LAMBERT IN STARS U-TURN
Robert Lambert confirmed he’ll be staying at King’s Lynn, but is frustrated Britain’s asset system blocked him from speaking to other clubs.
11 / 01 / 2018, 11:30
Great Britain racer Robert Lambert has confirmed he’ll be staying at King’s Lynn for 2018, but admits he was frustrated Britain’s asset system blocked him from speaking to other clubs.
The Norfolk-based ace said he was considering setting out British speedway before Christmas after four straight top-flight seasons with the Stars.
Lambert was interested in a move away from the Adrian Flux Arena, but was barred from talking to other clubs as he’s a King’s Lynn asset and featured in Stars’ team-building plans.
I have come to an agreement now with King’s Lynn Speedway, which saw both parties come together, move forward from what we wanted and meet in the middle.
The 19-year-old believes riders should be allowed to speak to other sides, as they are once their contracts expire in other countries – a right enshrined by the European Court of Justice’s Bosman ruling, which transformed football deals in 1995.
But Lambert insists he’ll give his all to the Stars as they bid to improve upon a turbulent 2017 season, which saw them finish second from bottom.
He told Speedway Star magazine: “I have come to an agreement now with King’s Lynn Speedway, which saw both parties come together, move forward from what we wanted and meet in the middle.
“I can now say I will be racing for Kings Lynn for another year. Buster (Stars owner Keith Chapman) and I have agreed on good terms and I feel I will be able to push and give 100 percent to the club and the fans as I always do.”
While Lambert could have submitted a written transfer request to the Speedway Control Bureau to force his way out of King’s Lynn, he feared being left without a club, with the buying team also required to pay a transfer fee.
He said: “The problem was because Buster had been holding on for so long; other clubs had already got teams built up. I wanted to have something sorted before I got released because I didn’t want to be left without a team.
“Everybody else was scared to talk to me without me being released. I tried to get a deal sorted behind closed doors with another club. But that didn’t work out.
“Buster then came forward and said he would give me this deal. I had to take a step back from what I wanted. But in the end, I had a long think about it and for this year, it’s the best option I have and I am guaranteed a team spot.”
Lambert believes riders should have the right to speak to whichever clubs they wish once their contracts expire as they seek the right circuit and deal to develop their careers.
He added: “On the back of a great 2017 season, I wanted to move my career away from Norfolk to go forward and not stagnant after being at Kings Lynn for the last four years.
“I tried to get in contact with other clubs which was impossible as they were not allowed to talk to me. Obviously, Kings Lynn Speedway had told the clubs I was in their plans.
“I think this is a big problem for many riders. A rule needs to be put in place that after the last meeting of the season, riders are free to talk to another club if they wish to and they’re not held back from moving forward.
“We need to look more at other countries that have been successful in the sport. In any other country, at the end of the season, riders can talk to whoever they want and have no restrictions on that.
“When looking for a club, you need to look for the best offer you can get, but being held back, you can't do that.
“When the price for parts and travelling is going up all the time, but the money is staying the same or less, how can you make a living out of speedway in the UK? It’s not the fact I couldn’t get a club in the UK. It’s finding the right deal that at least pays for itself.”
Lambert is seeking fresh sponsorship to invest in his machinery. He said: “I am now trying to look for sponsors. I have had the same equipment for the last few years – since I started at King’s Lynn.
“So I am trying to find some more sponsorship to get the equipment together. Fingers crossed, I will. I am seeing a few people and trying to get some sponsorship together.
“If I don’t get the sponsorship, I’ll be using the same stuff as last year and hoping it doesn’t break down.
“This is why I’m looking for new potential sponsors to help me move my career forwards in this country. But at the same time, I want to thank the fans for the support they give me every week and my current sponsors for their help and funding, which makes it possible for me to race at all.”