two cup semi-finals and are also set to contest the play-offs. Potentially they still have seven home matches to race.

A life-long fan of the sport, Mr Denham said: “I just can’t go on making weekly losses. It is not fair on my family.

“Last Saturday for the visit of Glasgow Tigers I lost almost £3,000. We had less than 500 people in the stadium and over 100 of them came from Glasgow.

“It’s very sad because we opened the season to a 1,300 crowd but since then we have decreased and some of the crowds recently have been very poor.

“When I first took over we had healthy four figure crowds but it does look as though the people of Workington are tired now of speedway in the town.”

Mr Denham said he sent an email to the BSPA on Monday to find out what the penalty would be for ending participation now.

“Saturday is the last date for fitting in league matches and there was no way we could race against both Berwick and Leicester,” he said.

“We have had a side competing well in the league and one which has been unbeaten at Derwent Park but the crowds have continued to decline.

“Our injuries have been well documented and on Saturday against Glasgow we had to use three guests and a rider replacement facility. Some of the fans told me they thought they should only have to pay half price because we had only half of our team. I told him it doesn’t work like that.”

Mr Denham said other clubs were in serious financial trouble and the sport had a “major problem”.

Workington speedway ran briefly at Lonsdale Park football ground in the early 1930s but really took off in 1970 when it was brought to Derwent Park by young promoters Ian Thomas and Jeff Brownhut.

Support trailed off in the mid 1980s when the Comets closed but were revived in 1999 by Kidderminster businessman and speedway supporter Tony Mole. It was bought by Keith Denham at the end of the 2007 season.

Have your say

Regarding costs,Keith Denham has always stated that he was never in it to make money (he also isn't in it to lose money).
IF suffficient fans attended he always said he would bring the entry cost down, but he can't do that unless the stay away fans show that they will support the club. This weekend could prove that!
The vast majority of MAN UTD fans do not agree with some of the actions of their owners, but thousands still turn up every week to support the club.
Get behind the club and show what support we could have before it's to late.
Give Keith Denham the option to reduce admission the following week, lets see you all turn up Saturday

Posted by Tony R on 20 September 2012 at 10:45

I am very sorry but the rugby club would not be running now if speedway had not returned in 1999 , i know that and the people that run Workington Town know that . Very happy to see Town doing well . Comets are doing very well .But i do think is the end of the Comets Comets fan turn 2 Now i think it will bet the end of the Rugby club thay will never get back to the teams from the 50s 60s 70s , as Sky wont be there for them ( LOOK AT BRADFORD) as Sky wont be there for Tne Comets . I do not go to see the Town but i have there Draw Tickets and had two wins But if the Comets go my ticket moneys go ,. Very Sad Time s After the Comets have gone , Iwill gine 3 years and Tseco will be at D/P ..

Posted by JOHN on 19 September 2012 at 23:04

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