NIGHTMARE OVER FOR BEN
Birmingham star Ben Barker can’t wait to get down to business this season after Brummies resolved their “nightmare” row with Coventry.
26 / 01 / 2013, 10:04
Birmingham star Ben Barker can’t wait to get down to business this season after Brummies resolved their “nightmare” tug of war with Coventry over his future.
The Perry Barr outfit purchased the rider on a full transfer from the Bees after finding the extra investment needed to complete the deal.
Barker held talks with Coventry owner Mick Horton, who had a place in the side available for him.
But the Cornishman was tempted back for a third straight season by the Brummies when they switched their home race night from Thursday to Wednesday, allowing him to double up with his Premier League club Ipswich.
Horton demanded a transfer fee for his asset, which led to a stand-off with the Brummies, who claimed they could not afford the deal.
But Birmingham co-owner Alan Phillips re-opened talks with Horton and resolved the row, and Barker is delighted to be able to finalise his plans for 2013.
I feel wanted and valued at Birmingham and when it became possible for me to sign for them again, I wanted to make it happen.
He told the Birmingham Mail: “It’s been a nightmare really with everything going on behind the scenes and some of the things that have been said about me.
“All I want to do now is get out there and ride my bike. I want my points scoring to do the talking and I wish the season could start tomorrow.
“I’m just so pleased to be riding for Birmingham. All winter I’ve been approaching sponsors but I haven’t been able to do deals because I haven’t known which club I’d be riding for!
“Now I can step up my search for extra sponsorship and I am very grateful to those sponsors who have stayed loyal to me. It’s a vital part of the sport.”
Barker admits he felt more wanted at Perry Barr than Brandon after spurning the Bees’ offer.
He added: “Nothing is forever in life and I just felt squeezed out at Coventry. I felt my time had come to an end there and it was time to move on.
“I’ve raced for Birmingham for the past two seasons, they have been very fair to me and Graham Drury and Phil Morris are good people to race for. I feel wanted and valued at Birmingham and when it became possible for me to sign for them again, I wanted to make it happen.”