Tigers owner welcomes deal and blasts critics

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NEIL Machin says he is proud of the way Tigers are run and the club remain as stable as ever behind the scenes.

The club owner is celebrating the renewal of a club sponsorship deal with loyal supporter Ian Hunter at Sheffield Window Centre, who will once again have their identity on team colours.

And Machin has hit back at critics who accuse him of being too tight on the club purse strings when it comes to signing riders.

He said: “This is excellent news for the club to have Sheffield Window Centre on board once again for the 2012 season.

“The deal helps ensure this club has stability, it helps us to run the club on a sound financial basis unlike some others within the sport.

“I’m aware of the criticism I get and the reputation I have, but I’ve been at this club for 19 years now and we always honour our agreements with riders and pay them on time.

“These are tough times financially but our partnership with Ian and the fact that we have some of the most loyal supporters in the sport means we are fine when it comes to off-track matters.

“Not all clubs can say that. You only have to look at some promoters who breezed into the sport with bright ideas and tried to tell us how to do our job, but where are they now?

“My record at Sheffield is one I am proud of and I will never jeopardise the future of this club just to pay a few extra quid to a rider who might be able to do a job for us.

“There is a lot of doom and gloom around in speedway right now and that’s not surprising considering that a lot of companies who have been involved in the past are feeling the pinch.

“That’s why we try to offer them something in return if they get involved with us.

“For instance, we’re working with Wosskow Brown in Sheffield at the moment who are a family law firm and we’re doing our best to project their image on everything we do. We’re also talking to Harley Davidson and I’m condident we can work out a deal with their local branch. That’s a fantastic identity to bring to speedway.

“Times really are hard but we have to get out there and try to make things happen on the corporate front.”

The Shane Parker farewell meeting takes place on Sunday, March 18. It brings the curtain down on Parker’s 22-year racing career in Britain. The star-studded line-up includes world champion Greg Hancock.