Peterborough Panthers hold no grudges as rider bids farewell with a blast at UK bosses

Rohan Tungate in action for Panthers in 2019.Rohan Tungate in action for Panthers in 2019.
Rohan Tungate in action for Panthers in 2019.
Peterborough Panther boss Rob Lyon insists there are no hard feelings towards Rohan Tungate – despite the Aussie taking a swipe at British promoters as he cut his ties with sport in the UK.

Tungate has signed deals in Europe and, with Poland restricting the amount of other leagues riders can sign up to, it means he can’t race for Peterborough in the Premier League in 2021.

Tungate told Speedway Star magazine a lack of decisions by UK promoters left him with no choice but to move on.

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And Lyon said: “We fully understand Rohan’s frustrations - in fact, we also share them.

Panthers team boss Rob Lyon.Panthers team boss Rob Lyon.
Panthers team boss Rob Lyon.

“But at this point, not knowing where we will be in a couple of months’ time with the situation with Covid and restrictions on riders’ movements, it’s unfair to ask anyone to make a firm decision right now.

“Equally, with the restrictions Poland have put on riders only being able to do a small number of leagues outside their own, Rohan has made the decision to race abroad where they can race behind closed doors for certain, as they did in 2020.

“British Speedway doesn’t have that option for a league season.

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“We would like to wish Rohan all the best for 2021, and hopefully when situations allow for both parties we will see him back on these shores again in the future.”

Club promoters are due to meet at the sport’s Annual General Meeting today (Thursday) when the consequence of the new Polish rules will be fully debated. Plans for the 2021 season should then be revealed.

Despite a third coronavirus-related lockdown implemented by the UK Government until at least mid-February, Panthers chiefs are pressing ahead with plans for a spring start at Alwalton and remain confident of tracking a team capable of challenging for honours.

That challenge will take place without Tungate who told the Speedway Star: “I have a job to do with sponsors and it’s pretty hard to plan something when nothing is actually clear.

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“I know Covid is a bad situation, but the other countries have a plan.

“In Denmark, they have three solutions. They are running regardless of the situation. They had this plan in October or November and they have a plan to run without fans, with some fans and with maximum fans.

“In Britain they do not know what they are doing. It’s a shame. I have always liked racing in Britain, but they have not given us any information.

“We have a job to do. We have stuff to invest in, stuff to organise and mechanics to recruit etc. For people who don’t live there, it is a big commitment.

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“I think they really need to start to make a plan. They are just going to lose rider after rider.

“Riders can’t wait. If they have an opportunity to ride somewhere else abroad, they are going to have to take that opportunity.”

Meanwhile Lyon was keen to offer thanks to club sponsors Crendon Timber and City Auction Group for their continued support.

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