Ipswich Witches remain in Premier League as Leicester leave and Peterborough pull out

Witches Logo

Witches Logo - Credit: Archant

Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches director of speedway Chris Louis admits he is happy for the Suffolk side to remain in the Premier League in 2014.

The Foxhall Heath team will be racing in a Premier League that has one less club than in 2013, with Leicester Lions moving up into the Elite League.

The Elite League has however lost Peterborough Panthers, whose owners have decided to leave the sport. New owners could still participate in British Speedway in 2014 – and possibly in the Premier League.

“I’m happy with the positioning of the Witches in the Premier League,” Louis said, at the end of the three-day British Speedway Promoters’ Conference, which took place at Coventry.

“The Premier League has changed little and it’s been a good product as far as I’m concerned for the past three years we have been in it.

“I went to the conference with an open mind about Ipswich and the Elite League. But I simply feel it’s the right thing for the club to stay in the Premier League.”

As regards team-building, Louis admitted he has signed no-one as yet for next season.

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“I’ve always said I will work with any of the septet we had last season,” he said.

“But until I knew all the nuts and bolts of the league structures, I have yet to sign anyone. I don’t rule out anyone from our 2013 team.”

There will be 10 teams racing in the Elite League and 12 in the Premier League.

The play-off system remains in place for both leagues with the same criteria as 2013, while in the Elite League, riders at six and seven will be National League riders.

The Premier League team-building average remains at 42.5pts, with 14 home and 14 away fixtures for all clubs – everyone riding each other home and away once – plus three other home and three other away fixtures.