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Hammers eager to retain Jonsson

Andreas Jonsson
Stars such as Jonsson could be few and far between in Britain next season

Lakeside Hammers are hoping to retain Andreas Jonsson.

The current financial climate means clubs could be forced to cut costs, leading to the absence of a number of top overseas riders next season.

Co-promoter Jon Cook told BBC Essex: "We need to sit down and see if it's financially attainable to have Andreas.

"Riders of AJ's ilk are high earners and it may not leave much in the budget to put a competitive team underneath him - that's the worst-case scenario."

Cook added: "Of all the riders in the team [from this season], I'd be tempted to say Andreas is the one I'd most want from a team manager's perspective, more so than perhaps a promoters' perspective.

"When you're fulfilling both of those tasks, sometimes you've actually got to let your heart rule your head."

The Swedish heat leader was instrumental in the Hammers' runner-up spot in the Elite League and a place in the Craven Shield final.

We can't compete with the money that's being offered to the riders in Sweden and Poland

Lakeside Hammers co-promoter Jon Cook

Cook also predicted that with speedway budgets facing the squeeze, the sport in Britain could have a different look to it next season.

"British speedway has tried to compete with Sweden and Poland and perhaps to a degree we've deluded ourselves that it's as major a sport here as it is there," he explained.

"We can't compete with them financially, with the money that's being offered to the riders in Sweden and Poland, and I think the time has come where we've got to accept there is no point in trying.

"We can't put the future wellbeing of a club and the supporters' opportunity to watch speedway ahead of the momentary need to win something."

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see also
Hammers target Coventry's Jonsson
12 Jan 06 |  Speedway


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