Peterborough Panthers owner Keith ‘Buster’ Chapman insists the time was right for him to stand down as chairman of the British Speedway Promoters’ Association (BSPA).
Chapman, who bought the city club last winter and led them back into the top flight of the sport, announced the decision at the sport’s annual meeting last week after four years in the post.
The Norfolk-based businessman has been a staunch supporter of the sport and also owns fellow SGB Premiership outfits King’s Lynn and Ipswich. Chapman has played a leading role in keeping at least two other clubs alive in recent years as well.
“I just felt the time was right for me to step aside,” said Chapman. “I feel I have done my bit for the sport. It’s such a demanding role, but I take pride in playing a major part in keeping some clubs going.
“I had to get heavily involved to secure the future of both Belle Vue and Leicester and they have good people in charge now.
“I also felt Peterborough had potential and it remains a fantastic venue so I was pleased to get involved here last winter.
“I will also have more time to spend with my family which is very important to me. I put my heart and soul into everything I do and that includes when I was chairman.”
Scunthorpe promoter Rob Godfrey has taken over as BSPA chairman from Chapman, with Sheffield’s Damien Bates now his deputy. The other directors are Debbie Hancock (Somerset), Chris Louis (Ipswich) and Stewart Dickson (Leicester).
One of the final developments of Chapman’s reign as BSPA supremo was the striking of a new TV deal which will see SGB Premiership meetings screened on Eurosport.for the next five years.
Their sole focus is now on ensuring the city club’s 50th anniversary in 2020 proves to be considerably more successful than their miserable top-flight return last season.
Chapman added: “Next season we need to step things up with Peterborough and become more active in the area in terms of promoting the club.”
“Last season was a lot of hard work in our first year there, but it’s one of my favourite tracks in the country and I was pleased to take it back into the top level of the sport.
“I have good people around me at Peterborough. They have a great supporters’ club like King’s Lynn and a loyal fanbase which we need to build on.”
Panthers will again race in a seven-team SGB Premiership in 2020 with Sheffield stepping up to replace frequent title-winners Poole, who have moved down to the SGB Championship.
Mondays and Thursdays are again the designated race-nights. Panthers are in the South group of the SGB Premiership Supporters’ Cup along with Ipswich, King’s Lynn and Swindon.
The points limit for team building is 42.50.