Sheffield Tigers boss rules out Elite League move

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Sheffield co-promoter Damien Bates has revealed the club are intending to remain in the Premier League in 2017.

Tigers had been tipped for a move up to the Elite League ahead of next season.

But as Bates prepared to head into this week’s AGM of the sport, he admitted an application to join the top flight is not on the cards.

He has refused to rule out the possibility to taking the Owlerton outfit back to the highest level of British racing in the future.

Said Bates: “There have been rumours circulating about us moving into the Elite League. At the moment it’s not something we’re looking at though. We’ve only had the club for three years and we’re still finding our own feet as a promotion.

“I’d never say never, but it’s extremely unlikely we’ll move up. It’s a few years too early for us, and the Premier League is where we intend to be again next year.”

Meanwhile, Bates believes the sport in this country is “at a crossroads” ahead of the AGM.

He added: “I think we’ve got to pull together and work between ourselves to get British speedway back on track.

“I’m not the only one who thinks the sport is at a bit of a crossroads at the moment. There is no hiding from the fact there are some issues and they need to be addressed.

“Every promoter needs to pull together to do what is best for the sport. We’ve got a new Chairman and Vice Chairman who are doing a great job, and we need to get behind them and all do our bit.

“Any rules and regulations that get brought in or taken out need to have the future of the sport in this country in mind.

“As selfish as you do have to sometimes be in this sport, I think this is the year where we have to all push in the same direction and forget about our own club’s interests when making decisions over the rules for next season.”