Peterborough Panthers to stay in the Premiership despite miserable season, final meeting postponed

Carl Johnson
Carl Johnson
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Peterborough Panthers team boss Carl Johnson has confirmed the club will again race in the top flight of British Speedway next year.

The city club endured a miserable return to the SGB Premiership this season when finishing rock-bottom by 11 points.

But they are already in an upbeat mood for the future with Johnson predicting a much better campaign in 2020 when Panthers will celebrate their 50th anniversary.

“As long as there is speedway at Peterborough, I’m happy,” said Johnson.

“But the fact we are again going to be racing in the top flight is even more pleasing.

“There’s no doubt that our return to the SGB Premiership this season did not go according to plan so it’s great to have the opportunity to put that right.

“No-one wants to finish bottom of the table and, as I promised the fans at the end of our final home meeting against Wolverhampton, we’ll be doing all we can to get into the play-offs next year.

“We already have some good ideas about the team we want to put together and it’s now a case of waiting for the BSPA annual meeting to take place next month before we can start putting things into place.

“There is already work being done at the Showground to replace the fence on the start/finish start and we’re also improving the facilities in and around the pits.

“This year wasn’t one of our best, but we’re all determined to make sure next year is one to remember.”

Panthers still have one meeting left in 2019 – a trip to Wolverhampton for a meaningless SGB Premiership Supporters’ Cup clash – which has been postponed this Sunday.

It has now been pushed back to the following Sunday (October 20) due to the Midlands club’s possible involvement in the SGB Premiership Grand Final.

Wolverhampton were due to face Swindon in a play-off semi-final last night (Wednesday) and tonight (Thursday) with the winners going on to meet Ipswich for the title over two legs next week.

Johnson added: “It’s frustrating to have the meeting put back again as we’d all like to draw a line under this season and move on.

“But we fully respect that Wolverhampton have much more important business than running a meaningless meeting in a competition has already been completed.

“We would have been missing riders on Sunday but we should be at full strength on the 20th when it now takes place.”

Panthers were set to be without at least two riders on Sunday with Charles Wright and Ulrich Ostergaard both in action for their SGB Championship clubs Redcar and Newcastle, who meet in the second leg of the KO Cup final at that level on the same day.

Panthers hold their annual end-of-season awards bash tomorrow (Friday) at the Post Office Club on Bourges Boulevard.