REDCAR Cubs may be dead – but there’s no need for a wake.
There has been talk of fans staying away from South Tees Motorsports Park in response to the decision not to run a junior team in the third tier of British speedway next season.
That’s missing the point to a level that would make even the biggest needle-dodging belonephobic proud.
So too is the notion that some dark force was at work, armed solely with the intention to destroy Planet Cub.
In case anyone hadn’t noticed, there’s a credit crunch going on.
Are you getting a pay rise this year? I’m not. And even that’s a luxury my friends and colleagues made recently redundant from the newspaper industry would love to savour.
It’s the sort of situation that makes us look very carefully about where we spend our money. And if it’s a choice between feeding the family or having a night out – there’s only going to be one winner.
After the financial difficulties faced by the last promoter, we came damned close to having no speedway at all on Teesside this year.
It really was that serious.
That we do have a team – a competitive looking one at that – to support in the 2009 Premier League is down to the efforts of four men who deserve to be praised for their determination, commitment and financial input.
That quartet – the consortium headed by Brian Havelock – has dragged Redcar Speedway away from edge of the abyss, put a fatherly arm around its shoulder and sent it along the road signposted ‘Bright Future’.
And that was the easy bit.
Now they’ve got to keep it firmly on that path, veering it away from any potential potholes along the way that could knock it off course.
For that reason the Cubs had to go. It was simply a matter of starting off on a firm financial footing and staying on it.
Of course I feel desperately sorry for Jason and Steve who have lived and breathed the junior team for the past three years – and for the riders who had hoped to continue their development as part of the Cubs team in 2009.
Jason told me he was “gutted” – and I suspect that was the biggest understatement since someone described Siberia in December as “a little nippy”.
You couldn’t put a price on the time he’s invested in the Cubs since 2006.
And yes, it must have been a blow to hear the news now, two months before the start of the season and some while after the initial intention to go ahead with an NL team was declared.
But surely it’s better to make the call now, than in the middle of the season?
The future of Redcar Speedway was at serious risk during the winter and some tough decisions have to be made to make sure that risk is staved off.
If anyone thinks the consortium took this decision with a smile on their face and spring in their stride can contact me right now – I’ll send the men in white suits to get you straight away.
It was a decision taken in response to the current economic climate and with the driven aim of safeguarding the future of speedway on Teesside.
And that’s good enough for me.