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Page last updated at 17:58 GMT, Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Peterborough and Coventry allowed back in Elite League


Peterborough Panthers and Coventry Bees have been re-admitted to the Elite league for the 2011 season.

The two clubs had been excluded after a disagreement with the British Speedway Promoters' Association over proposals for rule changes to the sport.

"It's been agreed by the BSPA, Coventry and Peterborough that we'll participate in 2011," Panthers team manager Trevor Swales told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

The BSPA had planned to run this year's Elite League with just eight teams.

Both clubs had sought legal advice after a number of meetings with the BSPA failed to find a resolution.

"We're going to draw a line under the whole issue and move forwards from here," Swales added.

But Poole Pirates owner Matt Ford said the BSPA must avoid a repeat of the political problems.

Ford told BBC Radio Solent: "We can't let this sort of thing happen again.

Things are looking positive now. I don't think there's anyone who doesn't want 10 teams in the league

Lakeside promoter and BSPA member Jon Cook

"The sport can't benefit from the situation arising in the way that it did. I don't think we would allow it to happen again, and we might need to look at changing the constitution to make sure of that.

"Let's learn by the mistakes made, and hopefully put it right in the future."

The dispute started when reigning champions Coventry and 2006 champions Peterborough walked out of the BSPA's annual general meeting last November.

The two clubs disagreed with planned rule changes for the 2011 season, with the problem centring on riders' averages altering when moving from the Premier League to the Elite League.

The average was halved but the BSPA wanted the riders to retain 70% of their previous Premier League average.

At the moment it is not clear what resolution has been reached on this issue.

Lakeside promoter and BSPA member Jon Cook told BBC Surrey and Sussex he was glad an agreement had been reached.

"Things are looking positive now. I don't think there's anyone who doesn't want 10 teams in the league.

"We can't wait to get the season started and start beating each other on the track rather than across the courtroom.

"It's time to move on."

Meanwhile, the Panthers have revealed three-time World Champion Nicki Pedersen will be their number one this year.

Swales said: "There's a lot of work to be done with Nicki in as number one and the first signing."

The 33-year-old last raced in the Elite League for Eastbourne, ending a four-year spell at the club in 2007.

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see also
Elite pair optimistic on return
28 Feb 11 |  Motorsport
Stars not expecting Panthers fans
17 Feb 11 |  Motorsport
Bees and Panthers out of top tier
17 Feb 11 |  Motorsport
Speedway dispute frustrates Bees
10 Feb 11 |  Motorsport
Panthers positive on Elite return
02 Feb 11 |  Motorsport
BSPA open to excluded pair return
17 Jan 11 |  Motorsport
Speedway wrangle set for courts
13 Jan 11 |  Motorsport
Panthers hopeful over resolution
22 Dec 10 |  Motorsport
New hope for exiled speedway pair
22 Dec 10 |  Motorsport
Bees and Panthers step up fight
10 Dec 10 |  Motorsport
Bees and Panthers challenge BSPA
02 Dec 10 |  Motorsport
Bees Elite League future in doubt
24 Nov 10 |  Motorsport


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