SPEEDWAY LATEST: Panthers’ fine cut from £28,000 to £3,000

Peterborough Panthers speedway action at the East of England Arena.
Peterborough Panthers speedway action at the East of England Arena.
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The heavy fine which threatened the future of Peterborough Panthers has been overturned on appeal.

The city club were hit with a £28,000 penalty by the Speedway Control Bureu (SCB) after allowing Jack Holder to miss three meetings to race in Poland last summer.

Owner Ged Rathbone had his promoter’s licence suspended as part of the same saga with Panthers also ordered to offer free admission to their first home league meeting of 2018.

But those financial punishments were revoked by an Auto Cycle Union (ACU) appeal panel yesterday (November 30).

Panthers were instead fined £1,000 for each meeting Holder missed. They were the SGB Championship Fours (which they won without him) and league trips to Newcastle and Scunthorpe.

Once that much reduced fine is fully paid, Rathbone will become an active promoter again.

A statement issued by the ACU confirmed: “Gerard Rathbone, co-Promoter of Peterborough Panthers Speedway attended a Court of Enquiry held at ACU House on Thursday, November 30.

“Mr Rathbone was appealing a decision made by the Speedway Control Bureau to impose a £28,000 fine on him/the Peterborough promotion as a result of Jack Holder being released by the club to compete in Polish League events when he was selected to ride for Peterborough over the same period.

“The Speedway Control Bureau also decided that the Peterborough promotion must stage their first league fixture of the 2018 season with free admission.

“After hearing all the evidence and reading the correspondence made available to them, the court members decided that both penalties imposed by the Speedway Control Bureau be revoked.

“Instead Mr Rathbone must pay a penalty of £1,000 for each of the meetings that Holder missed – the SGB Championship Fours and league fixtures against Newcastle and Scunthorpe.

“The court members also stated that on full settlement of the penalties imposed above, that Mr Rathbone’s promoter’s licence be reinstated.”

Rathbone declined to make any further comment on the matter. Panthers are already pressing on with their plans for 2018 after unveiling four members of their team - Ulrich Ostergaard, Michael Palm Toft, Nike Lunna and Simon Lambert - earlier this week.