BREAKING NEWS: Panthers future in ‘serious jeopardy’ after owner receives heavy fine

Ged Rathbone.
Ged Rathbone.
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The future of Peterborough Panthers appears to have been plunged into uncertainty again today (October 5).

A statement, which appeared on the club’s official website this afternoon, confirmed owner Ged Rathbone has been heavily fined for his decision to give Jack Holder permission to miss the SGB Championship Fours on August 6 - an event they won without him at the East of England Arena and was hailed a huge success by speedway bosses - and two subsequent Peterborough meetings to race in Poland.No exact figure has been provided by the club, but the Peterborough Telegraph understands the fine dished out by the Speedway Control Bureau (SCB), along with other associated penalties and losses of income, could total in excess of £40,000.

The statement on the Panthers website revealed: “The future of Peterborough Speedway has been placed into serious jeopardy again.

“Club owner Ged Rathbone has been fined a significant five-figure sum by the Speedway Control Bureau.

“It concerns his decision to give Jack Holder permission to miss the SGB Championship Fours on August 6 - an event they won without him at the East of England Arena and which was hailed a huge success by speedway bosses - to race in Poland.

“Rathbone, whose British Speedway Promoters’ Association (BSPA) licence remains suspended, attended a hearing earlier this week and was notified of the outcome today.

“Peterborough will now carefully consider their position, but intend to honour all remaining racing commitments in 2017 for their fabulous supporters who have backed the club so well home and away.

“No further comment will be made at this time.”

Rathbone declined to expand when contacted by the Peterborough Telegraph.

The Middlesbrough-based businessman stepped in to keep speedway alive in the city in late 2014.

Rathbone then completed a full takeover from previous owners Rick Frost and Julie Mahoney last winter.

Panthers are due to entertain Workington in their penultimate SGB Championship fixture of the season tomorrow night (Friday, 7.30pm) at the East of England Arena.