All options open to give Devils a brighter future
PLYMOUTH Devils promoter Ashley Taylor has not ruled out moving the rescued city speedway club to a new base in the future.
Taylor, joint promoter of the St Boniface Arena-based Devils with former Seemond Stephens, said the club loved its present location.
But he made it clear that all avenues would be explored by the club's new consortium to ensure its stability for future generations.
And he also hinted the club might one day try for the Elite League, the highest level of speedway in the UK.
The Devils were within days of going under because of complications arising from the sale of the Premier League club from former promoter Mike Bowden to a new consortium.
The new group's hopes of obtaining a lengthy lease from St Boniface College, who own the land on which the Devils' circuit, were dashed.
Instead, a compromise two-year deal was hammered out, just in time for the Devils to be registered to race this year.
The consortium, which includes Taylor and Stephens, have been backed by speedway trust Manor Delta, who own 25 per cent of the club.
Manor Delta was set up by former Exeter Falcons speedway boss, the late Colin Hill, to ensure development of the sport.
Hill, who ran Exeter speedway for 20 years, originally specified that his money should be used to find the Falcons a new home.
But with Falcons, who closed in 2005, still not back in operation, the trust's activities have been expanded to include Plymouth.
Plymouth has already seen one speedway club fail when the original Devils, who were based at Pennycross, shut their doors for the last time in the 1960s.
The present Devils were resurrected by Bowden, who steered the city club for seven years.
Taylor, who has had a long association with speedway in Plymouth, said: "We love the site we have at St Boniface – it's accessible, it's on all the bus routes and it is a brilliant location.
"But we've got to consider all the options for the good of the club, and that's what we'll do.
"There's no way that, having got this far, we're going to sit back on our laurels.
"You can't stay still and do nothing, just in case."
Devils, under Bowden, have spent two years in the Premier League after making the jump from the National.
They finished their first year one off the bottom of the Premier and in the second year, Devils were dead last.
Taylor, who is going to be in charge of track matters, was determined not to let that happen again.
He said: "You want to get into the play-offs. There's 13 teams in the league, so the aim is to finish in the top six.
"The Premier League is a brilliant league, but that's not to say that one day in the future, we might not go into the Elite.
"I think Plymouth's big enough for that, but the first thing is to get everything established."
Taylor, who started in speedway selling match programmes at the old Pennycross track, added: "We've got to market the club better, because I know that there's still some people in Plymouth who don't know we have a speedway club.
"We are in a good position, because we're the only professional summer sport running in Plymouth.
"The others, like Argyle, Albion and the Raiders, all play at a different time of year.
"I think the way to look at it is that we're the custodians of speedway in Plymouth and we've got to make sure that everything's right."