Sheffield speedway: time for a change

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Neil Machin says new blood is needed to take Sheffield forward into the 2014 season.

The long-serving Tigers owner is ready to step aside as he has ‘no more energy’ to give to the cause. He’s had several disagreements with the sport’s governing body too.

Said Machin: “It’s time for some new blood, somebody with the energy. It was 21 years ago when I first took over the club. I was fresh, I had enthusiasm and I was desperate to succeed. I don’t have any of that left now and it would take a lot to change that. I need to look through what possibilities there are to take this club forward and I will do things in the best interests of Sheffield Speedway.”

It was a difficult year at Owlerton where the team were hit badly by injuries. He said: “A couple of things lifted my spirits, firstly the (injured) Ricky Ashworth benefit night when a lot of money was raised for Ricky and his family. He’s still going to need a lot of care and attention although we’ve all heard better news this week. And I was proud to be in Poland to see Tai Woffinden win the world title, that was a special night because the Woffinden family and I go back a long time. Speedway is still a good sport but Sheffield is a sleeping giant which needs to be woken by someone vibrant with enthusiasm and fresh ideas.”

He added: “I will be happy to help should a sale be completed with my own views if I am asked.”