ACCOMMODATING a selection of world speedway’s top riders in the SGB Premiership should not be viewed as an unrealistic possibility, according to Swindon Robins and Team Great Britain manager Alun Rossiter.

The Robins boss travelled to the British Speedway Promoters’ Association (BSPA) offices in Rugby, Warwickshire, last week for a general council meeting ahead of the sport’s annual general meeting, which will decide speedway’s structure and rules for next season.

After talking to the Advertiser last week about the sport’s unnecessary ‘watering down’ of its own product, Rossiter has now called on clubs to step up in the hope of forming a 10-team top-flight Premiership, with the possibility of some of the world’s top riders returning to British shale.

While the 53-year-old admits British clubs can’t cough up money on a similar scale to Polish or Swedish teams, Rossiter is adamant that teams must ‘sell themselves’ again to bring the buzz back to British speedway’s top tier.

“We need at least 10 teams in the top league, and we need to make it a far better and professional product,” said Rossiter.

“Riders like Jason Doyle and Chris Holder want to ride in the Premiership and clubs can accommodate one of these top riders in their teams.

“Racing in Britain keeps riders on their toes – look at Niels-Kristian Iversen for example.

“He’s back in the Grand Prix next season having spent the season with King’s Lynn. He’s earned that qualification.

“We have technical tracks in this country, and it helps.”

An unavoidable decline in attendance figures throughout the past three decades coupled with the closure of multiple high-profile stadiums – including Cradley Heath, Weymouth, Bradford, Exeter, Hackney and Oxford – has plagued speedway in recent years.

Running parallel with that trend is the absence of Grand Prix riders in teams across Britain – only two of the 15 Grand Prix regulars this season have featured regularly in Britain.

Expanding on his ‘selling themselves’ point, Rossiter insists clubs most offer riders an alternative to lucrative sums of money – instead focusing on helping riders progress in the Grand Prix or towards competing at Grand Prix level.

Rossiter made particular reference to the Premiership’s top two riders this season, world champion Doyle and British champion Robert Lambert, and their averages of below 10 – suggesting the British League still operates at a competitive level for the top stars.

He said: “What we (in Britain) can offer to riders is a chance to keep them sharp.

“We can’t offer the same money as they do at clubs in Poland, for example.

“I’ve seen so many riders that have stopped racing in Britain, and all of a sudden they’re struggling in the Grand Prix.

“That tells me while we’re not the big coin earners any more, racing in Britain still keeps riders sharp – in my opinion.

“Every year I see comments that one rider will clean up and get a 12-point average. But I’ve not seen anyone run away with things in the league with a 10 or 12-point average.”