Sheffield Tigers: American ace given deadline

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TIGERS chief David Hoggart says it’s almost time to end negotiations with Ricky Wells.

The Owlerton side have kept the final spot in their team plans open for the Californian despite a mixed season with the club last year.

Hoggart has had further talks with Sam Ermolenko, the 1993 world champion who is representing the rider.

He said: “I fear the time is fast approaching where we must draw a line under the matter and move on.

“And despite the negative publicity which has been created, I can confirm the deal on the table is not what has been reported.

“I really hope we can sort something out, I want it to happen, but the simple fact is that we cannot afford to hang around forever.

“We have two other riders banging the door down to join the team and I don’t want to keep putting them on hold for much longer. There are only so many times I can say no.

“Ricky is a great lad and I really do have faith in him to improve a lot in 2013 but unless something happens this week we have to move on.

“The two other riders have plenty of qualities too but we have kept the team place open out of loyalty to Ricky as he was with us last season. I know it will cause problems to his Elite League club Wolverhampton if we don’t confirm him because he is a Sheffield Speedway sponsored rider for his work permit purposes.

“But we are working overtime to ensure we have a viable business here after the tough times of last year and hopefully we can come to some arrangement before it’s too late. I haven’t heard from Ricky or from Sam since our last chat late last week. Let’s see what happens.”