Panthers saved after reaching £40,000 survival target

Trevor Swales was a key man in securing Panthers' survival.
Trevor Swales was a key man in securing Panthers' survival.
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Peterborough Panthers have dramtically secured their speedway survival by hitting a £40,000 fund-raising target on the final day of an extension granted by the British Speedway Promoters’ Association (BSPA)

Ged Rathbone, who has fronted a winter rescue package with long-serving co-promoter Trevor Swales, confirmed the city club now has the necessary finances in place to race on in 2015.

North-East businessman Rathbone and Swales have today (Friday) notified the governing body of their wish to compete in the Premier League and are awaiting formal approval which is expected to follow within the next few days.

Rathbone said: “I’m over the moon to be in this position. We could not have made it without the time, effort and donations of so many people and I have to say a massive thank-you to everyone who has helped.”

The club’s future had appeared bleak after previous chief Mick Horton pulled out at the end of last season – halfway through a two-year leasehold deal.

Co-owners Rick Frost and Julie Mahoney were unable to assume hands-on control due to their extensive business and family commitments, but Rathbone and Swales stepped in to save the day.

They launched the survival bid at a fans’ forum crisis event in late October and were immediately boosted by an anonymous pledge of £10,000.

Frost and Mahoney threw their backing behind the rescue effort by stumping sponsorship through their Readypower company.

And it has today ended in success with another chapter of the club’s history, which stretches back to 1970, set to be written next year.