Rath­bone in tears as he tells fans he might quit Pan­thers

Speed­way - Pro­moter sounds as though he’s had enough

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - By Mark Plum­mer SPEED­WAY COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Pan­thers pro­moter Ged Rath­bone ad­mits his two years in charge of the city club have taken their toll and he is giv­ing se­ri­ous thought about con­tu­ing in the role. That was what the Mid­dles­brough-based busi­ness­man told sup­port­ers in a tear­ful ad­dress fol­low­ing the fi­nal home meet­ing of the 2016 reg­u­lar sea­son on Mon­day night.

That meet­ing ended in a vi­tal 46-43 suc­cess against Rye House which kept their Premier League play-off hopes alive.

But that still may not be enough to pre­vent Rath­bone from call­ing time on his Pan­thers pro­mo­tion.

Rath­bone led a fan-backed ef­fort to res­cue the club from po­ten­tial obliv­ion in late 2014, but he re­vealed that it has be­come a seven-day-per-week and year-round job for him­self and part­ner, Lisa Flem­ing.

Rath­bone said: “I have to take the blame for the way the sea­son has gone. I make de­ci­sions with the help of my man­age­ment staff so I take re­spon­si­bil­ity for things not go­ing to plan.

“Other than let­ting Michael Palm Toft go, I still think we got pretty much every other move right. In fact we prob­a­bly stood by some rid­ers for too long.

“It has been very tough in these last few weeks as I’ve come in for a lot of per­sonal abuse from cer­tain peo­ple, but I will al­ways stand by the de­ci­sions I make.

“I ab­so­lutely l ove this club, but the last two sea­sons have taken their toll and I’ll be giv­ing the fu­ture plenty of thought over the next few weeks.

“I’ve got to se­ri­ously think about the amount of time, ef­fort and money that has to go into run­ning the club.

“My­self and Lisa have put a mam­moth amount of work in to the club. It’s al­most a seven-day-a-week busi­ness for us through­out the year and we need a life away from the sport as well.

“I’m not say­ing it is the end of Peter­bor­ough Speed­way, or any­thing like that, but I have to make sure it is right for me.

“There are also a lot of things go­ing on in the sport which are frus­trat­ing, and I also have to take things like that into ac­count.

“I’ve been com­pletely hon­est from the start and that’s not go­ing to change.”

Rath­bone in­sist she is proud of the fact the club has be­come self-suf­fi­cient dur­ing the past two sea­sons – and he ap­plauded sup­port­ers for the part they have played in that.

He added: “I can hon­estly say that every bill got paid on time last sea­son. We’re also on track to do the same again this year, and that is not easy in as port where a club can lose thou­sands on one meet­ing.

“The fans have been ab­so­lutely bril­liant. The crowds have been re­ally good for most of the sea­son apart from a cou­ple of meet­ings where there were ob­vi­ous rea­sons for them be­ing lower than usual.

“I don’t mind ad­mit­ting we lost £5,000 on a home meet­ing against Scun­thorpe in the sum­mer and we’ll have lost some­where be­tween £3,000 and £4,000 again on Mon­day night against Rye House.

“Those are ex­am­ples of what can hap­pen when the fans don’t turn out in force and I’ve al­ways said we need to be sup­ported through thick and thin if the club is go­ing to work.”

Pan­thers cap­tain Ul­rich Oster­gaard leads the way in heat five against Rye House.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.