Coventry Bees will return to competitive speedway - but there's a catch

Coventry Bees will return to competitive racing next season - in the bottom league of British speedway and almost 30 miles away from the club’s traditional home.

The move was confirmed in a short statement from the Speedway Control Bureau, with the club due to host home meetings in Leicester.

Coventry Bees have been left homeless ever since Bees boss Mick Horton failed to secure a deal to race at their former Brandon Stadium track in late 2016. That followed a bitter legal row between new land owners Brandon Estates and former stadium and Coventry Bees owner Avtar Sandhu.

The disagreements ultimately led to the Bees being kicked out of the top flight of British speedway in February 2017.

Since that time, the Bees have not raced competitively - but have taken part in a number of challenge meetings across the country.

New Coventry Bees owner Mick Horton first raised the possibility of reviving Bees in the lower leagues during a Telegraph interview in May 2017.

The Telegraph has attempted to contact Mr Horton for comment on this latest development.

What will happen next season?
The team is set to race in the National League, two leagues below the top flight the Bees used to compete in, when the new season starts later his year.

A statement from the Speedway Control Bureau read: “Following on from a meeting with the members of the Speedway Control Bureau and Mr Mick Horton, it is with great delight that Coventry Speedway have been given the go ahead to run the Coventry Bees in the National Development League at a temporary home at Leicester for the 2018 season.

“The members of the SCB wish the Coventry Promotion all the best in their endeavours to bring the Bees back to Brandon in the near future.”

Why the drop?
Speaking to the Telegraph in May last year, Mr Horton said: “If we were to track share, we could only do that as a National League team.

“Fans are not going to travel to pay for running an Elite League team.

“Elite League teams need to bring in £18,000 to £19,000 per meeting to cover the stadium rent and the cost of home and away wages.

“That drops to about £4,000 to £5,000 for a National League team.”

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