Sheffield Tigers: Buying Leicester won’t impact Sheffield insists owner Bates

Damien Bates
Damien Bates
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Damien Bates has slammed suggestions Sheffield will be used as a feeder club for top flight Leicester after he took over the East Midlands outfit.

Bates has struck a deal to take control of the Premiership side after they suffered a financial crisis at the end of last season which threatened their future.

He’s now getting down to the business of piecing together a team to put Leicester back on track – a job he did at Sheffield well before Christmas.

“My involvement at Leicester won’t have any impact on my Sheffield business,” said Barnsley-based Bates.

“And anybody suggesting Sheffield will just become a feeder club for Leicester is talking rubbish. They are two independent clubs and Sheffield is like a well oiled machine.

“I have taken over Leicester because it’s a purpose built speedway facility and the Sheffield lads will be able to go there and practice whenever they need to.

“At Sheffield we have Simon Stead as our new team manager and that’s an exciting move. I also have good people like Pete Mole, Julie Reading, Marc Bates and Eric Boocock alongside me so in many ways the club runs itself.

“I’m determined to make Sheffield as successful as possible and we are aiming for the title this year although there are lots of strong teams in the Championship.

“My message to the Sheffield fans is that it’s business as usual at the club. My taking over at Leicester has no impact on the club, if anything it can only be positive.

“I want both clubs to be successful in their respective leagues – and by successful I mean financially sustainable as well as entertaining on the track.

“And I’m also pleased to have played my part in saving the sport at Leicester.”