Bandits in search for new team sponsor

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Berwick Bandits need a new major sponsor next season, with club officials warning that their future could depend on it.

Director George Hepburn has admitted that the Bandits “are not in a good way” financially and they need the input of a major backer to ease the strain.

“It has cost me and John (Anderson) – the principal promoter – a lot of money this year, and to be honest it is not a bottomless pit,” he said.

“There were problems with our main team sponsor from the season just gone – New Holland – which have yet to be resolved, and the upshot is we need someone else to step in next year.

“We don’t want to scaremonger, but the fact remains we are not in a good way financially.

“I think everyone can appreciate that speedway is an expensive sport.

“In general terms we need about £10,000 a week coming in through the turnstiles and other regular avenues to break even.

“But this year sometimes we were only taking £5,000 to £6,000 and that was putting a financial strain on us.

“We put together a successful side, and for most of the season we were sitting third or fourth in the table.

“We made the play-offs, but still the people didn’t come, although being a Saturday night track I sometimes think the Grand Prix don’t help. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a situation unique to Berwick, I think a lot of other clubs are in a similar situation.”

Hepburn admitted that he didn’t mind putting some of his own money into the club to keep it going “but we need help,” he said.

“If a company came in to back us that would be great, and we would love to hear from anyone who may be interested. Alternatively, if a few smaller companies, or even individuals, wanted to put in smaller amounts, that would be equally welcome.”

Hepburn said it is too early to say what the long-term future holds, but in the short-term it is likely that he and his fellow directors will have to sit down around the table and discuss the situation carefully.

“We want to see speedway survive in Berwick,” said Hepburn. “We are hopeful we will go to the tapes in 2015 for another season.

“But it gets more and more difficult and I think there will be a few restless nights ahead over the coming months.”