FORD DEFIANT ON HOLDER STATEMENT
Poole owner Matt Ford branded Polish regulations “corrupt” after refusing to guarantee Jack Holder’s availability for Torun this year.
15 Mar 2017, 09:53
Poole owner Matt Ford has branded Polish regulations “corrupt” after refusing to sign a statement guaranteeing Jack Holder’s availability for Torun's Ekstraliga meetings this year.
The seven-time Elite League-winning promoter is fuming with rule changes in Poland that have forced the foreign clubs of all Ekstraliga riders to sign statements, giving Polish teams priority over the rider’s services in the event of a fixture clash.
Most British clubs have grudgingly handed over the document, and Ford accepts there is little he can do to stop Poole No.1 Krzysztof Kasprzak putting meetings in his home country first.
It's corrupt. This will cause problems. It will mean that eventually one or two of these riders won't ride in Britain or that one or two have to give up Poland.
But he’s making a stand over Holder – a rider relies on his job at Poole for the UK visa which gives him the right to base himself in Britain.
Asked about the statement, Ford told the Bournemouth Daily Echo: "I am categorically not signing it. It's ridiculous and there is not a chance.
"I can assure people that if it weren't for British teams offering these riders clubs, none of the Polish clubs would want these guys.
"They are British-speaking citizens of a Commonwealth country who come into the UK on work permits and as and when Polish teams give them contracts, they then want priority on them.
"Not a chance. It's corrupt. This will cause problems. It will mean that eventually one or two of these riders won't ride in Britain or that one or two have to give up Poland.
"But in my opinion, we need to start protecting ourselves and looking after British speedway and not others.
"Jack has never ridden a competitive meeting in Poland and yet they want priority on him. That can't be the way. He has been living in England for a couple of years and been a Poole asset for a period of time."
Ford insists he’s prepared to respect FIM International Speedway League Bureau rules, which guarantee riders will prioritise meetings in their home country.
He added: "If Hans Andersen or Nicolai Klindt have a Danish fixture they need to fulfil, that's their home nation. And I accept with Krzysztof Kasprzak, that Poland is his home nation. If there is a clash in that respect, I do understand that."