Monday October 07, 2019
CRADLEY Heathens accepted the offered date for the second leg of the National League Play off at Leicester on Saturday October 5 - keen to ensure that the competition progress was not delayed.

Knowing that Jack was contracted to race in an FIM inscribed meeting at the prestigious Pardubice track in Czech Republic that weekend, both clubs were aware and mutually accepted that the rider replacement facility would apply.

On Friday we were told in an email by NL co-ordinator Jason Pipe and quickly followed up by a strongly worded email from SCB manager Neil Vatcher that no facility could be granted under these circumstances for a rider that ‘chooses’ to compete in what was termed an ‘open’ meeting and we would have to replace with an unattached two-point rider.

Grudgingly and reluctantly accepting this ruling we were then dismayed to find that Leicester had in fact been granted a facility to replace Luke Ruddick who had chosen to have a social weekend at the Toruń Grand Prix. This is no criticism of Luke, just pointing out facts.

When enquiring how this could be we were told that Luke had been classed as withholding services under which criteria a facility was available and the suggestion was for the Heathens simply to advise that Jack was refusing to ride in similar circumstances.

As a club we had no intention of casting any slurs on Jack’s professional attitude which has been exemplary and in fact he delayed his scheduled road departure to Pardubice by 24 hours to race in first leg.

We accept that he would not and could not break a contract signed weeks before the Heathens date at Leicester was agreed.

The reason for this judgement from the sports ruling hierarchy was on the basis that rules are rules and must be upheld at all times.

It is ironic that our query as to how Danny Phillips raced for Belle Vue against Kent in the NL play offs while his senior Championship club Newcastle were in action at Edinburgh remains unanswered at this time.

Once again we have no argument with this decision but ourselves and Leicester had seemingly reached a common sense agreement.

There are no Winners in this – indeed everyone is a loser

And the biggest losers of all? The Supporters.

We wish Leicester all the very best in the final and look forward to welcoming the Thompson twins, and Leicester supporters, to our Golden Hammer event at Monmore on Monday October 28 when Jack will also be riding. This would not have been possible had we followed the suggestion to have him banned.

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