Newport Speedway was closed down yesterday following the failure of an 11th-hour takeover bid.

The Wasps became the latest sporting victims of the financial downturn despite the frantic efforts of promoter Steve Mallett.

A crucial factor was the collapse of a deal with Trojan International which would have brought stock car racing to Queensway Meadows and with it income to cover the venue’s rent.

However, there was then a glimmer of hope when an un-named businessman sought to take over the club lock, stock and barrel.

But following detailed negotiations between the two parties, a financial agreement could not be thrashed out leaving Mallett no alternative but to pull the plug on the sport in the city.

A devastated Mallett said: “That’s it. We can’t go on alone and I have informed all seven of our riders plus the British Speedway Promoters’ Assoc-iation that I have no choice but to close down Newport Wasps.

“The rent being covered was the only reason we (Mallett and fellow-promoters Nick Mallett, his son, and Dudley-based dentist Peter Mole) decided to run again in 2012.

“We waited for Trojan International to come forward to discuss the matter and it finally came in the form of a negative response.

“Everyone here is gutted about what has happened and I would like to thank everyone who has ever worked here for their help.”

Club officials threatened to shut down the British Premier League outfit when the 2011 speedway season ended last October because of dwindling crowds at its Queensway Meadows Stadium home.

But a financial lifeline appeared when Hampshire-based Trojan International revealed it wanted to bring stock car racing to the venue in 2012.

After terms which would have covered the venue’s rent were agreed, co-promoter Steve Mallett announced the Wasps would run again when the 2012 British season began in March.

However, Mallett suffered a hammer blow this week when Trojan International confirmed in an e-mail that they were pulling out.