Newport Speedway pull plug on Hornets
6:30am Thursday 10th November 2011 in Sport
BRITISH National League speedway side Newport Hornets has been disbanded by club officials.
However, a decision about the future of British Premier League Knockout Cup winners Newport Wasps has yet to been made.
The Hornets finished with the wooden spoon at the end of the 2011 NL campaign, but officials are adamant that is not the reason for the decision to pull the plug.
“Let me say right here and now that we would have made the same decision had we won the title,” said Newport co-promoter Nick Mallett, who revamped the Hornets from their previous name of the Mavericks in 2009.
“The reason we have decided to end the Hornets’ existence has been made purely and simply because of financial circumstances.
“Crowds have disappointingly been very poor here at our Queensway Meadows Stadium home track, that was even the case earlier in the season when the side put together a few home wins.
“So when I reveal that the attendance figure for our final meeting of the season against the champions, Scunthorpe-Sheffield, drew in less than 50 paying customers then it doesn’t take a financial genius to work out what to do next.
“The riders still had to be paid and the loss was simply too much and, not withstanding any decision about Newport Wasps, the Hornets are from this point disbanded.
“The relevant governing body and all the riders have been informed and I understand a couple have already managed to get themselves sorted for next season.
“As a former rider I have every sympathy with them. But my family simply could not continue to lose money on a venture that wasn’t being supported through the turnstiles.”
Mallett continued by saying that although the Hornets had been a financial failure, the team had given many riders the opportunity to kick-start their British speedway careers.
“The likes of Todd Kurtz (also a Wasp), Kyle Newman and Jamie Pickard have all come through the Hornets ranks and from that point of view, we can hold our heads high.
“Recently Dan Greenwood has returned to speedway after a few years away and he looks the part again.
“So having the Hornets around has been beneficial to a lot of riders over the past three years.
“It is sad day for everyone here at this club to realise we have to say goodbye to the Hornets, but in the end we had no choice whatsoever.”
Mallet has been co-promoter at Newport Speedway with his father Steve and they were joined in the 2011 season by Dudley-based dentist Peter Mole, who sponsored the Hornets.